In sports, everyone wants to have a player or a team to root for. The MLB playoffs are no exception and tends to bring out even the fairest weather fans of them all. With the Texas Rangers running through both the ALWC and the ALDS in sweeping fashion, there is a massive buzz surrounding the team. Case in point, Troy Aikman was even talking about "my Rangers" on Monday Night Football with Joe Buck. The bandwagon is about to head down I-45 toward Houston with a clash of the Lone Star titans, to start on Sunday.
"Speaking of October, how about my Rangers. I'm on that bandwagon, you bet I am."- Troy Aikman
But Aikman, is a far cry from the only person that is jumping on the Rangers bus. Winning breeds more winning, as well as more fans. Some of those fans will stick and become fully engaged lifers and others are just here for a season or perhaps even a few moments.
Fair weather fans used to really bother me. Using an accounting term, they are the LIFO (Last In First Out) of the sports world. Last ones to support the team, and the first ones to bale or move on to something else. As a guy that has been a baseball fan in general, as well as a Rangers fan specifically my entire life, I would get frustrated that someone that hadn't put in the same amount of time and effort to know and study the team could just waltz in and enjoy the spoils of victory.
There is something to be said about suffering through the lean years and then getting to see your team do well. But as I have gotten older (I like to call it wiser, ha!) the bandwagon crew doesn't bother me nearly as much. Let me tell you why. When a team is on a great run, that means that all of those longtime, thick and thin fans are getting to see their team win and perform at a high level. So, for me, I used to just roll my eyes at my football loving buddies that would jump on the Rangers bandwagon when things were going well, but I now instead embrace it. At the end of the day it means that my team is winning and doing great things.
There is still one thing about the bandwagon effect that does get to me at times. It is the idea that the casual fan, the one that jumped on this team two weeks ago, can talk badly about them if things don't go well. Not only does everyone want to have a team to pull for that is doing great, but many want to voice opinions about said team as well. That is, even if they are misinformed or just regurgitating what they have heard from others. Bandwagoners have every right to voice their thoughts and opinions, just don't be surprised if your diehard friends won't appreciate them all the time.
With the Rangers set to square off against the Astros in the ALCS, there is bound to be even more fans jumping on Texas' fandom. People like winners to a certain point, and then they like the underdog and the feel-good story. The Astros have amassed quite a bandwagon of their own with all of the winning that they have done over the last several years, but outside of that group, they aren't the most loved organization in MLB by any stretch. Because of that, I can see even more people pulling for the Rangers to knock off the Astros and advance to the World Series.
As Chris Young has put together this Rangers roster, he has not only done so with great baseball players, but with quality humans as well. The longer that this playoff run lasts for Texas, the more people are going to latch onto this team and enjoy the ride. The bandwagon is hitched and leaving the barn, don't be left off, there is plenty of room for everyone that wants on board. And remember that these moments don't come around all of the time, so make sure and enjoy the grand stage of ALCS baseball.
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