For my first fanpost here at Pride of Detroit I wanted to discuss an issue that's been following me around for a little while: The label of "Bandwagon Fan." As you may or may not know, my list of favorite teams sort of reflects that "Bandwagon" image. I love the Wings and the Red Sox, and I've been a Michigan fan since before I could talk. I don't have a basketball team, I just don't like the sport. And until recently, people did not believe I had a football team either.
From my own point of view, I've been a fan of the Lions about as long as I've been a fan of the Wings, when the Lions were on TV, I wanted them to do well. I liked Barry Sanders, I wanted him to do well too. The problem was, the Lions were rarely on the television when I was a child. I was a kid, football bored me, and aside from the weekly Michigan game, my parents were content to watch non-sporting television. When we did go to football games we went to Ann Arbor, not Detroit. I was a fan in name only, unable to name a single Lions player other than Barry. After Barry retired, I lost interest in the NFL completely for a while. When my family moved to New Hampshire, I fell in love with the Boston Red Sox. We didn't get the Wings anymore and I had never liked the Bruins, but it was the late 90s and the Sox had Pedro and Nomar, they were a fun team to root for again.
I moved to the Chicagoland area in the early 2000s, and it was the first time I realized it could be a bad thing to support a team. I was stupid for liking the Red Sox, and I only liked them because they were good. I was supposed to like the Cubs or the White Sox, like everyone else in Illinois. I was accused time and again of bandwagonism, especially after I also professed my love for the Red Wings. Two successful teams from two different cities? It was blasphemy, and I was to be ignored because of it. It was around then that I stopped watching sports altogether. I couldn't be a Boston fan because Boston wasn't Chicago, and Boston was good (this made sense in my 13 year old mind) but I would be damned before I joined the rest of the sheep and became a Cubs or Bears fan.
I got excited about sports again in 2007, when Boston won their second of two World Series titles. I picked up where I had left off in 2003 by watching most of the second half of the season. When Boston won game 4 of the World Series I didn't cheer or scream at the television, I simply held my hands above my head. The year after this happened I became addicted to the competition of sports, and I decided to pick another team to watch. By this point I recognized my mother as an insufferable Michigan alum (sorry) so they were out, and Hockey had never recaptured the excitement it had for me as a kid in Muskegon. This was when I finally started following the Lions, who promptly went 0-16.
Last year was my first year away from home at a new college. Nobody knew me, so I went through the same drama when I moved Chicago. I only liked the Red Sox because they were good. I only liked the Lions because Suh and Calvin were there I was a bandwagon fan of a team that had gone 2-14 the year before, but I was still a bandwagon fan.
Now that I've come to the end of my tale, I've forgotten what point I was trying to make. But as I re-read what I've written here I think I can make one up with one last sentence: Chicago fans are fucking idiots.