The “B” Word in Sports

By: Joanne Serrieh sports

Apparently there are rules to becoming a sports fan these days, especially when it comes to football. On social media, people have been throwing around the words “bandwagon” and “bandwagoner” left and right as if no one is allowed to become a new fan of a sport or team.

You must be born into the religion. Oops, I mean you are either a fan from the day you are born, or you become a fan later in life. But, you will be called a “bandwagoner” and you will just have to accept it. I consider these to be ridiculous unwritten rules for sports fans. Who came up with these rules? I don’t know. But, I do know that who ever followed in the footsteps of the first person to call other new fans “bandwagoners,” hopped on the bandwagon themselves.

20130918-165305.jpg?w=585 Anyway, I was never into watching football games. I always wondered, why are these people going crazy over games, teams, players and coaches who don’t even know of their existence? I was one of those people who would sarcastically ask others, “Is this team paying your bills?” I later realized how lame that question really is. I’m the same way when it comes to my favorite singers. I love Michael Buble so much I went to his concert alone. He didn’t know I drove all the way to Oakland just to see him in concert; but, I sure had the time of my life. This helped me understand the passion people have toward sports teams.

However, there are a few questions that I can’t seem to find answers to about those who consider themselves loyal sports fans. Why do they try so hard to prove that they are the real fans who have been there since day one? Who made it their job as loyal fans to call out those who are just now discovering that they actually enjoy watching the game and they really believe that the 49ers is a great team? Do people have to go through a background check in order to be “accepted” as true fans instead of  being labeled “bandwagoners?” All of these things make it hard for people who are trying to admit that they actually like a team and they want to enjoy seeing them play the game just like all other fans. 44597110

I can’t consider myself a passionate football fan. But I have to admit, I enjoyed watching the 49ers play during the few games that I recently watched with my brothers. I’ve also gone to a few Super Bowl parties and had a great time, not only because it was a party but because the games were actually good. During the Niners game against the Seahawks, I found myself on the edge of my seat a few times because it was so intense. I was even cheering when the Niners scored touchdowns. Because I’ve had great experiences watching multiple games I am looking forward to watching more games in the future. I would love to go to a Niners game and be one of the crazy fans in the stadium too if I get the chance. Looks like the 49ers just gained another fan! Wait, am I going to be called the “b” word now? I haven’t been a fan my whole life, I can’t all of a sudden become a fan now, can I?

I was born and raised in California, I love the Bay Area and the San Francisco 49ers happen to be a great team with great players. Aren’t those enough reasons for me to want to root for that team? You would think that true fans want their favorite teams to gain popularity but from what I have read and seen on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, I am starting to question that thought.

During the Niners and Seahawks game, I don’t know how many times I read a tweet or a status update from guys saying they hate when women pretend like they like football, yet those same guys go back and say they wish more women would enjoy watching the game. Then I saw those who consider themselves “loyal” fans posting about bandwagoning in reference to those who don’t usually watch football who happened to be enjoying the game.

crazy-duke-basketball-fan Real fans would be happy that more people are rooting for their favorite team. That gives them more people to relate to and connect with. Football and other sports are competitive but the fans don’t need to be competing with each other. There is no prize for the biggest fan. At least not that I am aware of. There’s no limit to how many fans a sports team can have. Just because a new person becomes a fan of a team doesn’t mean the team has to let go of another fan. If a new person wants to say they like a team then let them be. People shouldn’t feel like they are confessing a crime when admitting that they actually like football or any other sport even though they weren’t a fan before.

With that said, the Niners didn’t make it to the Super Bowl this year but hopefully they will next year. If they do, then I will personally throw a Super Bowl party and enjoy the game with new and old 49ers fans. No discrimination here.

By the way, “bandwagon” and “bandwagoning” are real words BUT “bandwagoner” is technically NOT a word. Just another reason why people should stop using it. 1616277_10151959296243510_1464333934_n

Joanne Serrieh is a Radio Presenter
All The Latest With Joanne Wednesdays at noon.
Twitter: @JoanneSerrieh #AllTheLatestKSSU 



  1. T.J. the Sports Geek says:

    I agree with all that. I amm okay with neww fans if they never had an interest before. That’s how I became a fan, the thing that bothers me is when someone is a fan of two teams in the same sports league, To me,that’s having it both ways so your heart doesn’t get broken if one team loses and throughout life,one must experience heartbreak to appreciate what joy is.

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