We all saw it last Sunday: whether you were on Facebook or Twitter, or if you watching the game or not, we all know how the Super Bowl went down. Your friends, the people you follow and news websites updated you on every change in the game. And when the Giants won, what you really saw were a few die-hard Giants fans drowned out by a load of obnoxious fair-weather fans screaming their new team’s victory.
Think about it. You most likely barely heard about the Giants until the week before the game and then you were bombarded with them. The Patriots have always been Super Bowl favorites over the Giants, so Patriot chatter wasn’t too unusual, but as soon as the Giants started to win your favorite social networks exploded.
To the lifelong fans of the Giants, those people are some of the worst in this world. Sports fans, especially sports fans who favor teams that happen to lose quite a bit, see fair-weather fans as people who are trying to be popular by jumping on the bandwagon. Nobody likes to lose, but sports fans have to deal with wins and losses; they feel these people don’t have that right to only support the winners.
Now, fair-weather fans aren’t the only sports fans who aren’t always supportive. Fans who only support their teams during playoffs are always better, because at least they stick with one team. People who just don’t care about sports might pick a team for the Super Bowl or the World Series, maybe going by where they live or just by who their friends like so they can root for a day and promptly continue to not care.
Is the fair-weather fan such a bad thing? They might buy more tickets, although they don’t tend to stick with the team long enough to make that sort of commitment. They will try to interject themselves into conversations with the die-hard fans who most likely will resent them, and into conversations with people who don’t know sports to maybe show off. They do, however, show support and participate in the great social group that is the sports team fan. They enjoy supporting those teams and sometimes stick with them after the initial win, and they give their chosen teams more hype than anything.
To the sports fan, try to be gentle on these fair-weather fans. They’re only trying to get along with you, maybe even trying to be like you. Sometimes being a die-hard sports fan is being like a hipster, saying “I liked them before they got big.” When a team gains these fair-weather fans, they also gain more respect, support and hopefully more true fans in the making.