Bandwagon Fans
by Kevin Monroe


Growing up as children we usually decide at an early age what sports teams we are going to root for.  For some of us it is a regional decision.  If you are from New York, you probably like the Giants or the Jets in football, the Knicks or Nets in basketball, and the Yankees or Mets in baseball.  For some of us, we root for the teams our fathers or grandfathers or even mothers rooted for.  Then there are the select few that can never seem to decide on who they like, so they change their minds like the weather changes usually based on which teams are winning.  I call those fans bandwagon fans.  Webster’s Dictionary defines it as:

Bandwagon 1: a popular trend that attracts growing support; "when they saw how things were going everybody jumped on the bandwagon"

Being a bandwagon fan is not all bad if you jump on the wagon and stick with it for a while, but the fans that jump from team to team each year really bother me.  I have my staple teams in all of the major sports except the NBA.  My teams are: College football- East Carolina, College basketball-ECU & UNC (I know, it hurts me to say I like the heels, but blame my father. He brought me up a UNC basketball fan), professional football-Dallas Cowboys, pro baseball-Atlanta Braves.  I didn’t grow up watching pro basketball so I never really gravitated to a team. 

Growing up in the 80s most of my friends were bandwagon Lakers fans, but I never really rooted for them.  The Lakers didn’t have that one star that I could identify with.  Magic was the man, but how can a kid identify with a 6’9 point guard?  It wasn’t until the man from UNC was drafted by the Bulls that I found a team that I could root for.  Rooting for the Bulls during their six championships was awesome, but when Jordan retired and Pippen left the Bulls, it was hard to remain a fan.  Then adding insult to injury, the Bulls decided to make a Duke graduate the player they wanted to build the team around (Elton Brand).  That move didn’t sit well with me since I had grown such a hatred for Duke University.

Since I jumped ship as a Bulls fan, I really haven’t found a home and it’s been nearly ten years.  The reason I wrote this article is because I have finally found a team that I want to hitch my wagon to, the Miami Heat.  Not just because they are up 3-1 on the Pistons, but because I really like the direction the team is headed.  Pat Riley is one of the great coaches in NBA History, Dewayne Wade is one of the top five players in the NBA, and my disdain for Kobe Bryant has made me a Shaq fan.  The best thing about being a bandwagon fan is you get to hand-pick a winner; just imagine growing up a Clippers’ or Cincinnati Bengals fan.  Nobody should have to suffer through that kind of disappointment.

Kevin Monroe