OPINION: Perks of being a bandwagon fan


Meg Koch, Opinion Writer

On Sept. 10, App State football made headlines with their victory over Texas A&M. For longtime fans, this was a feat to be remembered. For others, it was the first time they learned we had a football team. As App State pride is growing, recent successes have brought out the ugly sides of some die hard fans.

A “true” fan should know stats and history. They should stay the whole game and attend more than just the playoffs. Watching, listening and identifying are the three factors to single out a fake fan. According to Wikihow, they should own a throwback jersey for safe measures. Basically, if someone seems suspicious, they should be closely observed, monitored and held accountable. Obviously the team is better off if everyone in the stands knows the quarterback’s middle name. Unfortunately, tickets are free and there are no bouncers at the tailgates. 

Social philosophers have been studying this concept since the 1800s and have essentially come to the assumption “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” If joining the crowd is a natural human instinct, then it should be embraced, celebrated even. Being on the bandwagon has its perks that deserve to be digested in full.

Less to lose:

Making an entire team of men, the least reliable of species, your entire personality is a real one-trick pony. This idiom is also defined as “a person that succeeds only once.” One is the smallest single digit number of the natural numbers. Only enjoying one team, one sport or even just one activity in general seems risky to the ego. You don’t hear of passionate knitters who have never tried crochet at least once. Imagine dedicating your entire emotional pleasure on if your team wins. Buddha once said: don’t put your happiness in the hands of others. Plus, backing up a team that sucks is exhausting. It’s like having a bad boyfriend who you always have to defend to your friends. It gets tiring. The more they lose, the more scrutiny will follow. This could all go away if you simply didn’t care.

Less to memorize:

In the NFL, there is an average of 53 players per team. That is 53 different males that most people have and will never meet. Is there a Quizlet or something? Joining a sports fandom is near impossible today with the bros gatekeeping, spouting “What do you know about the team?” aggressively at you. There are stats, coaches and team history but that takes up a lot of brain energy. Being on the bandwagon gives participants more free time to explore other interests.

Saves money:

The NFL generated $11 billion in national revenue in 2021. All that money is generated through tickets, advertising, merchandise and numerous other consumer traps. Minimum wage in North Carolina is $7.25 an hour. Not to be a mathematician, but there is a large gap between $11 billion and $7.25. Being a fan is free, but proving you’re a fan becomes expensive. Only participating when the team is succeeding is a modern day money hack. Skip the jersey, go for the T-shirt and use that money on groceries. Budgeting as a college student is hard enough.

Saves time:

Where were the bandwagon fans when they weren’t doing well? Probably reading a book or something. Humans aren’t built to take in this much information, and the key to survival is prioritization. There is a lot to do in a day. School, work, eat, maybe shower? Leisure tends to be slighted with, what a shock, a large gender gap. Outside of time, the constant content we are bombarded with each day is overwhelming; there is too much to keep up with. Just because someone is prioritizing other endeavors doesn’t mean they don’t care about your sports team.

Way more fun:

Putting on some overalls and yelling in a crowd is a good time 78% of the time.  Ignorance is bliss, the game is way more fun when you know you don’t know anything. Sometimes, it’s fun to be the dumb one. It’s less stressful when it’s not your entire personality and overall more efficient to join in when you feel like it. Exclusivity is bred out of insecurity. Truthfully, most players are just thankful to have support.