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Steve Shoup

Sportsmanship is more than just a game. It is a long-life culture. A true fan of any sport understands that the gist of the matter goes beyond scores or lack thereof. Much more happens behind the scenes, or pitch in this case.

Any honest diehard fan out there will tell you that supporting a team goes beyond wearing a jersey or carrying premier glow sticks of the team’s colors during matches. There’s a group of people out there who are culprits in this regard. They baptize themselves ‘fans’ for the rush or just to fit in. This type will pledge undying allegiance to the Boston Red Sox to please a partner who roots for it when in a real sense they have zero knowledge of baseball.

Here’s how to pick them out:

  1. They give flimsy reasons for supporting a team

If a person says they are fans of Golden State Warriors solely because their color scheme is just o so dashing, that right there is a bandwagon fan. Any friend of yours (mostly female) who pledges loyalty to a team because their players have the ‘sexiest abs’ is sure screaming but for the wrong reasons.

While it’s no crime to love colors(or abs), most true fans have more definitive reasons for supporting their teams. It could be that they have grown up watching the team in action since childhood. Others pick teams because they like their style of playing.


  1. They know less than half the players, or worse, only the star player

Ignorance is no defense when it comes to true sport-penmanship’. Just knowing Kobe Bryant’s entire lineage and nothing else of the rest of the team does not earn you ‘best fan of the year’. A true fan always knows the line-up.


  1. They only back winning teams

It is practically impossible that all the teams one supports in all games-baseball, football, soccer, basketball never ever lose a championship. The loss is a given, the true test of loyalty.

Band-wagoner’s, however, are always on a winning streak. They will take their leave at the first sign of trouble and even dump their team for another when it loses. This behavior is very distasteful to real lovers of the game who stick it out with their players through thick and thin.

  1. Skipping live games on intent

A legitimate Seattle Seahawk fan will withstand a snowstorm to watch his team play, especially the game is at home. On the other hand, a band-wagoner will blame the bad weather to miss or recession because the tickets are too pricey.

  1. Bandwagoners don’t know their history or math!

A true diehard is likely to narrate an hour-long history of the team: the first coach, when the club won back-to-back, the worst times at the club…they not only have a mastery of historical information on their team but also back it up with statistics e.g number of trophies the team has won since 2000. Trust an amateur to know the recent winning scores only.


Now you know how to tell a fake. If you are one, now is the time to stick to one wagon because cheating never ended so well, did it?



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