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Bandwagoning the Blues

Hello, My Name is Brian.  (Hello Brian) I’m a bandwagon fan of the St. Louis Blues.

The term “bandwagon fan” has gotten such a bad rap recently.  It’s like it’s some kind of plague that makes others want to avoid you, curls your car’s paint, and probably had something to do with your failed math test in 3rd grade.  It’s used to describe people who jump on a team when they get good, only to bail when a team starts struggling.

Real fans wouldn’t do such a thing.  They’d never bail on a team regardless of what their record was, right?  They’d make it to every game they could and they’d bleed blue, red, orange, whatever their teams colors were.  I mean, we’re all true fans here, right?

Not so fast.  Some of us had to hitch a ride to the Stanley Cup Finals.  And I’ve been a steady hockey fan for many years, but I haven’t always had a team.  I finally got one in 1999 with the Atlanta Thrashers.  But when your team is unfairly stolen from you by an organization you wouldn’t trust to run your fantasy team, you’re left with few options. I went into this hockey season as a free agent, free to root for whoever I wanted.

What I’ve learned in this season as a free agent fan…is that being a bandwagon fan isn’t so bad.  Turns out it’s actually kind of fun.  You’re able to move from team to team and you never get bogged down with terrible.  Everything you do is focused on interesting.  It’s a LOT of fun.

I got on the Blues bandwagon because of proximity.  That’s pretty much it.  They’re the closest hockey team.  I’ve had fun having a team to root for and yes, it’s nice to actually be a part of something with the people I live around.

I haven’t gotten to enjoy much of that.  Last year, while everyone enjoyed the Cardinals magical run to the World Championship, I had to sit by and stew over my team, the Braves, having completed one of the greatest collapses in MLB history. I’m not begrudging the Cardinals or any of their fans.  It just gets lonely being the only one who doesn’t get to really enjoy it.  So jumping on the Blues bandwagon makes me part of something I get to finally participate in.

So I got on the Blues bandwagon.  What a great ride it’s been so far.  They’re on the brink of advancing to the conference semifinals and I want to move to the front of the bus.  I want to be there for all the action.  But I also know the bandwagon is more of a train, with scheduled stops that allow you to hop off at any time, so it’s possible my ride isn’t very long.  I’m enjoying it so far, so why worry about the future just yet?

Listen, if you have YOUR team, I’m not saying to give them up.  That’s silly.  If you’ve already invested in the team, don’t give that up.  But if you’re a casual fan of a sport and really don’t have a specific rooting interest, why not bandwagon hop.  Sure, it’s gotten a bad rap, but until you’ve tried it, there’s no reason to knock it.  Turns out, you might just get addicted.

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