Are You a Bandwagon Fan?

The exact Facebook message to my friend back home said, “Hey blondie, how’s the new apartment going?” I’m pretty jealous that she can trot into almost any salon and be met with pairs of confident eyes all belonging to stylists who are unfazed by yellow haired girls. Lately I’ve been thinking about getting back to the States and going to see Nicole, the best hairdresser in Southie. What I haven’t been thinking about is sports.

As I waited to hear her stories regarding hot neighbors and nights out in Faneuil, the Red Sox won the World Series in a game I hadn’t even realized was happening. So I changed my Facebook status, reminded all my friends here in Korea that I’m a champ now, and felt my really huge heart sink a bit from missing out on all the fun.

Bandwagon fans are the best people who exist in this world. We’re genuine, exuberant souls when faced with both triumph and failure. Win or lose, we’re all for carrying on with this celebration. We want the parade to happen anyway. We’re here to be positive. We’re only watching this television screen, alongside our more engaged besties, because this time, it’s a party.

I’ve never known for sure if others are in hiding, or if I truly am part of minority. I can understand the temptation of living season to season undercover as a devoted sports fanatic. After all, we occasionally witness a small, dark thunderstorm cloud shooting lightening and heavy rains as it moves along, hovering strangely over only one unfortunate being. This person is probably so freezing cold and they are known for mumbling on about how we bandwagoners should not be allowed to participate in sport related festivities. But I do love festivities and all my sunny days, so here are three ways to be a proper bandwagon fan.

1. Immediately assume your position as a member of the bandwagon.

Do this by asking questions. You’re sitting with a beer and a bunch of friends in front of a flat screen that’s airing some really important game (obviously, or else you wouldn’t be watching). Now is not the time for an Academy Award winning performance as a follower of sports. These are your buddies. There’s not a single black cloud in your best friend’s living room and I’m sure of that.

About forty seconds in, you realize there’s a question lurking its way from your brainwaves to your vocal cords. It’s a classic, and now it’s prowling through your being, as you comb recent conversations in hopes of solving this one on your own. Chip bags are crinkling, the couch has matching throw pillows, and there’s a gaping hole in your existence where an answer should be, so you need to pipe up with, “What happens if they lose?” As in, where are we in this shindig? If they suck today, will we all wear their team colors and bring snacks again next week, or will it be over? A key element to bandwagoning is being a slight bother at times, sort of like they’re all a slight bother when they need you edit their papers and write their cover letters.

2. Definitely live-tweet your experience.

Me and every single person reading this have one thing in common, and it’s that we all believe our friends are the funniest, cleverest, most spectacular people out there. Then, when our city’s team has made it to that long string of days where they play in a bunch of very significant games, we tend to spend even more time with them, don’t we? A bandwagon fan can surely appreciate that there’s something sort of thrilling about these special weeknight gatherings.

Maybe it’s the commercial breaks or that inevitable bit of time when the guys all separate onto the porch or something, and you find yourself around the kitchen table with your friends, enjoying so much food and talking about ripped rain boots, crappy bosses, how peculiar it is when you eat two different types of mini candy bars in a row, but the second one always tastes so weird. Maybe it’s the end of the night when everyone decides to head down the street for last call, cause it’s definitely not the whole, quieting down to look at owners of numbered jerseys be hand-eye coordinated.

I’ve noticed there are so many consecutive minutes during these get-togethers when everyone turns on you and focuses their attention to the game. When this happens I like to puncture the top of a very cold can and entertain myself with tweets. Keep in mind, the majority of your followers believe that their own lives will be permanently altered by the outcome of this game.

The 1980s called, they want their shoulder pads back. #Patriots

Should they be wearing matching sneakers? #Celtics

3. Be a cheerleader.

I remember in high school, my friends and I went through a phase when we refused to be bothered with Friday night football, end of the day pep rallies, sporting events in general, and those beautifully cocky boys wearing embroidered names on the sleeve of their warm-up jackets, until they made it to the playoffs because that involved face-paint! It was one of those times when the whole town dressed in only two colors and my friends all piled into a Toyota Camry for an away game road trip.

This is just one example of how bandwagon fans can affect the result of a game for the better. A pressured team like that needed crowds of optimistic liveliness, lots of decorated faces, and matching ribbons. A team like that needed the energy of five teenage girls who sang very loudly the whole way there and may have screamed when one of their friends possibly flashed a really hot stranger on the Mass Pike.

As I’m sure you’ve picked up by now, I’m from Boston so I know all about winning. When a season starts nearing the end, games become so intense, even a bandwagon fan can’t bear to watch at times. But we can sure shout and chant and show so much enthusiasm and then help take credit for the big W, alongside all of you.

Featured image via ShutterStock.

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