Today, as many of you know, could be a historical day for the Texas Rangers. They could, for the first time in team history, make it to the World Series by beating the New York Yankees.
Being from Texas and being an avid baseball fan, I have my loyalties here and to the Texas Rangers. As some of you know, those who have read my articles in the past, they seem to focus, when written about baseball, on the Rangers. Today I had that all called into question.
I am attending classes at my local community college to pursue a college degree in something that I have yet to determine. After watching the Rangers come from behind last night and lay to waste the Yankees bullpen, again, I decided to wear a new shirt I have purchased. Some of you may know what this shirt looks like. It has a picture of a hand meaning the “claw” on the front and two hands on a deer head for “antlers” on the back.
I walked into my first class this morning and was greeted, well I say greeted, by, and I can only assume this, a very unhappy Yankees fan. Who proceeded to knock me for being a “bandwagon fan”. Are you kidding me?
Her: Oh my God, I hate bandwagon fans. You all of a sudden support a team when they are doing well.
Me: Bandwagon fan? Um, I have been a Rangers fan since I was a kid. Which is probably before you were born.
Her: I was born in 1990, have you been a fan THAT long?
Me: I had been to at least four or five Rangers games by the time I was 10 (This may not sound like a lot to some, but we were lower middle class and lived in Austin, which is about three and a half hours away from Arlington where the Rangers play).
Her: I just wish that there weren’t so many bandwagon fans out there, cheering for the Rangers only because they are doing well.
Me: I am no bandwagon fan, and if you are a Yankees fan, you hate almost your entire fan base. What team is the most internationally known team? The Yankees. 90% of their fans are bandwagon and have never been to New York, much less a game at Yankee Stadium.
At this point she decided it may be the best idea to drop the subject and sit down.
I can say that I see some of her argument though. I know that the Rangers run into the post season, and hopefully to the World Series, will bring out a lot of fans who either don’t know much about baseball or just support the teams that are doing well. This is definitely not my case.
Let’s take a look back at teams I have supported since I was a kid and see how much of a “bandwagon fan” I really am.
Texas Rangers – I go to Rangers games at least once a year. It is kind of a hassle to take off of work, make the drive, find a place to stay generally (since we go to night games), and then drive home hung over the next day because I over indulged in alcohol at the game. I do go when I can though, hopefully that can increase soon. I also watch as many games as possible…which is normally when the Houston Astro biased Time Warner Cable in the Austin area will show the Rangers games. Let me ask these questions though:
When was the last time the Rangers won a World Series? Never.
When was the last time the Rangers WENT to the World Series? Never.
When was the last time they won the pennant? Never.
When was the last time the even Rangers made it to the playoffs (before this season of course)? 1999
So as one can clearly see, I am a Rangers fan, always have been and I always will be despite their lack of success (until this season of course).
Dallas Cowboys – I have never been to a Cowboys game live (sad I know). Although I have watched almost every game, or listened to them when I was in Iraq, for the last 20+ years. Sure there are the occasional Sundays when I miss a game, but those are VERY few and far between.
I can’t make the same comparison with Super Bowls and playoffs as I did with the Rangers, as the Cowboys have been a successful team in the past, but I can say this. I was a Cowboys fan in 1989, the season they went 1-15, and their only win came in week nine against the Redskins.
I was also a fan in the post Aikman-Smith-Irvin era when they had such greats as Quincy Carter, a 40 year old Vinny Testaverde, and the statue known as Drew Bledsoe. Needless to say, even with everyone else hating the Cowboys, I am one fan that has stuck around through thick and thin.
Texas Longhorns – I have been to a handful of UT games and love the atmosphere, but tickets are, and always have been, hard to get a hold of if you are not a student.
Sure the Longhorns have enjoyed success over the last few years, mostly in 2005 when a Vince Young led team won the National Championship. Before that however, when was the last time they won a National Championship? Answer: 1970.
Even the year the immortal RB Ricky Williams won the Heisman, 1998, the Horns only went 9-3, which was seen as an amazing turn around by first year head coach Mack Brown from the 4-7 record they had the previous year. Once again though, not much success, yet I bleed burnt orange…all the time.
So as you can CLEARLY see, I am definitely not a “bandwagon fan”. I may be, and pardon the FanNation reference here but, a blind homer, but definitely no “bandwagon fan”.
For those of you who have joined Ranger Nation for their run into the playoffs, whether you are Yankees haters or bandwagon fans yourself, I am glad to have you cheer along side of us, but I will glad to see you go when our success is gone.
The game is about to start…so off to TV land I must go…