The NFL Is Overloaded with Bandwagoneers

Published on 15-Dec-2013 by Towner Park

Football - NFL    NFL Daily Opinion

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The NFL Is Overloaded with Bandwagoneers

What is a NFL Bandwagoneer, you ask?

Well, just visualize a pioneer, migrating from place to place with no real loyalty to one specific area.

Take that analogy and apply it to an NFL fan, who can get flat feet jumping on and off whatever bandwagon is in vogue.

Yes, I realize these are the fans who make up the extra numbers in sports teams' bottom lines. But I'm neither a team owner nor an accounting geek, so let's rule out that aspect of the discussion right now.

I just find these fickle fans one of the most distasteful aspects about sports, which irritates me as a loyal Dallas Cowboy fan.

Although I understand that each and every individual has the right and freedom to choose at any given moment, I just think that their justifications and logic behind such choices are misguided and completely flawed.

As an NFL fan, I encounter these quote/endquote NFL fans almost weekly.

As an example, I was at a local bar discussing sports with a football fan. He claimed he had been a Buffalo Bills fan growing up but decided to join the Washington Redskins support system because the Bills weren't meeting his standards as an NFL fan. Keep in mind, this was the era where Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, and André Reed were a part of a dominating Bills offense that was not only dominating their conference, but the AFC as well. Unfortunately, for them, they weren't able to capitalize when it mattered -- in the Super Bowl, four straight times, no less -- which ultimately caused this particular fan to jump ship and support the Redskins, who were winning NFL championships at the time.

I was astonished to hea this justification and automatically discredited him as a pure NFL fan. A true fan is someone who sticks with his or her team through its ups and downs.

Apparently, this particular fan is a classic example of a Bandwagoneer.

People like this don't deserve my time. If I try to argue my point, they tend to get defensive which results in a heated conversation, which isn't my intention at all. Although emotions sometimes spiral out of control, I try to stay level headed and explain what the definition of a true NFL fan is. My goal is to have a calm, casual conversation, which offers my perception without any type of  malciousness. Despite what I say, though, my definition is usually shrugged off, and the conversation ends up at a stalemate.

Now, my girlfriend is a Washington Redskins fan and so is her family. As diehard Redskin fans, I endure friendly smack talk that I don't take personally because, as a diehard Dallas Cowboy fan, I know that football doesn't dictate my life even though I unconditionally support and love every aspect that it offers. Regardless of her family's fruitless attempts to sway me over to the 'dark side,' I stand my ground; I'm a loyal Cowboys supporter and always will be.

If you're involved in a split household or are geographically relocated, I don't feel like you need to identify yourself with another team in that state or city. You should represent what team you truly like and have always liked because regardless of who you love, where you live, and how well your team is performing, jumping ship is never the answer. It's downright unacceptable to me.

If you're a Bandwagoneer you place more importance on winning and identifying yourself through someone else. You're essentially a conformist and have lost your sense of individualism.

I simply believe people stay true to themselves and unconditionally support their teams regardless of what is happening and what may transpire in the future. Loyalty is one of the most important traits one can possess, and as a pure NFL fan, I cherish that trait and will never detach myself from the Dallas Cowboys, even if I think our owner needs to be admitted to an insane asylum.

But I can only dream. Bandwagoneers will never dissipate, and that is a true shame.