Unfortunately our Mets are likely to have few bandwagon jumpers this season because the Yankees have not let up on their decade of dominance. So, as much as we are surely experience a return of many fair weather fans, we are unlikely to be grabbing many new fans besides the younger, kid fans—who are probably the most desirable anyway.
What’s that you asked? Why do I WANT frontrunning bandwagoners showing up at the last minute trying to horn in on the Mets glory while times are good, trying to take for themselves the precious joys that belong to only those true fans who have suffered lo these many years with our long beleaguered Mets???
Why? Because part of the spoils of victory is popularity. There is something valuable and integral to a team’s success that it not only win games but win hearts. And the bandwagon fan is a new heart to win. I don’t get the attitude of true blue and orange fans who want to keep the team all to themselves and to disparage the fans who come on board as part of being swept up in the excitement of the new era of great baseball in Queens.
I distinguish bandwagon fans from fair weather fans and frontrunners. It’s the frontrunners that I can see people having a legitimate gripe with. It’s the presence of frontrunners in the world that makes the best philosophical case I know of for why there should be a hell somewhere.
How are frontrunners different than bandwagoners? I think of bandwagoners as those who jump on board after things are good. I see “fair weather fans” as those only around when the skies are blue. I think of “frontrunners” as those who root for whoever is good at the moment.
So, you could be a bandwagoner if you get into a team at its pique but not a frontrunner if you don’t find another team soon as your team goes down. Then you could be a fair weather fan if you don’t pay too much attention during the down times but are still relatively loyal and not just ditching for the current dominant team. If you’re just jumping after whoever is good at the time then you’re a frontrunning kind of bandwagoner, which is the malignant species of an otherwise benign genus.
So, welcome bandwagoners, don’t feel ashamed that you don’t know who Jeff Duncan, or even Doug Mientkiewicz, is. I won’t judge you. Celebrate this amazing new team with us. Fall in love with them.
But if next year the Mets tank and you show up in a Yankees hat and Derek Jeter wristbands then fuck you.