The Paw Print
Right now, the Colorado Rockies are a dismal (62-72), good enough to put them 16.5 games back from the division leading Los Angeles Dodgers. As a lifelong Rockies fan, it’s always hard to see my team steadily dropping toward the bottom of the pack and each year I’m disappointed when they just don’t make the cut. However, every year, I begin each season with renewed hope of success and I always stay true to my team until the end, win or lose.
Not all sports fans share my same mentality, though. I can’t tell you how many people I know that begin a sports season as a fan of one team and then come out the other end as a fan of an entirely different team. As soon as “their team” starts to lose momentum, they jump to another team that is getting hot. These people, or bandwagon fans, show what is wrong with sports, and society, today. In the end, it all comes down to a lack of commitment.
Part of loving anything, whether it is the Colorado Rockies, your boyfriend, your girlfriend, or even pizza, is dedication and commitment. You must show your love by pouring time and energy into that person, thing, or idea that you love. This means that sometimes the team you love won’t be doing well, but you still have to love and support them anyway. This might mean wearing your jersey proudly even during a losing streak or staying at the stadium in the freezing cold just to stick it out to the end of game.
Bandwagon fans, however, don’t have this same dedication. They only show commitment when a team is doing well and then jump from team to team like a person picking items at a buffet. When the Rockies went to the World Series in 2007, it seemed like there were Colorado fans popping up everywhere. Suddenly everyone was sporting Matt Holliday jerseys, talking about Rocktober, and claiming a love for the team. The same can be true anytime a team is performing really well. “Fans” that you never knew existed show up and talk about how long they’ve loved the team. We all know that person that is suddenly the biggest fan of whichever team was leading the league at the time. Bandwagon fans lack commitment.
This bandwagon concept doesn’t only belong to sports fans, but to athletes as well. Nowadays, people expect to have immediate gratification from an endeavor. Athletes and other individuals alike assume that as soon as they put time into something there will be an immediate payoff. Just showing up to practice or to the game won’t give you the skills you need or the win that you seek. Being part of a team takes time, effort, blood, sweat, and dedication. You have to practice again and again and again to make yourself a better competitor each day. The bandwagon mentality just doesn’t cut it. If you commit to a team, you’re part of that team through good times and bad. You can’t join in for the team’s celebrations only to duck out during the low points.
In life and in sports, we all have to learn to make commitments and stick to them. Stay true to what you believe and never stop loving the things you love, and above all don’t be a bandwagon fan!