This has been an exciting week in the world of sports. The St. Louis Blues secured their first-ever Stanley Cup and the Toronto Raptors won their first NBA Championship. For me, the highlight of the Blues’ win was video footage of drunk people trying to celebrate by pushing over the St. Louis Arch. I suppose in a sport without field goals to tear down, the Gateway Arch is the next logical option. This will shock you, but they were unsuccessful in their attempt to knock down a 630-foot tall monument.
The highlight of the entirety of the NBA Finals was watching the rapper Drake. He is a Toronto Raptors superfan and is such a wild figure on the sidelines the NBA had to release a statement saying he needed to calm down. However, economic studies have shown Drake is responsible for around 5% (approximately half a billion dollars) of Toronto’s annual tourism industry. So, I suppose he’s earned the right to act like an insane person on the sideline. Drake’s antics become even funnier when you compare them to the insanely stoic nature of Raptors player/possible robot Kawhi Leonard.
Much like when the Kansas City Royals won the World Series in 2015, or when the Chiefs started their campaign for total league domination in 2018, it did not take long for complaints and accusations of people being bandwagon fans to start. Honestly, I have never understood what is wrong with that. For one, there are a lot of valid reasons for people to be bandwagon fans. Maybe people are too busy to follow a sport for the entirety of its season. There have been years thanks to events like the World Cup or the Olympics that Major League Soccer’s season lasts like 10 months. And baseball is the same way every year. Also, maybe the people who are being called bandwagon fans are fans year-round they just don’t dedicate their lives to being a hyperly-known fan. And that’s OK too. And I know there are people who don’t follow or care about a sport but then do think it’s awesome and cool that their home state team is about to win a championship.
More people being fans of your favorite team doesn’t decrease your love of enthusiasm of the team; if anything it gives you more people to celebrate with. Who are we to say somebody can’t enjoy something because we have decided that we like it more? And, who knows? Maybe some of those bandwagon fans will stick around long term.
We, as a country, have a great opportunity to be bandwagon fans during the Women’s World Cup this summer. The United States Women’s Team is insanely good — so good they actually scored more goals in one game than the men’s team did in the last three World Cups. I watch a lot of soccer and it makes me happy to see more people out watching soccer, especially those who normally don’t care. So, this summer, don’t be shy! Jump on the soccer bandwagon and support the USA.