The A’s have their share of bandwagon fans but they are far and few between and mostly on Twitter. Photo Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
The Oakland Athletics, for the first time this year, are struggling. There’s no other way to put it and there’s no denying that it’s true but I’m tired of writing about what went wrong or what went right. Today, I want to talk to you about bandwagon fans.
When a team is winning a lot of games, maybe the World Series (see Giants), any new fans to the team are labeled as “bandwagon fans” because they didn’t like the team back in the rough days. If baseball is a business, isn’t that part of why you want to win? If your team is winning, more people go to games, more people buy jerseys, and more money fills your vault. Nobody, with the exception of Cubs fans, decides to be a fan of a losing team. I became an A’s fan in the late 80’s, as a kid, when the A’s were the best team in the world. 25 years later, am I still a bandwagon fan?
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On Twitter today, everyone’s favorite beat writer called out the bandwagon fans who are bailing on the A’s because they’re having a rough two weeks. When Susan Slusser says bandwagon fan, though, she seems to be referring more to those who jump ship when the going gets rough. A bandwagon fan has nothing to do with the length of time you’ve loved a team or the motivation for your love of the team; it has everything to do with your loyalty to the team.
A’s fans love to cite Giants fans as bandwagon fans and complain that they don’t understand baseball or care about the game. To an extent, I can see the argument that supports that but how much you know about baseball means very little to your fanaticism. If they’re going games, keeping track of the stats, know the standings and can name the players, they’re fans regardless of how they got there but if they buy the hat and wear it around town in an effort to appear as a fan but have never seen a game, they are a bandwagon fan.
The A’s have their fair share of bandwagon fans and they have come out in droves over the recent losing streak. A sassy Susan Slusser is my favorite Susan Slusser, and she got into it with some folks today over their doom and gloom, “the season’s over” rhetoric. Are the A’s playing well? Not really. Is the season over? Nope. Keep calm and shut the heck up. Of course, some folks took her words the wrong way and assumed she was talking about anybody critical of the team, which she was not. It is one thing to say, “Geez, I wish the A’s could bring some guys over the plate. This games sucks” and another to say, “This team sucks without Cespedes, I’m done with the A’s.” The latter is a bandwagon fan. To completely throw away your love of the team at the drop of a hat is the king daddy of bandwagon beahvior.
If you disagree with Slusser’s comments, I dare say you’re missing the point entirely. You’ve been on the A’s train all year as we cruised down the tracks and the second the toilet clogs a little, you jump off at the nearest stop. I’m sure, though, that you’ll be waiting at the end of the line telling all your friends how you rode the train the whole trip.
My final thoughts on the topic are simple. Susan Slusser was right in her assessment of these bandwagon fans. Further, I have no room or patience for these fans. You may not always like the team but you always support them. Anything less is bandwagon idiocy. To all of those fans who have bailed, please put your postseason tickets on stubhub for $50 and let us blind, delusional homers enjoy the playoffs without you.