The Asshole’s Guide to Becoming a Bandwagon Fan
With football season in full swing, Major League Baseball playoffs started, and both hockey and basketball season fast approaching, it’s finally everyone’s favorite time of the year: bandwagon season. Yes, it is that amazing time of the year when everyone either pretends to care about the hometown team that they’ve just realized is succeeding, or flings their allegiances to another good (or lucky) team in hopes that they’ll find happiness in bragging about an organization they know literally nothing about.
However, despite its prominence, bandwagoning is a hard thing to do. It’s even more difficult for a special subsection of the sports world: assholes. Yes, assholes — as one of the largest contingencies among bandwagon fans — face inordinate struggles in their attempts to become full-fledged bandwagon fans. People have set special, low expectations for these shitheads, and if they don’t measure up they might just have to deal with the begrudging respect that accompanies not being the worst kind of person.
While there are no perfected methods for being an asshole bandwagon fan, there are a few key guidelines any douchebag can follow in any sport to make sure they have a successful, infuriating bandwagoning experience.
First things first, assholes: I want to commend you for acknowledging who you really are. It takes a lot of courage to recognize your true colors and admit them. That being said, fuck you. Why can’t you just not be assholes? We’d like you so much more that way. If you weren’t assholes, you’d be so much better. You’d still be annoying for being bandwagon fans, but at least you’d be tolerable. And isn’t that really what everyone wants, to be reluctantly tolerated? Pretending to like people you only tolerate is what has made America great.
I get it though. I’m just wasting my time. You don’t care about the respect of others; that’s why you’re here. Let’s just get this started.
Step 1: Choosing A Team
Members of the non-asshole segment of bandwagon fans have innumerable fandom opportunities. They can root for the underdogs, the consistently average performers, even the good teams who always fall flat when it matters most (I’m looking at you, Denver Broncos)!
As an asshole though, you’ve really only got a couple choices in every sport. You have to root for a clear favorite. That clear favorite has to have a big name star, be grounded in years of tradition (of having more money than other teams and buying better talent), or be surrounded by an aura of self-satisfaction.
Here are your choices for every major sport (based upon where each sport is at in current season/post-season schedules):
The San Francisco Giants: Riding the legacy of Barry Bonds inhumanly swelled head and two World Series titles in the past four seasons, the Giants are favorites to go to the World Series for the National League. Plus, fans of Bay Area teams have a storied tradition of being the most fucking unbearable people at any sports event ever.
The Los Angeles Dodgers: Brash, arrogant, and smuggled into the United States for profit. This describes a lot of things in Los Angeles. However, it most appropriately characterizes Yasiel Puig — the poster child for assholes in baseball. A player with no concern for fundamentals and more aggressiveness than you can fit into an oversized Beverly Hills tote bag, jumping on the Puig (and Dodgers) bandwagon is a great way to let everyone know, “If I hit your car in the parking lot, I’d speed off after making a joke about how it’s an improvement for it to have paint from my Beemer rubbed off on it.”
The New York Yankees: The most unbearable franchise in the history of sports, the Yankees have won more World Series titles than any team and baseball history — and have had more fans recite that fact than there are rats filling their disgusting subway system. However, with their playoff hopes dashed, there’s not really much an asshole can do by means of cheering for the Pinstriped Pricks at this time. If you really want to go the extra mile though, you can spend every playoff game involving an American League team talking about how much more meaningful it would be if Derek Jeter had the chance to make a World Series run in his final season. But that’s really taking it to the next level.
The Seattle Seahawks: There are a lot of things to hate about Seattle: Starbucks, Macklemore, Hot Yoga (because that’s what I want when I’m in a room full of people sticking their asses in the air, sweat-induced humidity suffocating me). However, nothing about Seattle is more odious than the Seattle Seahawks. With a fanbase that calls itself the “12th Man” (because being really fucking loud and annoying apparently qualifies you to consider yourself “part of the team”), the Seattle Seahawks organization makes Al Davis and the Raiders look like Tibetan Monks. If you’re into annoying nicknames, coaches that remind you of your overly aggressive tee-ball coach, and insufferable fans — the Seahawks are the team for you.
The New England Patriots: Tradition. Spying. Short-sleeve hoodies. In the game of asshole bingo, the New England Patriots pretty much have the board covered. A football “dynasty” that has thrived under the control of an unsympathetic, conniving drill instructor and a quarterback who probably spent his high school years luring girls onto his family’s boat with promises of wine coolers and NKOTB mixtapes, the Patriots have become one of the most respected names in sports douchebaggery today. And while their declining talents may give any prospective asshole fan pause, the team’s never-ending smugness and their support from one of the most racist cities/regions in all of sports should more than make up for any losses.
The Cleveland Cavaliers: This one might be a little difficult for some people to process. It’s hard to imagine feeling anything but overwhelming sympathy and shame for a city whose last major sports title came in 1964 and has to deal with being the third-most popular city in Ohio. However, for an asshole, this team provides everything you could want: the most talented and marketable NBA star in the game, an all-star supporting cast created by careless negotiation based on the whims of said star, an owner who has the gall to write an open letter insulting a player (the very star player back on the team) in Comic Sans (the douchiest of all fonts), and a story of redemption and hope that you can feel self-righteous about when people question your motivations. It’s an asshole’s dream: the chance to root for a clear favorite and feel superior to everyone else in the process. With a gutted Miami Heat roster, a Los Angeles Lakers team closer to AARP membership than a championship, and a San Antonio Spurs franchise that somehow manages stay as inoffensive as a Thanksgiving dinner at Wayne Brady’s house — the Cleveland Cavaliers are the only option for any true asshole bandwagoner.
