Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Fan Code: To Switching Teams

The acquisition of Lebron James and Chris Bosh are creating a lot of bandwagon fans for the Miami Heat.

Many die-hard basketball fans disdain fans who change sides or adopt a team, but there are many instances where switching teams is okay. Circumstances sometimes warrant a fan to follow a different team.

These circumstances include their teams moving to a different city, your favorite player switching teams, you are getting into basketball for the first time and have not yet chosen a team, and the owners of your team are too cheap to be willing to put together a team that can compete for a championship.

When a team moves out of your city, this can cause a lot of heartbreak and pain. A team and its fans share a relationship, fans grow attached to their team as if it were a person. When a team wins, they feel its joy, when a team loses, they feel its sorrow. No matter how well the team does, when a team leaves this it creates a hole in their fans’ lives.

Supersonics’ fans were devastated when their team moved to Oklahoma.

When this happens, changing your team is imperative. They just abandoned you and you must do the same, preferably with their rival team, if you can stand them. Any other team is fair game, too, but you cannot stay with the team that just left you.

When your favorite player leaves a team, you can switch to that team or your hometown team and no one else. You should only do this if you are more attached to the player than the actual team, but you cannot switch back teams when your player retires. Even if your team now starts playing badly, that is your fate.

If you are just starting to watch basketball, you also can choose any team you want. Going with your home team is the best route because you will have the support of fellow fans and some people to give you a history if the team.

Joining a team can happen even if you do not follow them until deep into the playoffs, but once you have chosen a team, you have to follow this team whenever your life allows, at least keeping up with the team’s scores. You cannot bandwagon another team once you have jumped on the bandwagon before.

The last condition for freedom of changing teams is when the owner is notoriously cheap and chasing away any talent the team has. Small market owners get more leeway, but if your team is making a good amount of money and not investing it on quality on the floor, you should definitely have no qualms about going with a different team.

A lot of fans bandwagon a team late in the playoffs only to forget about them when the playoffs are over. You can celebrate the good times with us, but it means you have to mourn the bad times as well. Nothing drives a fan as crazy as when someone brags about the championship his team won only to abandon it when times get rough.
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