Imagine if we welcomed the bandwagonners instead of shunning them. If we accepted them instead of rejecting them.
And as an aside…that picture is indeed me with an actual band (Christian recording artist Jacob and Matthew Band) during their sound check at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis (home of the Colts and Super Bowl XLVI). I’m here in Indy all weekend for a youth conference. But I digress.
I say to bandwagonners: “Welcome. Come aboard the Canucks party train.”
If we want to see the Canucks Nation grow, then why do we actually express disappointment when people want to join us? As the actual club tries to sell tickets and increase its social media presence, I don’t think it cares just who’s a bandwagonner and who’s not.
In any nation, there will be all types of people. Whether you’re a hardcore fan or a bandwagon fan, you’re still a fan nonetheless. People should be allowed to criticize the team when it’s not playing well, but often critics are automatically labelled as bandwagonners. If you show too much leniency towards the Canucks you’re labelled a homer and not objective. Try to point out the Canucks’ deficiencies and you’re dismissed as not being a true fan. It’s a tricky balance to be sure.
I know, I know. You’ve followed the team since you were a child. You’ve remained loyal to the Canucks through thick and thin, through good times and bad, and in sickness and in health as if it were your spouse. You’ve suffered through the tremendous disappointments of 1982, 1994 and 2011. And you’ve invested a lot of time and money in the team; resources that you’ll never get back.
So I can see how you’re protective of the team as if it was a prized possession or a stock.
But who are we to judge when someone proclaims that he or she wants to be a Canucks fan starting now?
It’s hard to say what makes one fan better than another. Is it how long you’ve been following the team? Is it the number of games you go to a year? Is it how many stats you’ve memorized? Is it how well you think you know the players? Is it how loud you scream while at the game? Or how loud you scream at the tv? Is it how many beverages you consume while watching the game? Or maybe it’s how much Canucks swag you own?
We get a kick out of seeing scores of Canucks fans throughout the league in places like California, Arizona, and across Canada. You can bet that some of these people (but not all) are bandwagon fans.
So bandwagonners, we’re going to make room for you…but upon 3 conditions:
- That you admit that you’re a bandwagon fan. Don’t deny it and don’t pretend you’ve been a fan all your life. Just be honest and we won’t judge you. No deception means no resentment. Deal?
- That you welcome others as I am welcoming you. There’s a lot of room in the Canucks army.
- That you don’t expect me to bring you to a game. I’d much rather bring someone who has indeed stuck with the team through thick and thin. You can watch from the comfort of your own home.
So once again, welcome aboard. Just don’t hurt your ankles when you inevitably jump off…again.