A true asshole will know to stay away from caring about hockey in general. Unless you live near the Canadian border or in a city that pretends to a “true sports town” that appreciates every major sport (please just fucking stop already, Chicago and Boston), there simply aren’t enough people who give a shit about hockey to make jumping on a bandwagon worth your time.
However, for the truly committed dickbags, there are a couple prime options:
The Boston Bruins: Here’s a fun riddle: What do you call a fanbase with no sense of sportsmanship, more patchy facial hair than a senior prom, and no hope for redemption? Answer: Bruins fans. A member of the NHL’s Original Six, the Bruins have found their way into the hearts and minds of millions of shitheads across the country with their recent bout of success. That success has also been accompanied by the need for the Bruins organization to issue two official apologies in the past three seasons for racist comments by its fans. Who said hockey isn’t fun? However, if winning and racism don’t get your goat, there’s always the comfort that any celebration will be accompanied by the king of douche music: overly-processed faux Irish rock.
The Los Angeles Kings: While the Detroit Red Wings would be the traditional second choice on this list, it’s just too difficult to hate on a city where you can find a double-digit number of houses being sold for under $500 (Why buy an iPhone 6 when you can buy a 1500 square ft house in Detroit??? Oh right, it’s in Detroit). With the Red Wings too sympathetic to fit the asshole requirements, we move on to the next team on the list: The Los Angeles Kings. The Kings are a great potential team for the asshole on the go. With almost no true fans (like every Los Angeles franchise), being a bandwagon fan of the Kings is pretty much equivalent to being from Los Angeles. Nobody expects you to know the names of the players on the team or even care until the postseason because if it’s not expected of the hometown “fans,” why should it be expected of anyone else? And while the team itself isn’t particularly dick-like, the fact that they are a hugely successful franchise in the middle of a city who couldn’t give two shits about them makes them the embodiment of what it means to be an asshole NHL bandwagon fan.
Step Two: Rooting for the Team
Here comes the fun part. Now that you’ve gone ahead and selected the franchises teams (being an asshole bandwagon fan means limiting your knowledge and perspective to the current year and MAYBE the previous year’s results) that most align with your asshole tendencies, it’s finally time to rub it in everyone’s faces until they refuse to talk to you for several weeks.
While a truly spectacular asshole bandwagon performance will integrate the little quirks that make you the abominable little piece of human excrement that you are, there are a couple key factors to keep in mind that will help you become a truly unbearable fan:
- Volume: You have to be loud. Louder than you were at every frat party you disgraced with your presence. Even louder than the fucking atrocious vuvuzela you brought to every World Cup viewing party you attended to cheer on Landon Donovan WHO WASN’T EVEN ON THE FUCKING TEAM. Whether you’re the type of person who “woos” and screams incomprehensible bullshit, or you’re the kind of cock-bagel who recites whatever you happen to hear the announcers say between your obnoxious slurps of Miller High Life, making sure you’re loud enough to drown out the sound of any legitimate thoughts about the game you’re “watching” is the key to being a true burden on everyone trying to enjoy themselves.
- Attire: If you’re going to jump on a bandwagon, you have to dress the part. To maximize your shitty potential, it’s best to buy the authentic (sewn-on, no press-on replica shit) jersey of the team’s most known star. If you really want to go above and beyond, you’ll pick a star player who was recently acquired on a short contract or a key leader who’s going to sign with another team once the season ends and free agency starts. This will let everyone around you know where you allegiance reside — up your own ass.
- Knowledge: Being an asshole bandwagon fan is an exercise in balancing knowledge with unearned bravado. You must know enough to verify that you at least know who you are rooting for (for the love of God, don’t mix up teams in the same city playing different sports. The Los Angeles Kings have never won a World Series), but not so much that it seems like you’ve invested real effort and time in supporting a team. Know your team’s standings in their division (probably first place) and who their star players are. Don’t learn the names of key supporting role players or coaches — unless those coaches are the personification of a goat’s taint (See: Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks). Too much knowledge makes you a real fan, and not enough knowledge makes you a fool. Toe the line appropriately, though, and you’ll be the hero of every Brooks Brothers-wearing asswipe you know.
Step Three: Making Your Mark
With your team selected and your method of attack planned, the only thing left is decide when to unleash your reign of fuckery on your “friends,” co-workers, and bar-goers forced to sit next to you.
If you’ve chosen a baseball team to root for, it’s time to get in the game. Put on your caps (holographic sticker still intact), lace up your Sperry’s, and prepare your speeches about how instant replay destroys the integrity of the game (because the fun of baseball is in watching the team that deserves to win get fucked over) — it’s time for you to step up to the plate. You’ve only got a few weeks left to ruin America’s Pastime for every man, woman, and child, so you better get on it.
If you’ve picked an NFL team, now is time to plan your attack. The season is going, but there’s nothing really decisive happening yet. See if your team has a major Sunday Night Football game coming up, or if the team is slotted to play against a weak, small market team with a porous defense. When you’ve found your opportunity, strike hard and strike fast. The NFL is unpredictable, so you need to be opportunistic in finding just the right point to piss off everyone you know — lest be forced to wait for your team’s eventual Super Bowl run to really ruin everyone’s happiness.
As for the assholes who’ve picked NBA or NHL bandwagon’s to jump on, it’s a waiting game for now. Both sports have long seasons with little early fanfare on which to capitalize. However, the clear favorites will emerge early enough in the season to allow you to fulfill your full ass-stain potential within a month or so.
That’s it, assholes. You now have the tools and knowledge required to make every major sports season a living nightmare for everyone you know. Good luck out there, and may God have mercy on your horrible souls.