How is it that a guy born and raised in Spanish Fork, Utah, a state home to zero NBA titles and a list of excuses and overly harsh accusations, mostly dealing with a certain GOAT “pushing off”, is, suddenly, in 2017, a self-proclaimed diehard Golden State Warriors fan?
We’re all familiar with bandwagon or fairweather fans. We’ve all got friends or ex-friends who showed up smelling like a Dick’s Sporting Goods and sporting a new and too-big Kris Bryant jersey and raving about “My Cubbies, bro (insert swig of Mountain Dew Baja Blast [“Finally!!” He exclaimed when it became available in stores])”. If you’re a really good friend, you won’t mention the long “Size L” sticker you peel off his back for him.
As a Seahawks fan, I’ve experienced this phenomenon. As a Mariners fan, I silently take comfort in the fact that they suck so badly year after year, and dread the day when they win, because Seattle has the ability to make people love it from afar (“Oh, I LOVE the rain, I super want to move to Seattle after I graduate.” – unaware coed with impending seasonal depression.)
We may have just experienced the beginning of an exodus of sorts from a bandwagon fan base. After 530 straight sold out games, the San Francisco Giants have ended their streak. On Monday night, the Giants filled 39,538 seats; capacity at AT&T Park is 41,503.
People in the Bay Area have had every reason to be excited about their local sports teams. The Giants have enjoyed several years of solid success, the Warriors just became the AAU team from the rich neighborhood, and soon nobody will have to endure the O.Co Coliseum ever again. This season, however, the Giants have done nothing but disappoint. The offense that has somehow managed to produce in past seasons has died, producing an MLB-low 75 home runs this year. Madison Bumgarner sat out three months after thinking riding a dirt bike was a good idea, and they have a left fielder named Gorkys.
The cause for the streak ending is clear; the team is awful. They’re clinging to the bottom of the NL West like a barnacle on a Carnival cruise ship (near the poop deck, if you will).
Moving forward, there’s nothing to say they can’t go back to selling out games. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the success of the Giants and Warriors, it’s “If you win it, they (Bay Area sports fans) will come.”
In case you’re wondering, the Boston Red Sox hold the current MLB record for consecutive sellouts at 794, which occurred between 2003-2013. They also hold the record for most team-branded lanyards sold in Salt Lake County, Utah. That’s just a guess, though. #bandwagon