You often hear the term "bandwagon fan" when talking online or in person with people. What exactly does that term mean?
Bandwagon fan: you pick teams based upon their success, not your home team or whatever. For me, it's simple. I'm from New England, born and raised, still live here. I cheer for all New England teams regardless of the sport or competition or our success at the time.
Say for example if you're from Carolina, cheer for the Pats (NE), the Yankees (NY), and the Heat (MIA) you're a bandwagon fan. Real New England fans of ANY of our sports DON'T cheer for ANY NY or LA teams. Period. You don't try to cheer for us in one sport and our rival in another. It's bad enough for someone's teams to be from different cities, all having won a title in the last 5-10 years, and they're not from any of those cities. Now you mix in rivals...it starts really getting ridiculous.
In my opinion and in the opinion of I think most of us here in NE, some fan from another place who cheers for the Yankees in the summertime isn't even in the same category as someone who say...lives in Attleboro/Foxboro/the surrounding area, goes to the Pats' practices, training camps, games, sees the players around town, works at the stadium, etc, etc, cheers for OUR home teams in the off-season. There's a reason there's a NEW ENGLAND in front of the team name. It's partially about geographic pride, pride in your city/area, etc. "Boston Strong" rang through the Bruins' NHL playoff run. ALL teams have a location in front of their name.
You're either for New England of you're not, you're not just for our winning football team. That's bandwagon, like it or not. You see, we spent our whole lives cheering for these New England teams, watching them lose over and over again while hearing about their past glory (well, mostly the Celtics there). Then all the sudden they win and now people popping up everywhere talking about how they've been fans all along. And then you usually come to find out they cheer for another baseball team and basketball team and so forth. They'll give you some long ass song and dance about how they're tied to the area and love Boston and that's why they're a Pats fan-but that doesn't tie them to our other sports that aren't quite as dominant somehow. It's ludicrous and disrespectful to those of us that spent our lives watching our teams lose and have been here the whole time they built up to that dominance.
There's something to be said for home team though-when you do have one to choose. To all the people across the country that picked up a Patriots had 10, 12 years ago and have ridden with them since-you're also bandwagoners, just long term ones. To all them, these are just guys on tv that they see a few times a year if they're lucky-or maybe have the package and see every game, but either way the point remains the same. To us in the area, they're the people who we see all over, they visit the kids in the hospitals and schools around here, put up parks, etc, etc. They're more than just people who make a catch-the same way athletes are in every city to their city.
There's just a HUGE difference in how hometown, real home grown fans relate to their team and players and how these people who see a good team and decide to cheer for them do. Just because your home team isn’t winning isn’t a good reason to jump on another team’s bandwagon. Take us here in New England as an example, you might suffer through watching your teams lose for half your life-maybe more-but there’s still a lot more pride in sticking with them, than jumping on a bandwagon and celebrating their success.