“Diehards” vs “Bandwagoners” Pt. 2

You’ve all heard Meghan’s two-cents on this Washington Post article, but here’s mine:

Yes, I am a new fan. Yes, I didn’t pay attention to the Washington Capitals until 2007. Yes, I became a fan when the Washington Capitals were getting good. Yes, I didn’t become absolutely, totally, and completely a fan until the latter half of last season. Being a new fan doesn’t automatically make you a bandwagoner.

There’s a big difference between new fans and bandwagoners. Bandwagoners like it because it’s popular. They couldn’t care less about the game or the team or the players; they like it because it’s “cool”. New fans are just that – new. Being new to the Washington Capitals does not make me any less of a diehard fan. Bandwagoners cannot name players beyond the stars, or know the stats, or carry on conversations about the game or other teams, simply because they do not care. They abandon the team once they begin to do poorly, and more than likely, they’ll be gone by the off-season.

But new fans – new fans grow. They may start off as ignorant, but they transform into indistinguishable  knowledgeable, diehard fans. They learn the entire roster, they learn about the stats, they learn to carry on conversations about the game or other teams, simply because they do care. Half the time, you wouldn’t know they’re not from the “lean years” unless they tell you.

And, is it really such a bad thing that the Caps sell out the Verizon Center? That away team’s ticket sales go up when the Caps come to town? That more and more people are wearing Caps shirts, going to Caps practices, supporting the Caps? Because if you think it’s bad for the boys to be having so much success, then maybe you’re the bad fan, not the new ones.

So yes, I am a new fan. Hate me if you want, but know that I love this team just as much as you do.

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5 Comments

Filed under Anna's Blog, FIGHTS!, Serious Thoughts, Washington Capitals

5 responses to ““Diehards” vs “Bandwagoners” Pt. 2

  1. Angela

    Well said. I couldn’t agree more. I have only been a hockey fan since last years stanley cup finals but that doesn’t make me less of a fan. I’m just a less knowledgeable fan then the rest.

  2. My thoughts exactly. I didn’t get into hockey until my junior year in high school (3 years ago), because my father is a baseball and football fan. We don’t know what we’re not exposed to, plain and simple.

    I went to my first game because my nephew was one of the kids playing during the intermission, and I wanted to see him. I’ve gotta thank that kid for getting me into hockey, because it’s amazing.

    I’m still learning, and everything, and I agree with everything you’ve said. So what if we’re less knowledgeable? We’ve still got the passion and the drive to learn and support our boys, and isn’t that what really matters?

  3. Jeremy

    I’ve been following the Caps since Game 1, literally. My dad took me when I was 12 and it was love at first sight. To ALL Cap fans out there, whether you have been a fan for a day, a month, a year, ten years: WELCOME, WELCOME, WELCOME. For me, seeing so many people into the Caps is a dream I *never* thought would come true in my lifetime. I do, of course, have one bigger Caps dream. It has nothing to do with fans, DC being a hockey town, or whether the local media covers the team “enough”… And maybe, JUST maybe, this June the Commissioner will call the Capitals captain to “come get the Stanley Cup.” Go Caps! Enjoy this season no matter the result Caps fans (whether you are brand, spanking new or old and wrinkly from the 70’s

  4. I have been a Caps fan since I was a little kid, but because 82 games just seems like way too many, I rarely follow the Caps until they get into the playoffs. I am a big football fan, but once the season ends I turn my attention to hockey.

    This year the football season ended right as the Caps were on this streak and I have watched the last 5 games and as a current New Yorker I got a chance to see the Rangers game last week.

    Its really easy to get into a player like Ovechkin and with all the other DC teams playing so poorly I think this is a great time for everyone in DC to rally around the Caps.

    I might not know the names of everyone on the third line, but I go to a few games ever year and I am always rocking the red… in DC or NY.

  5. Breeze

    I found your blog through a link on another WashCaps blog( Jasper’s Rink i think) and I’ve got to say I really enjoy reading your stuff. I especially agree with how you make a distinction between “new” fans and “bandwagon” fans. Neither of my parents are really sports fans, and I really didnt start watching Hockey till shortly after Boudreau became coach. However, I’ve really fallen in love with the sport and the Caps since then.

    As a music fan, I know what it’s like to be frustrated by bandwagon fans, and it’s not because they’re new it’s because they don’t really try to appreciate what they’re claiming to be a fan of. As long as you’re watching the game to enjoy it, I agree that it shouldn’t matter whether you wore a caps onesie as a baby or if you just happened to flip on the tv one day and fall in love.

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