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Fair Weather Fans


Shmee

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Why is there such a negative stigma for people perceived by hardcore supporters to be fair weather fans?

Few people would argue that at the heart of the matter, Sport is a business. A multi-billion dollar business at that.

Why do some sports fans harrass others for avoiding a bad product? What's the big rush in putting more money into the pockets of billionaire owners who refuse to build a winning team and millionaire players who don't live up to their salaries?

Isn't a fair weather fan just an educated consumer? Please help me understand why it's so bad to ignore a team that deserves to be ignored.

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because there's an assumption that there's more to being a fan then just going with the winners and shifting allegiances.

there seems to be a hazing for fans - you're only a "true fan" if you suffered through the bad times, as if it gives you the right to enjoy the successes. And it's assumed that if you care for the team enough that you will stick by them through thick and thin, almost like a marriage.

and a fair-weather fan is the ultimate uneducated fan - how hard is it to go with the best team and follow the pack?

I support a couple of teams that really, really suck right now - but I would never turn my back on them. I couldn't. I've been through good times, and I'll be through good times again - why not stick with them? It shows a strength of character to suffer with your team, and like I mentioned above, I *do* think it entitles you to enjoy the good times. It certainly makes enjoying the good times even sweeter - 'tis better to have loved, lost, and loved again than always loved and not know the bitter taste of defeat, to crush a few cliches together.

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I agree with harperdc. It's way more than "just a business". What business gets an entire city, region or country as excited (or dejected) as a sports team? If you are a "true" fan of the team, you're with them at all times. If you become a new fan when they succeed, and don't stick with them when they fail, you don't really deserve to be called a true fan. Like a marriage, as harperdc said, it's about everything, not just the good times.

I heard that when the Flames lost to Anaheim, people there were throwing out jerseys. Why? Does the Flames losing suddenly negate their past success? Does it mean they won't ever be successful again? Of course not.

The Oilers had limited success on the ice in the 90's, but things changed and look where they are now. Toronto has not won since 1967, but the arena is always full and they seem to have a billion fans throughout Canada. If they ever do win (Toronto), their fans that have been there at all times will deserve it for their perserverance. I may dislike the Leafs, but I truly respect their fans.

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I'm going to have to agree with everyone else on this, Shmee. There is nothing that requires people to support a bad team, but there should be a certain reward for experiencing success after being there during the lean years.

As someone who probably attended 10-15 Orioles games in 1988, when they started 0-21 and went 54-107, I await the divine reward that is mine when they finally reach the summit. :D

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I heard someone defend the fickle White Sox fanbase by saying "well, when they don't go, it's because they won't stand for a bad team, and it sends a message." Sends the message that you don't support your team through the bad times is what it sends.

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exactly TCR, ive asked that to marlins fans after they won in 03. why wont u go to the games, because in their 2nd home game after the world series win they only have 17,000 fans. i got many responses along the lines of, im not paying for a team that im not sure will win. thats so dumb, if your teams having a horrible year like the royals i can understand not showing, but just because you teams "only" getting 80-85 wins is no excuse at all not to show up. i could take the easy road and go 2 hours north and cheer for the yankees but i dont, i cheer for the phils and im with them through thick and thin

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I look at it like this... the real fans of a team support "the team." The fair-weather fans support the winning. Now, there's nothing wrong with supporting a winner - but calling yourself a fan of the team is an insult to the real fans.

For example, in NY of course the Yankees reign supreme. That's fine... as much as I hate Yankee fans, most of them are real fans. They were born into the team, they go to games, they follow the players as well as the rest of Major League Baseball. They have an understanding of the game - their opinions may piss people off, but whatever, they at least can say they're a fan. But then you have a lot of these female "fans" wearing Jeter jerseys and only say the Yankees rule because they think Derek Jeter has a cute butt and because they know they're always winning championships or always the favorites to win - but couldn't name any other player or really anything else about baseball other than Jeter. Those are two extremes, but I think the point is made.

Point is, there's nothing wrong with being a die-hard or a fair-weather fan, as long as you admit it to, and don't try and pass yourself off as something you're not. If you suddenly are the biggest Miami Heat fan during this NBA Playoffs, you are not a real Miami Heat fan. The real Heat fans are the ones cheering in the stands now that were crying and punching walls throughout the mid-late 1990s.

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aside from following the Islanders, i generally follow teams that feature a favorite player. Right now its Ryan Miller. I've been following him from Michigan State, Rochester, and now the Sabres. if he ends up on another team i'll probably follow that team. i basically go where the players i like are.

though im not spending money to see a team thats pathetic. i'll watch it on tv.

