How to spot a Bandwagoner in Arizona

Berto Gonzalez, Reporter

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You are not a real Arizona sports fan if the first quarterback you think of when someone mentions the Cardinals is Kurt Warner. You are not a true supporter in this state if you didn’t realize Steve Nash went to the Western Conference Finals with Dallas first. You can’t tell me that you love the Diamondbacks with all of your heart if you don’t remember who B.O.B. was.

You can’t fool me with those wheel tracks you’ve left in front of me, face it: you’re just a typical success leech. Good teams and a lot of wins get your undivided attention. The minute the team drops below .500, you walk on out the stadium and saddle up down the prairie until they make the playoffs without watching how. You’re a fair weather fan in Arizona, but you know what?

You’re actually a part of the majority. Sad truth, but still truth nonetheless.

Every desert sport has its creatures of fandom, and they also have some random California transplant who wants to go against the grain. Most of these creatures of Ooh-this-jersey-color-scheme-is-sick lore are better known as bandwagoners, and here in Arizona, they’re fairly simple to spot. So, if these select observation points hit close to home for you readers, then in the words of Jeff Foxworthy, you might be a redne….I mean, bandwagoner. Sorry, that [email protected]#n southern drawl gets me every time.

  1. If you proudly display a different colored number 11 jersey every Sunday, you might be a bandwagoner. Fitzgerald is the boss to end all bosses, sure, but other receivers made an impact on the Cardinal’s offense, too. Shouldn’t Steve Breaston be thrown a bone here?
  2. If you don’t feel a searing pain in your chest at the mention of Chicago Bull’s sharp shooter John Paxson, you might be a bandwagoner. One defensive switch away from forcing a game seven in the ’93 NBA Finals, “Barkley should’ve done better,” — Danny Ainge should have left Michael Jordan alone and got in Paxon’s face to stop that heartbreaking, game-winning shot.
  3. *If you don’t know who the Phoenix Coyotes were, then you might be a bandwagoner. Though, admittedly, I have no earthly clue about the sport of hockey, even I remember the team’s original name. Progress people, progress.
  4. If you thought the Diamondbacks were going to crash and burn after the Justin Upton trade in 2013, you might be a bandwagoner. Flashy defense and name recognition can only get you so far in baseball. Plus, I think this AJ Pollock kid has some decent potential.
  5. If you see Sun Devil stadium in Tempe has always just been the home for Arizona State football games, then you might be a bandwagoner. Remember when it was home of the Phoenix Cardinals? Blistering concrete bleachers in 100-degree plus kickoff weather and enormous talent parity in the ‘80s. Those poor, optimistic, foolish season ticket holders. (I still love ya though, Dad)
  6. If you have no clue who Al McCoy is or what he does, then you might be a bandwagoner. “Shazam!” “Whammo time!” “Book it!” A god amongst Phoenician men. You will Google this man and his 98.7 FM radio calls for the Phoenix Suns games, and you will give him his respect. You know what? If you don’t know who Jerry Colangelo is, you ARE without a doubt a bandwagoner. Because it’s not like he gave birth to the idea of a Phoenix-based sports teams or anything like that. That’s totally something that can be ignored.

So now you know see the world of fandom like I see it. But, I can understand if you’re still left skeptical. I mean, why would I go to so much trouble highlighting these bandwagoners like this?

Because I still believe that the real fans are out there, yearning for a collective where they can come together and show themselves. I am proud to proclaim that I am a proud Arizona sports fan, always have been and will continue to be. I am young, but I am doing my best to continuously seek the past history of the sports franchises in this state and enlighten myself to the traditions and passions of our state and its sporting franchises.

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How to spot a Bandwagoner in Arizona