I’ve been wanting to rant about this for a while: sometimes it hard not to hate sports teams that have become so popular (usually for their long history; not always for their playing ability) that they have become bandwagon teams…..you know, the teams everyone loves to hate (or sadly, the teams people LOVE to love).
This unfortunate “phenomenon” of some sports teams, certainly affects all leagues of sports, but for this post, I will focus on professional teams. (If I were to include non-professional leagues like college teams, I would definitely discuss the bandwagon fandom of the Maryland Terrapins, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the Duke Blue Devils, and the Carolina Tarheels. But I am just sticking to professional teams, so fortunately I will not be getting into all that.
Anyways, here is my list of the most annoying bandwagon professional sports teams:
- 8. Green Bay Packers – Fans pride themselves on being cheese heads:
- 7. Dallas Cowboys – Is this team’s popularity because a former president used to own a neighboring team or because everything is bigger (but not always better) in Texas? Or maybe the fans are just there for the cheerleaders…
- 6. Washington Nationals – This is a surprise team to show up on this list because like most bandwagon teams who are known for being the greatest, most skilled teams, the Nats are not. Maybe it’s just a bandwagon team in the D.C. area, which I know isn’t quite the same as what a real bandwagon team is. Remember when everyone living in the D.C. metropolitan area used to root for the Baltimore Orioles back before the Nationals existed (and after the Washington Senators ceased to exist)? You know, the Marylanders, the Washingtonians, (and the Virginians too?) were all fans of the Orioles. A little part of everyone’s heart went out out to the good ol’ O’s. But then Washington, D.C. had to get back into baseball and literally steal back all of the area’s Orioles fans. People who lived in the D.C. suburbs claimed that they finally had a team closer to them than Baltimore, so naturally they would jump onto the Nats’ bandwagon. And did they ever. Let me tell you that about 95% of Washingtonians have some sort of Nats merchandise. Most often enough you will always see people in D.C. wearing the popular, “W” Nat’s hats. I kind of hate that logo, because while the “W” is short for Washington, I can’t stop thinking it was meant for George W. Bush. Ugh.
- 5. Detroit Red Wings – I think the reason this team draws such a dedicated fan base is because this hockey team is part of the Original Six. Besides having a rich history and being in a highly populated city up north, it can’t hurt that the team has also been wildly successful. It seems like this is one of the most consistently strong hockey teams over the years. The Red Wings’ fan base is so famous in fact, that they have their own tradition of throwing an octopus onto the ice at home games.
- 4. Pittsburgh Steelers – I can not stand Pittsburgh’s sports teams. I would have included the Penguins in this list, but really, I would rather just not think about them. I do however, have to include the Steelers mainly because the won the Super Bowl this year and my co-worker from the Pitts, has a “Mean” Joe Green jersey hanging at his desk. Anyways, Steel Town’s football team not only has a dedicated (to say the least) fan base, but being from Pennsylvania (probably Dutch for “Town of Annoying Sports Fans”), the fans are guaranteed to be over the top in their expressions of obsessions. For example, the Terrible Towel is so terrible because everyone is so sick of it.
- 3. Philadelphia Flyers – Speaking of sports teams from Pennsylvania, here comes another team with a long history. I’m just going to put this bluntly: I knew more about the Flyers before I even knew what the team was. I have seen so many reproductions of the team’s logo. I saw the logo even before I knew what it was supposed to be of or who it was for. It wasn’t until recently that I think I actually figured out the logo. Oh! It’s a hockey puck in motion? Ok… Also, let’s not forget that like the Steelers, the Flyers are yet another too-popular-for-their-own-good sport team from PA.
- 2. New York Yankees – This was really hard to choose for the number two spot. Both teams in the one and two spots could just as well be tied for number one, but I feel like the number one bandwagon team has just barely inched past the number two seed. Let’s just say that the Yankees are so disgustingly popular, that the only people who aren’t fans of the Yankees, are people whose teams have beaten by the Yankees in a World Series. I have always hated the Yankees. They have been my team of choice to hate ever since I can remember. But I don’t hate the team because they are so successful (although that is a contributor). I hate the Yankees largely because of their fans. New Yorkers are very boisterous. And the city is so big and world famous. That doesn’t help. NYC’s popularity has made it everyone’s favorite city, so naturally if they have a good team, then everyone, (and I mean everyone, not just New Yorkers) will jump on the Yankees bandwagon. Also, after 9-11, people pay extra attention to the Big Apple out of sympathy. Whatever, if you’re going to like a city and want to show that to everyone else, then wear an “I Love NY” shirt. PLEASE do not wear a Yankees hat and pretend you are a Yankees fan. So if you go by the bandwagon thought that the team is popular solely because it is in a popular city, and your popular city is New York City, then it’s all downhill from there. And to top that all off, the Yankees are one of the oldest baseball teams in the country so you have their well known history too. And Yankee Stadium itself, attracts even more fans. There is no escaping the Yankees bandwagoners.
- 1. Boston Red Sox – Coming in at a very close number one, is what seems to be America’s newest infatuation. Everyone, and I mean seriously everyone owns a Red Sox hat. You could have never watched a Red Sox game in your life, and constantly wear a Red Sox hat and nobody would think anything of it. Red Sox hats have become more of a fashion statement than a way to show your team’s love. True, the “B’s” are again, an old team who continues to be successful. I’ll give them that. But I can not stand their bandwagon fans, and their bandwagon fans are the worst. So many people wear the traditional black or blue hat with the old timey “B” logo on the front that it’s just become the standard hat to wear these days. See, and the thing about being a bandwagon fan is that you don’t necessarily care about how the team plays. You don’t care about the sport. You care if the team is popular. You want to cling on to a popular idea and join in on the trend. I admit it that Boston is a pretty cool city. And why shouldn’t Bostonians like their all-too-popular sports teams (the New England Patriots, the Boston Celtics, the Boston Bruins)? It’s the people who have maybe passed through, visited, have family members in or from Boston, etc., who have become bandwagon fans whom I can’t stand. Or worse, the real bandwagon fans who like the team because they are popular, because they like the city (as in the case with the Yankees), or what I think…just to go along with the crowds. I hate that so much. And the “B” hats have become a staple for your typical Frat Boy everyday clothing uniform. Just another reason to dislike the bandwagon obsession with the Red Sox.
To sum it all up, here is a truly great quote from another website about bandwagon teams:
“For most of you wearing that “B” on your head, the “B” represents bandwagoner more than anything.”