No one cares how long you’ve been a fan of your favorite team unless you haven’t been a fan for very long.
As a sports fan—specifically a female, Chicago sports fan—I’m well acquainted with the term “bandwagon fan” being aimed at me like it’s a curse word.
I’ve had to learn, that some things in life are worth fighting about, but how long you—or anyone else—have been a fan of a certain team or sport is not one of those things.
I think it’s important to realize, that not everyone is born with hockey in their blood. Not everyone grows up in a hockey loving household, or lives in a hockey city or state. And that’s okay!
Sometimes, all it takes is for them to see a commercial, or to hear an ad, or to see a GIF of a player and decide that, “hey, that’s something I want to be a part of.” And that’s okay, too.
With dozens of articles out there about “how to spot a bandwagon fan” or “why bandwagon fans are the worst thing to ever happen to sports, ever” it can be intimidating to jump right in (if you feel like you’re being judged and attacked) when all you want to do is love a team.
If you’re new to liking a team or sport, you shouldn’t have to feel like you have something to prove to veteran fans. Don’t let people who’ve been fans for longer hold anything over your head.
And to all of you who look down on the fans you think have hopped on the proverbial bandwagon you hate so much, know this: If someone wants to love your favorite team, to share the wins and the losses, then that’s good—let them. You don’t have to like it, but you do have to accept the fact that in order for a sport to grow, they’re going to need more fans. New fans.
And if you are a new fan, then welcome. We have so much to talk about.