The Bandwagon Effect

bandwagonartPeople are fairly bifurcated when it comes to their view on bandwagoners.  Either you are a bandwagoner, or you hate bandwagoners. Or the worst case scenario, your child is torn away from your beloved team by the newest, shiniest bandwagon and you just happen to be a person that hates bandwagoners.

Okay, let’s begin with a little history of the “Bandwagon”.

The original “Bandwagon” was exactly as it sounds, a wagon that carried a band during parades, the circus or promotional events.  The term was uncomplicated and non divisive until a man by the name of Dan Rice, a former circus clown, began to use it for political gain.  His campaign was so successful that other politicians followed suit.  Not long after, the phrase “jump on the bandwagon” came to be used as a derogatory term for voters being drawn to success while neglecting to consider the views with which they were associated.

Okay, time to turn the mirror on myself.  Am I a bandwagoner?

Let’s face it, bandwagoners exists wherever fads and trends exist, but one genre that can get very heated is the world of sports.  Here are my favorite sports teams in order of fandom.

 

alg-georgia-mascot-dog-jpg

Georgia Bulldogs – this one is easy.  I’m from Georgia, I’m named George, and most of my family is a huge fan.

Does this count as a bandwagon?  I’m gonna go with a big NO!

 

cavs-generic-1718-758Cleveland Cavaliers – This one is more debatable.  I started following the Cavs at the beginning of my NBA experience. They were an underdog team drafting this no-big-deal player named Lebron James.  Since then, I’ve stuck with them through the goods and bads (Lebron, post-Lebron, Kyrie Irving, post-Kyrie, the block, the shot, the 2016 Championship, post-Lebron again, Kevin Love gets paid, and enter the Youngbull, Collin Sexton)  My case against this being a bandwagon team is helped by the fact that my wife is from Cleveland and we visit there all the time.

Does this team count as a bandwagon?  I’m fully invested over many years. Still saying no.

 

23658432_10156445529358484_1395203057940058631_nLA Rams – I live in Pasadena and the Rams came home.  Not only did I like their mascot and helmet as a kid, which doesn’t count for much, but they had two first round draft picks from my Bulldogs, Todd Gurley and Alec Ogletree.  They had a good year, I loved it. They had a crap year, I stuck with them. Then they had an incredible season, I’m hopeful.

Does this count as a bandwagon?  To be determined.

 

62372-cleveland-browns-dessert-plates__91781.1492709989Cleveland Browns – I really did not want to become a Browns fan.  There known as the “factory of sadness” for Pete’s sake! But, my first and only live Browns game just happened to their one and only win of the 2016 season.  I was hooked. Then they had an 0-16 season. Sadly enough, I was still hooked.

Does this count as a bandwagon?  Seeing as how the band is non-existent and the wagon is currently in flames, probably not?

LeBron James becomes L.A. Bron James

We have our first little one on the way.  The child will hit the scene around Thanksgiving.  We are a mixture of nervous excitement and nervous fear.  We don’t even know if the little one will like sports, but exposure to the above teams is a given; however, our child will not have the same experience we’ve had.  They will grow up into a world where LeBron James is an LA Laker rather than a Cleveland Cavalier!

What if the Lakers remain relevant and he/she becomes a Lakers fan, or God forbid, the Golden State Warriors remain relevant and he/she jumps on that bandwagon.  Can we survive such a mutinous action against the family? Probably so and here is why.

The problem with being a bandwagoner is the blind allegiance to group think and following the new fad.  If we can teach our little one to think critically and make rational, intelligent choices, then maybe, just maybe I’m okay with them jumping on the bandwagon for a little fun.  After all, parades can be a blast.

Having said that, I will be praying that, at the very least, our child ends up being a Georgia Bulldog.

Go Dawgs!!!

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