The 48th Super Bowl is tomorrow. This is the most watched sporting event in America each year, and anyone watching this game typically wants to have some vested interest in the outcome- when they choose a side to root for, they are often accused of “bandwagoning.”
First, let’s establish with clarity and certainty that none of this sports stuff actually matters. Whoever wins or loses does nothing to affect the speed at which the earth rotates around the sun (Go Suns!). For most guys, sports is either an anesthetic, an effective substitute for forming actual bonds with other men, or a reason to mentally revisit the time they scored the game winning touchdown in Pop Warner.
Sports aren’t necessary, they’re just awesome (That’s my therapeutic, daily version of the “Fish are friends, not food” chant from Finding Nemo).
Many teams’ fans consider anyone who becomes a fan after them to be “bandwagon” fans. As far as basic psychology goes, the “bandwagon effect” is just the act of doing something because someone else, or a group of others did. We’re all bandwagon fans, moreover, we’re all bandwagon people. Everything I’ve ever done is because someone else made it look cool, or uncool.
There’s no honor in fandom. Your mother and her six-ringed Steeler faithful might disagree with me, but an identity wrapped up in who you root for is a self-handicap that can keep you from being open to diverse experiences… or that might just be me and the one championship in the last 100-plus seasons for the Phoenix metropolitan teams I root for talking.
Either way, feel free to hop on a bandwagon or two as you explore who it is you want to root for… and don’t let anyone tell you what you should or shouldn’t like and support as a fan. I might be a Cardinals fan through and through, but I won’t be upset if you pick someone else. I mean, as long as it’s not the Broncos. Or the Seahawks. Or 49ers. Or your mother’s Steelers. Or the Godforsaken Cleveland Browns. You know what, just hop up here on the bandwagon next to me. I saved you some seats. We can figure this whole thing out later.