This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.
This might sound repetitive, but the San Francisco Giants have had a disappointing season. They currently have a 63-79 record and are 20.5 games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West.
After bringing back a very similar roster as the one that won the World Series last year, the Giants have struggled to capture the same magic this season. Many key players have been injured at some point, but they have had some more serious issues, besides injuries.
As a diehard, lifelong Giants fan, there has been one slight glimpse of hope to come out of this disappointing season. A poor season from a reigning World championship team can result in a reduction of the amount of bandwagon fans that came along for the ride when the team started to win and become popular. Less bandwagon fans mean less frustration for the lifelong fans.
There are several reasons why bandwagon Giants fans cause the frustration that they do. First of all, most of them aren’t that knowledgeable. It’s unfair to expect every single fan to know all the latest news and rumors about a team, but it seems like most bandwagon fans lack knowledge of not just the team, but also the game itself.
They normally don’t follow the team as much because they didn’t previously care or know much about baseball. They become fans of teams like the Giants because it’s a “popular” choice, not because they previously watched baseball or admire what the team has done in the past.
Second of all, most bandwagon Giants fans aren’t as dedicated as lifelong fans. This might sound like an obvious statement, but bandwagon Giants fans don’t stick around when times go bad for a team. Shocker. For example, this season, many bandwagon Giants fans stopped consistently watching Giants games back in July or August when it became clear that the Giants weren’t going to make the playoffs.
The Giants still rank third in MLB with an average attendance of 41,648, but that counts the number of tickets sold, not necessarily how many fans actually attend a game. Many fans bought tickets to games at the beginning of the season when they were eager to watch the reigning World Champs. Now that the team is almost officially out of the playoff hunt, many fans, especially bandwagon fans, have stopped attending games. Many times recently, AT&T Park has looked fairly empty compared to last year or earlier this season.
Bandwagon fans started rooting for the Giants when they were consistently winning games. It makes perfect sense why these bandwagoners aren’t watching as many games and have lost track of the team.
Fair-weather fans and bandwagon fans are very similar. What’s the difference between them though? Bandwagon fans think they’re more superior. Bandwagon Giants fans claim to have been fans for a long time, even though they didn’t watch games during all those seasons that the Giants had losing records.
At the end of the day though, it’s their loss that they’re bandwagon fans. The diehard fans that have been fans since birth have been through the ups and downs with the team. The Giants’ World Series win in 2010 was that much more special to lifelong Giants fans, because they knew how hard it was and how many Giants teams in the past have tried and failed to get that first World Series win since 1954.
The World Series win in 2012 was shared with more bandwagon fans, but it was still an incredible ride for the Giants. Bandwagon Giants fans reached their peak after the 2012 World Series win, but, with the disappointing 2013 season, their presence at games and in social media has started to dwindle.
They used to take over AT&T Park last season. They’d flood the stadium with their uninformed questions and childish shrieks. They’d also try to start a wave at AT&T Park. Sigh.
There are some bandwagon Giants fans who know their material and have come to fully understand the strategy and idiosyncrasies of baseball. Those bandwagon fans should be commended for their efforts, if they are still watching games and following the Giants.
The bandwagon Giants fans who don’t know what they’re talking about, in terms of baseball, and only talk about Buster Posey’s adorable qualities, Brandon Crawford’s hair and Hunter Pence’s awkward tendencies, can sit out the rest of this season. And perhaps next season too. The real Giants fans can take it from here.