September 22, 2014

The art of the bandwagon fan

By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
Posted 10/4/11

I usually don’t expect to see it in the fall, but the perennial bandwagon fans are making their leap a little early this season thanks to the success of the Detroit Lions and the Detroit Tigers, and it’s enough to make lifelong fans sick.

Usually, around the end of March and again in June the “Michigan Bandwagoners,” as I call them, creep out of their dark holes and hop aboard the old wagon rooting for Michigan State basketball and the Detroit Red Wings.

There is nothing more annoying than a bandwagon fan, especially now that the Lions are climbing the ranks of the National Football League.

Every Sunday for the past few weeks I would get online following the Lions game to see people, who have never talked about the Lions before, spouting off about how great the team is and how “We are going to the Super Bowl.”

Don’t get me wrong, I am as excited as anyone that the Lions are finally showing signs of a team that can compete with the elite of the NFL — you could tell in my season preview column that I get a little to excited at times. I mean, I picked the team to win 11 games. But real fans of the Lions know that we shouldn’t start be talking about the Super Bowl when the Honolulu blue and silver haven’t even made the playoffs in years.

Unlike the “Michigan Bandwagoners,” real fans have suffered for a long time with this franchise. I did not see any of these bandwagon fans supporting the Lions when they went 0-16 in 2008. Meanwhile, true fans sat and watched the games, talked about the changes that needed to be made and took the punches from people who mocked them for being Lions fans.

I guess that is my real problem with bandwagon fans; they never stick with it and see things through. They come and go as they please and make the rest of us look like a bunch of clowns when they go off and run their mouths.

This season has been special for me to watch for a number of reasons and it gives me a sense of pride to know that I was there supporting my franchise when there were bad times.

I would do the same thing with “my” Los Angeles Lakers, a franchise that is completely different from the Lions. Unlike the Lions the Lakers have had success and won numerous titles. When they lost to the Detroit Pistons in 2004, that was one of the worst times ever to be a fan living in Michigan.

All of my friends were sure to let me know how awful the Lakers were, and were not afraid to take shots every waking moment of every day. The same thing happened in 2008 when Boston defeated the Lakers in the NBA Finals; but in 2009 and 2010, when the Lakers were champions, going through those hard times made the championships even sweeter.

It’s great to see so much love out there for the Lions and the Tigers, but if you’re a member of the Michigan Bandwagoners, please watch what you say, because you make us real fans look bad, and we all should be able to enjoy this run.

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