The Problem with Being a Sports Fan

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Being a sports fan is hard. You try to be positive about everything your team does and just enjoy it.  But there are definitely times when you yell at your TV out of frustration, shake your head, and think to yourself, “I’m not angry, just disappointed”.

When you’re a sports fan, you also notice all the different types of sports fans. Like, for example, bandwagon fans and fair weather fans.

People give bandwagon fans such a hard time. It’s become a negative thing to “jump on the bandwagon.” And if you do, you’re looked down on by fans who have been there “the whole time.”

But here’s the thing: most fans started out “on the bandwagon.”

Unless you just have a general love of sports, or have played the sport, how do you come across a team or sport? Usually, during postseason/championships or when a team is playing really good.

When do you hear people/ESPN/Twitter talk about a team?

When they’re playing really good.

So of course that’s going to draw in new fans. No team is going to gain new fans when the team is having the worst season in franchise history; no one wants to watch that. (Or maybe you like seeing things crash and burn, I don’t know your life.)

If that’s the case, why do other fans hate on those who come around when a team is on a hot streak?

I think there’s confusion when it comes to bandwagon fans and fair weather fans. How do you differentiate one from the other?

I think by now it’s obvious I’m proud Ranger fan. Honestly, my life kind of revolves around baseball. It could probably, most definitely, be labeled as an obsession, or maybe even an addiction at this point. But I didn’t watch a single game of Major League Baseball before the Rangers went to the postseason in 2010. I started as a bandwagon fan. And if I had any money laying around for it, I’d bet that 50% of the fan base did too.

Shouldn’t loyal fans be happy when their team is doing so good that more people are watching and paying attention rather than rolling their eyes? “Oh great here come the bandwagon fans.”

I’ll be completely honest, I’ve totally done that. However, I’ve realized I don’t mean to call out the bandwagon fans, I mean to call out the fair weather fans.

Those are the ones that stick around for the World Series seasons but get pissed off and can’t grind through the terrible, horrific, no good, very bad seasons. And I get those seasons are hard to watch, but if you love the game and the players, shouldn’t you be willing to power through that season, just like the players are?

Now I understand, it’s a fine line between bandwagon fans that stay and bandwagon fans that turn into fair weather fans. The lines between types of fans can easily blur.

However, the fans you should side-eye aren’t the ones who start watching the Rangers game tonight because they heard the Rangers have their best record through so many games in franchise history. Or because they have a shortstop playing center field like really well. Or because Elvis is playing his best baseball yet.

The fans you should side-eye are the ones who absolutely give up on a team because their bullpen blew a save, even if that team is leading their division by 10 games, or the fans that give a standing ovation to the manager when he his lineup is on fire, but act like they can do better when the team loses one blowout game.

Shit happens.

The season is 162 games and literally no team has gone 0-162 or 162-0. Teams are going to lose, lineups are either going to work or not work. Bullpens are going to give up home runs and then go on a 15-inning streak of perfection. It’s frustrating but that’s baseball.

Look, I’ll be completely honest, there are times I question Banny. Sometimes to myself, sometimes on Twitter. But often I at least try to understand it, try to take a step back and analyze. Sometimes I just can’t understand it at all. But I’m not gonna act like I can do a better job, because if I had control of that lineup, it’d be a whole other problem.

I’m not saying you can’t or shouldn’t question a manager’s decision. That’s totally your right as a fan.

It’s one thing to question. It’s another to be negative about every choice and not be willing to understand and discuss.

Bannister did win American League Manager of the Year for a reason, and the Rangers are 10 games ahead in the division before September for the first time like ever.

I’ve verbalized my questions via Twitter, maybe tweeted my gut reaction/first thought before really thinking about it. But I try to understand.

I don’t understand the fans that won’t try. Try to understand, try to discuss with other fans/beat writers, or constantly believe they’re right.

Fans that are extremely happy, number one fan status, after a win; ripping apart everything after one loss. Spoiled by the amount of success thus far.

Example: After Friday’s loss against Boston, if you were on Twitter, you probably thought the sky was falling. It’s not like Boston is a bad team. MLB Network talked about the Red Sox/Rangers series that entire day and said “Watch out for the Red Sox in those late innings.”

If you can make it through pre-World Series Rangers or the 2014 Rangers then trust me, you can get past a few losses.

 

P.S. The fans you should side eye are the ones that do the wave and “rally lights.”

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