It’s a dynamic world that we live in. So many things come and go that we often forget what even happened. When it is the main frame, however, everyone wants to claim a part of it to themselves.
We call this, “hopping on the bandwagon”, in the sports world. It doesn’t even take an avid fan to spot these “fans.” All it takes is a simple walk around campus during the weekend. You will see plenty of Warriors, Cavs, and Cubs jerseys on your stroll, and very few of them could tell you about their history.
These teams are trending today but once the next hot thing comes, it’s off one wagon and onto the next.
What attracts people to these teams is not completely based on their success. Big names, big characters, and something new are really what capture the attention of fair weather fans.
Let’s just take a look into the rivalry (Lebron might not believe it, but it is) between the the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors.
People jumped back on the Cavalier wagon once Lebron James decided to take his talents back “home,” alongside Kevin Love, from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
While in California, something was brewing with “The Splash Brothers,” of Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry.
Curry would go on to win the MVP that season and meet Lebron and the Cavs in the 2015 NBA Finals. After a critical injury to Kyrie Irving in Game 1 plus Love’s injury earlier in the playoffs, Lebron had to take on Curry, Thompson, and Draymond Green by himself. The Warriors would go on to celebrate their championship after their Game 6 victory in Cleveland.
With the spotlight in Oakland, the Warriors set a 2015-16 regular season league record 73 wins along with the second consecutive MVP for Steph Curry. After falling behind 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals, the Warriors stormed back and won the next three games.
The victory set up a finals rematch, as the Cavs rolled through the Eastern conference. Once the Warriors took a 3-1 series lead, we all know what happened next.
Fast forward to today, the Warriors and Cavs seem destined to meet for the third year in a row. Golden State added former MVP and four-time scoring champion Kevin Durant in the preseason, while the Cavs added three-point specialist Kyle Korver from the Atlanta Hawks during this season.
The NBA would seem to have two super teams and many exciting individual players, yet that is not the case.
Lurking quietly in the background, as they have for two decades, is the San Antonio Spurs. Not since the 1996-97 season have the Spurs missed out on the playoffs, while adding 5 NBA championships during that span.
Despite their success, the Spurs do not attract the fans or media attention that the Warriors or Cavs receive. On Instagram, the Spurs are dwarfed by their rivals — their 1.5 million followers are a mere fraction of the 4 million Cavaliers’ fans or the 5.9 million Warriors’ fans.
The Spurs basically go against everything that I had mentioned as the bandwagon team. They aren’t a new or trendy story, they simply go out and win.
People could say that I am a bandwagon fan myself, considering the wide range of teams I like. I am a native of Columbus, but I cheer on the St. Louis Cardinals, Florida Gators, Buffalo Bills, and the Boston Celtics.
Yet, unlike the fan who drops his or her’s team like a bad habit, I have stuck it out with my teams from the day I started to follow sports.
It would have been easy to find a new collegiate team after Tim Tebow’s career concluded, but I stuck it out through the years of horrendous quarterback play and a 4-8 2013 — their first time in 27 seasons without a bowl appearance. Now, I have been fortunate to see the Gators playing in the SEC Championship for the past two seasons.
Living 30 minutes outside of Ohio State University, college football has always been highly valued by my neighbors. The Buckeyes have never been my team (thanks to Urban Meyer), yet those fans are devoted.
When I came to Miami University, I knew the atmosphere would be quite the contrary. I went to the first home game this season against Eastern Illinois. Granted, the weather delayed the game a few hours, but there was less excitement for this game than at a golf match.
Interestingly, once the ‘Hawks turned it around, students began to show some fanfare for the team. I just hope that next year the fans get as involved as they are at the hockey games.
I saw the same thing over winter break when the Columbus Blue Jackets went on a 16 game tear. My family and I went to a game against the Montreal Canadiens. Over the years, I have been to a solid number of hockey games, but I have never seen so many people in Nationwide Arena in my life.
It was all over Twitter and Instagram, and everyone seemed to have a jersey. Now that the Jackets have come back down to earth, it would be interesting to see how many people are populating the stands.
What makes sports great is loyalty. Fans can attack players like Kevin Durant for leaving for the next big thing, but they do the same exact thing.
My disdain for bandwagoning could have been proven a lot easier, but it wouldn’t have been as fun. I am a Buffalo Bills fan. Shockingly, fans aren’t changing their allegiance to a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in 17 years.