Hipsters and bandwagoning

While this conversation mentions my Gloryhunting post, it sort of touches on something different too. Most people choose their sports teams based on local reasons. For those of us who choose a non-local team, how is that decision reached and at what point does it become a non-bandwagon choice?

I’ve touched on my Barça origin story before here in a post about the rise of the global megastar. And while I chose Barça for reasons which went beyond soccer, to say that the quality of the team or the luminance of the players had nothing to do with it is also incorrect. I chose a team with players I had seen and appreciated and would very much have been considered* a bandwagon fan.

*correctly so

So what changed? And when did I become a real fan?

The simple answer is that I stayed a fan. I didn’t follow Romario from team to team. I didn’t bail during the Gaspart years. But there has to be more to it than that. It shouldn’t take the star player leaving or having the team hit a dry patch to validate any remaining fans. And it’s not as straightforward as merely following the team for a number of years; some people can become real fans in their first season while others remain gloryhunters forever.

The more complex answer is that to go from being a bandwagoner to being a proper fan, you have to almost establish a local connection. It’s not enough to follow the team, you have to learn the history, get the references, understand the context of the team to its area, etc. etc.

That’s what I think annoys fans the most about bandwagoner jumpers. A gloryhunter is in it for the immediate return and has no understanding of the history of the club nor its context in the bigger picture of sport. A gloryhunter is also unwilling to learn this information.* Gloryhunters don’t care. Fans do.

*compared to say a newbie child who will drink it up and then start teaching you things.

Author: Nick Vossbrink

Blogging about Photography, Museums, Printing, and Baseball Cards from both Princeton New Jersey and the San Francisco Bay Area. On Twitter as @vossbrink, WordPress at njwv.wordpress.com, and the web at vossbrink.net

9 thoughts on “Hipsters and bandwagoning”

  1. Pingback: Rivals | n j w v

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