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though im not spending money to see a team thats pathetic. i'll watch it on tv.

So, as long as it's the TV station's money going to the club, and not directly yours, it's okay? Or, do you boycot the products that advertise on "your teams" station when they stink as well?

See, if you watch "your team" on TV, they get things called "ratings," which they can use to get better TV deals, which can then use to generate more revenue for the team by having the station sell more advertising...

It's a vicious cycle, you know?

Moose

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Because fair weather fans suck.

I'm pretty sure Shmee's post was in jest, but people that go from team to team like they're changing underpants just annoy me.

I get the question all the time, when people find out I'm a 49ers fan. "Man, why do you like the 49ers. They suck!" Yeah, but I've been down with them since third grade. It's been mostly "thick" (with the exception of '99, '00, and the past three years being extremely "thin") but I'm still just as much of a Niners fan after 2-14 as I was after 12-4...if not more. Why would you just abandon your team like that, because they start losing? (Owner abandonment is a completely different issue altogether. See: George Shinn, Bob Irsay, etc) I found that I was still a proud fan when my team was the worst in the league...why? Because everyone's a fan when you're making the playoffs every year. Only the true ones stick around through the rotten years.

I'm a Charlotte Bobcats fan as well, since day one. Who plopped a day's pay down for a Raymond Felton jersey today? This guy.

Pretty big Hurricanes fan here as well, and I'm sure that if the Hurricanes win the cup, and I put something in my signature...I'll be bombarded with a host of bandwagon accusations. I'm from Carolina, I got my first 'Canes jersey in '01, so in advance: Y'all can suck it. :P

There. That's why.

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I'm pretty sure Shmee's post was in jest...

Wrong. I'm completely serious. Trust me, I've followed the Rangers all my life and between the ages of 6 and 17 there's been :censored: to cheer about.

But who am I to criticize someone who starts buying Rangers tickets because they're finally on track to make the playoffs again? What does that guy, or myself, owe to any billionaire who treats his fans like absolute :censored:?

Should Blackhawks fans be faulted for giving up on the club when their owner ignores them, refuses to show games on television, and won't pay to build a team worthy of NHL competition?

Are you a better person than someone else because you're willing to spend your money to go to a baseball game knowing that your team is probably going to lose?

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As someone who probably attended 10-15 Orioles games in 1988, when they started 0-21 and went 54-107, I await the divine reward that is mine when they finally reach the summit.

I'm very glad I wasn't born when that was happening, last season was enough for me to get pissed off and frustrated.

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Being a fan is different than being a educated consumer. I can be a fan of a team. However, if they generally provide a bad product, I'm not going to pay money to watch it. A team could be great, but if they wear an ugly-ass jersey, I'm not spending money to wear one. That would be no different than wearing a certain brand of jeans cause the cool kids wear them.

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I am a Pirates season ticket holder. They are currently in the midst of their 14th straight losing season. I love going to the games and following the team. But, I am starting to wonder (after these 14 seasons) if we (the Pirates fans) are doing more harm than good. On weekend home games the Bucs still draw at least 30,000 most nights. The owners know that even by putting a bad product on the field people are still going to turn out, there is no reason for them to spend the money on making a competitive team. I never want to be called a fair weather fan, but as a fan I also want to send a message to ownership that we are sick and tired of mediocrity. On that note, I'm going to the game tonight. LET'S GO BUCS!

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I am a Pirates season ticket holder. They are currently in the midst of their 14th straight losing season. I love going to the games and following the team. But, I am starting to wonder (after these 14 seasons) if we (the Pirates fans) are doing more harm than good. On weekend home games the Bucs still draw at least 30,000 most nights. The owners know that even by putting a bad product on the field people are still going to turn out, there is no reason for them to spend the money on making a competitive team. I never want to be called a fair weather fan, but as a fan I also want to send a message to ownership that we are sick and tired of mediocrity. On that note, I'm going to the game tonight. LET'S GO BUCS!

There are some fans (and one particular sports talk host) who have been posing that theory in Baltimore for the last 2-3 years. The concept is that hitting the owner where it hurts will send a message.

The only problem with that is that drying up the team's revenue stream only makes it that much harder to compete. Therefore, by boycotting the games (or whatever you choose to do) to "punish" the owner, fans may ultimately punish themselves by making it more difficult for management to turn things around. This is particularly so for a team like the Orioles, who have to compete with the bottomless pockets of the Yankees and Red Sox.

It is certainly a Catch-22 and I don't mean to suggest that anyone should start attending more games when times are tough because it will speed a return to the top. However, the law of unintended consequences is such that sending a "message" to management may make it harder for ownership to act on that "message".

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