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Nine Bandwagon Fan Rules

Tom Hauck, Getty Images

I hate Bandwagon sports fans.  There’s nothing worse than a guy that like all of the top teams with no regard for logic.  One of my good friends, Greg, is a Yankees fan, a Dallas Cowboys fan, a Notre Dame Football fan, an LA Lakers fan and a UNC Basketball fan.  But he’s from the Capital Region!

To prevent this type of behavior, I’ve come up with my own set of Bandwagon Rules.  These should be taken completely seriously.

1) If your city has a pro team, you need to be a fan of that team.

If your city doesn’t have a professional team, you have a 150 mile radius rule. In other words, you can like any other professional team within 150 miles of where you live. For you Midwesterners, that 150 mile rule can be expanded until you get to the nearest pro team.  If that radius rule doesn’t apply, you’re also allowed to like any team of the current state you are in – regardless of the mileage rule. If you grew up in Long Island, you can be a Bills fan.

2) If you move from one state to another, you need to keep allegiance to the team you moved away from.

The only exception, if you move before the age of 13 (Bar Mitzvah age – because you’re now a man), you’re allowed to change your allegiance to the new city in which you now live.

3) Grandfather loop hole: This allows you to like any team you were raised to like.

If you grew up in San Diego, but your dad was a Denver Broncos fan, you can be a Denver Broncos fan.  This only works for dads, grandfathers or your primary guardian. If you have an Aunt that lives in Dallas, you can’t be a Cowboys fan – sorry!

4) If a new franchise pops up in your hometown, you have 5 years to be a fan of that team or by the end of their first winning season – whichever comes first.

This is perfect for me.  I didn’t have a team in DC when I was growing up so I became an Orioles fan.  The Nationals moved to DC in 2005.  So I had 5 years to figure out if I wanted to jump ship.  That window expired last year.

5) Team Leaves Town – The Sports Orphan Rule:

If the team you love bolts for another city, there is a grieving period where you get one full season and an off-season to mourn and think about what to next.  You then have two options: You can follow that team to the new city or you can become a fan of the closest non-rival (either location wise or divisional opponent) but this is up for debate among the committee.

6) Pride In Your Hometown Rule:

You’re permitted to like a team if there’s a player on that team that grew up in your hometown or general area (Section II).  Unless you’re a blood relative, that team can’t all of a sudden be your favorite team.  But the dad, brother, cousins, uncles, aunts can all now be a fan of that team.  Because of this rule, you can have gear of that team, you can have that guy’s jersey but you can’t buy a jersey of another player on that team.  If you’re rooting for Jimmer, you can’t get a Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins’ jersey or a Tyreke Evans jersey t-shirt.  But you can have a regular Sacramento Kings t-shirt, hat or even a jacket.

7) Alma Matter:

If you graduated from a school outside of the area you reside in, you can be a fan of that school.  But there’s no way you can be a Duke fan if you never went to the school. You need to know where Duke is located first before you can be a fan.  You can also be a fan of a school if you enrolled and actually attended school there for one at least one class or if you had an immediate family member attend for an academic year (mom, dad, sister or brother).

8 ) Local College Rule:

You can be a fan of the local college – even if you didn’t go there. These college rules follow the same rules as the pros (radius, state). So if you’re from Delmar, you can be a Siena or UAlbany fan – even if you never stepped foot on campus.  (Union, RPI, St. Rose, Skidmore, HVCC, Sage, Albany College of Pharmacy).  If you’re a Capital Region native, you are even allowed to like Syracuse, Boston College or St. John’s.

9) Army Brat Rule:

If your dad or mom was in the military and you grew up overseas or in various cities across the country, you can be a fan of ANY team in ANY sport.  You parent was sacrificing his life for the country; you can be a fan of any team in that country. But it is encouraged to adopt the same team as your military dad.

Feel free to email me your questions or comments about these rules.  Just don’t be a Greg – that’s all I ask!

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