With the Golden State Warriors recently winning their 6th NBA championship – their 3rd in four years – they are quickly becoming the team that everyone is starting to hate. However, you might be the biggest Warriors superfan that has ever existed and love everything about the incredible team. The problem? Getting called a ‘bandwagon fan.’ Not much irks a real fan more than someone implying that you have simply jumped onto the bandwagon since the team started winning, and that you’ll merely jump to the next team which starts to dominate. How to fix this? Show your loyalty with these 10 ways.
10. Know the team’s history
You can easily silence a critic by being able to reel off some historical team facts or names of older players when asked. For example, you could impress your doubters by stating that the Warriors were actually based in Philadelphia in 1946, before moving to San Francisco in 1962. You might also add that the team has had only two players win the MVP award, being Wilt Chamberlain in 1960 and Steph Curry in both 2015 and 2016. The Warriors also have the record for most regular season wins in NBA history, with 73 wins and 9 losses in the 2015/16 season. All those facts would shut someone up.
9. Support the team through both hard times and good
Everyone loves to support a winning team when they are exactly that: winning. But what about those years when things are looking more dire than ever, the good players are gone, there are no bright prospects, and suddenly, you’re not even sure if you should admit you’re a fan. But by continually supporting the team, even when the their best player is Joe Smith in the case of the Warriors, then you’re on your way to proving you love the sport, not just the wins.
8. Go to the games in any weather
We get it, it’s cold outside, perhaps even snowing, so you can skip this game, right? Unacceptable. The team needs your support even when it’s winter, so make sure you’re there to cheer them on in the home arena.
7. Visit road games too
To prove you’re not a bandwagon fan, there’s no better way than to see your favorite team when they’re playing in a different city. Sure, there’s no need to travel to Los Angeles if you live in New York, but hey, if there’s a game in Boston, then that’s easy enough to make. If your team knows there’s at least one person to cheer them on during a road game, this might just spur them on.
6. Watch the games on TV if not in the arena
If, for whatever reason, you simply can’t make it to a home or road game, then you better be watching the full game, either live or on replay. Many professional leagues have an internet streaming option if the game you want isn’t on TV, such as the NBA’s League Pass. So, there’s no excuse for not being able to see the game.
5. Get the merchandise
Granted, it’s easy for any bandwagon fan to pick up a jersey and hat and call themselves a diehard supporter, but you can separate yourself a bit with regards to which merchandise you pick up. If we’re back to the Warriors, then a Chris Mullin t-shirt or Baron Davis poster will instantly set you apart as someone who knows a bit of history about the team and some famous ex-players.
4. Start a fan blog
Nothing says true dedication to your team than by starting a fan blog. Fans absolutely love to discuss what their team needs to be doing, and what better way than by sharing your thoughts with the world. Social media is too forgettable, so you need to write an analysis in the form of expert articles. Get yourself familiar with how website builders work and put your site online. If you’ve taken the time to write your opinions about last night’s game, it’s clear that you’re a real sports fan.
3. Play in a fantasy league
Fantasy sports are awesome because you get to create a team and compete with others in a league. It does take up a fair bit of time, as it’s not easy running a team, but it’s worth it to become an expert on the players in your chosen sport. Bonus points if you choose a few players from your favorite team. Yahoo or Draft Kings are two of the best sites for getting this started.
2. Follow the team on social media
These days, it seems every player and team is on social media, and while some of it might just be noise, there are often a few interesting talking points. Having an idea of what your team is up to off the court is often crucial to being a real sports fan, because there are many things to learn about the players’ personalities and what makes them tick.
1. Talk about the team non-stop
This team should be as important to you as your family. If you’re asking colleagues if they saw the game last night, or chatting with literally anyone who will listen about how the team is performing, then who could possibly call you a bandwagon fan?