Red sea rising in the bay


Irvin Trigueros

William Leeks grabs an offensive board in Los Medanos College’s Friday night nail biting loss to Mendocino College.

Dakotah Zabroski

A sea of red is what I’ve seen the last two Sundays when the San Francisco 49ers have played in the playoffs.

Fans have come out of nowhere and are suddenly claiming that they are Niners fans. I expect to see an even bigger increase considering that the Niners are playing in this year’s Super Bowl. While some fans are actual Niners fans, some are former Raiders fans or newbies to football, but overall, they are bandwagoners.

According to the dictionary, bandwagon is defined as a popularity party, faction, or cause that attracts growing support. The Niners making it to Super Bowl XLVII is definitely a cause for celebration, but does that make it okay for the bandwagoners to come out of the woodwork? Certainly not.

While teams must love all the added cash flow coming in from fans buying new merchandise, it discredits the truly loyal and hardcore fans.

Bandwagon fans often do not know anything or very little about the team they are rooting for and it brings down the credibility of an entire fan base. Many Bandwagon fans are mindless about the team they have all of a sudden decided to root for and real fans take the blame for it.

All too often I have personally encountered fans who have stayed true to their teams through the good and the bad times, yet they still get grief by other fans when they root for the team they have always loved. That is a direct cause of the annoying bandwagoners.

Loyal fans should not have to put up with this nonsense, but unfortunately there isn’t anything that can be done to prevent this.

Between the years of 2002 to 2011, the Niners have been irrelevant to the National Football League. Ever since Jim Harbaugh took over as head coach in 2012 the Niners have been Super Bowl contenders and coincidentally their fan base exploded. Both this year and last, more and more Niners fans came out of nowhere the further the Niners went into the postseason.

I guarantee that if someone were to leave their house this Sunday that it would be impossible not to see a Niners jersey. If that same person were to leave their house four weeks ago, they could go the whole day without seeing a Niners jersey.

This relates to all sports and all teams, some worse than others, but nevertheless it does exist. It happened when both Bay Area baseball teams made the playoffs this year. It happens everywhere, no matter what sport, team or city. A true fan will always follow their team. It’s the bandwagon fans that ruin it for everyone else.

To the true fan, the bandwagon fan is a nuisance. “A lot of them don’t really even know much about the game, which pisses true fans like myself off,” said hardcore football fan and LMC student Brandon Brum. Although some think otherwise, such as Niners fan and LMC student Ernesto Martinez, who said at first I used to think they were annoying, but now I think otherwise. “If someone wants to bandwagon a team, they can. The real fans know who they are and shouldn’t let the fake fans bother their love for their team.”

While some are uneffected by the bandwagon fan, there are still many who are annoyed by those kind of fans, but unfortunately they will always come out of nowhere, root for something they know little about, and drive other fans crazy. I bet that a week after the Super bowl, the tides of fans from the sea of red will subside and be minimal.