Calling out some Boston bandwagon fans who only show up for the post-season
So who’s excited for the Royal Wedding? Oh right. Sports section.
Well here’s something sports fans are probably in the middle of enjoying: the NBA and NHL playoffs.
Lucky for me, both of my Boston teams are doing well, with the Celtics already sweeping the Knicks and the Bruins battling Montreal to a hard fought game seven.
A lot of things become apparent during the playoffs for sports.
Which teams really have the depth to make a run towards the championship, which teams have been pretty good at faking it, and which teams know how to turn it on when it matters?
The thing that jumps out at me with the playoffs though is the fact that all of a sudden teams seem to double in fan followings.
It’s almost like…wait for it…fans don’t follow the regular season as thoroughly as they do the postseason!
Of course I jest, that’s not a surprise to anyone. What does bother me is those people who claim to be huge sports fans during the postseason but don’t really know anything about the team.
The reason this thought came through my head is I was at a bar over the weekend (doing sports research of course) and the Bruins game was on. I kid you not, there were at least 40 people drinking and watching the game with various Bruins players’ jerseys on.
Normally I would be ecstatic about this following, but instead it bothered me. Not more than a month ago I was at that same bar and there was a Bruins game on. Guess how many people were there in jerseys celebrating goals? Here’s a hint: it was far fewer than the 40 who were there during the playoffs.
Again though, I was fine with that. Bandwagon fans are to be expected when any team makes a run in the playoffs.
The real problem began when one of the female bandwagon fans came over to me and goes, “Man, I’m so glad the Bruins are doing so well, I’ve been following them all season.”
I responded with a sincere, “Yeah, let’s hope they don’t choke again, huh?”
She paused before responding and then says, “Yeah me too…”
Normally I would just brush it off but sensing that she wasn’t really as big a fan as she claimed to be with the hesitation in her response, I decided to press the issue.
“I’ll tell you what though,” I started. “Tim Thomas is a god. Definitely the best goalie in the league.”
Another pause on her part. And then, and I wish I were kidding, she responded, “Yeah, he should definitely win the Heisman.”
I don’t even remember what I responded. Probably something unbelievably rude and vulgar because she scoffed off after I answered. I don’t care. Take off that jersey, lady, you’re an embarrassment.
Like I said, I would have no problem with this mix-up if you hadn’t claimed to be this hardcore fan, but because you had to come over to me and flaunt your fanhood, I’m going to take it personally.
Let me come clean about something. I will readily admit that I’m not a hardcore Bruins fan.
I watch the occasional game during the regular season, usually only when I can catch it in HD (is there a sport that benefitted more from the invention of HD TV than hockey? I don’t think so), but I wouldn’t have been able to give you their record or standing compared to the rest of the Eastern Conference.
Sure, when they’re in the playoffs I don’t miss a game, but I’m hardly hardcore. The difference is I’m willing to admit that.
With the Celtics on the other hand, I can honestly say I’ve missed less than 10 games this season. I always knew where they stood compared to the Bulls and the Heat and I can tell you just about everyone on the team’s stats. That’s hardcore.
I have a friend from home that goes to North Carolina State.
His friends refer to him as the “Boston Sports Guy” because he is so passionate about Boston sports. There’s only one problem: he’s not. I know for a fact that he’s just like all the other bandwagon fans; he hops on whenever the team is doing well.
Here’s all I’m trying to say. Don’t walk around telling people you’re this superfan when you only turn the team on in the playoffs. There’s nothing wrong with that, don’t get me wrong. I came clean about it myself. All I’m saying is just be passionate, don’t try to impress people.
Mike Steiner can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org