In the world of the 1950s, the worst thing you could be called is a communist. You weren’t dedicated to your country, in fact you were probably actively trying to take it down from within, and gosh darn it, you really just hated freedom. Well, in the world of Canuck fandom, another word carries a similar weight "Bandwagon".
Just like with the communist tag, the bandwagon accusation gets thrown around liberally in this town. You criticise the Canucks, you’re a bandwagon fan. Suggest Luongo’s not the greatest goalie, bandwagon fan. Miss a midweek game versus the Columbus Blue Jackets to attend your Grandpa’s funeral, you know it, bandwagon fan.
To me, this makes absolutely no sense. True love is not based on blind adulation, and neither should sports fandom. To go the other way is descend into some cult like state with a big ole toothy grin and intense yet somehow vacant set of eyes (think Tom Cruise) while spewing platitudes about how everything is great. Add bizarre shaking to the mix and you’ve got Gary Bettman.
A true bandwagon fan isn’t someone who argues thar Rick Rypien should be suspended for at least ten games, a bandwagon fan is someone who hasn’t watched a minute of hockey all year and will buy a Rick Rypien jersey during the playoff run because it was the cheapest one at the remainder store and wonder why he isn’t playing.
A bandwagon fan is someone whose favourite hockey was the Detroit Red Wings, until it was the Pittsburgh Penguins, until it became the Chicago Blackhawks. A bandwagon fan is someone who lives in Minnesota, a state blessed with all four major sports teams, yet loves the Yankees, Cowboys and Lakers.
So say no to the cultists and their hue and cry about bandwagoners. Just because we wonder if $5 million should get you more than one garbage goal, doesn’t mean we can’t all stand up and cheer when Ryan Kesler finally pots another one.