(Originally Posted: Friday January 22, 2010)
Earlier last decade, the Seahawks opened up a new stadium and went to the playoffs a bunch of years in a row, thanks mostly to playing the decrepit NFC West. Suddenly, their fans became some of the greatest fans in football. Really? So supporting a good team makes you great fans? Playing in a stadium architectural designed to be a drum that makes you really loud and your great fans? Stealing a bit that almost every NFL and college team has used at least once in their history (the 12th man) makes you great fans? One college actually sued them for that last one.
See, I remember the 90s and the King Dome. All those years when the fans would dress up as empty seats. When no would talk about the Seahawks because they sucked and their fans never showed up for their games. In this new media world of short-term memory, the major sports media outlets are the worst culprits. Especially when it comes to bestowing labels of greatness.
(Allow me to take a minute to freely admit that I am a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan. And while we do get credit from some in the national media about what good fans we are, we are more often punching bags for some of the knucklehead stuff we do. Anyway, back to my main point.)
So what does this all have to do with New Orleans Saints fans? Glad you asked. They have picked up the reigns of the best fans bandwagon, and are currently riding it roughshod right down our throats. I watched a piece on the Fox pregame show last weekend where Sean Payton was driving through New Orleans with one of the talking heads. Payton was going on and on about how crazy that town is about the Saints, how they get mobbed when they fly home from away games, and how kids sometimes have to go to school the day after games because they are too excited. Huh? I remember before Hurricane Katrina that the Saints were the leading contender to move to Los Angeles.
Katrina was obviously horrible and destroyed that city. And maybe I should give special dispensation to Saints fans because of that. I don’t really want to get into all that part of it, but I will say this one thing. If the Saints had come back and strung together a couple of 6 or 7 win seasons, how much would that city be rallying around the team? They would probably actually be bitching about money being wasted on a football team that nobody wants anymore instead of being spent on rebuilding the city.
When you get down to it, whether it’s Seattle fans or Saints fans, they both have the same despicable characteristic. Bandwagon fans. I abhor bandwagon fans. I hate the shots in the stands of the chic in her brand new Drew Brees jersey. Looking like her life is going to end if they don’t win the game. She couldn’t have spelled Brees in September. (She would have spelled it with a Z.) The douche that’s screaming at the pep-rally because that’s the place to be. I hate hearing about how the Silverdome is one of the toughest places to play because it’s so loud thanks to their passionate fans. Don’t you think it has something to do with the fact THAT THEY PLAY IN A DOME! These people offend me as a sports fan. I put a lot of my time and soul into rooting for the Eagles. But they just pick it up when their team is doing well and act like we have the same investment. We don’t.
I mentioned this issue on Twitter the other day, and a Lions fan fired back, “What should these people do, support a bad team?” Um, yes. Ask the poor fans in Buffalo, Kansas City or Cleveland. They are some of the best fans in the league without question, and those teams have been horrendous for way too long. I would love to see any of these teams make the playoffs. These are fans deserve a championship or a playoff run or even just a winning season. No one would argue with their fans going apeshit over some a playoff game.
When the Birds are out of the playoffs, I still like to have a rooting interest when I watch a game. I usually look at the players, the coach, whether or not they’re Dallas and how their fans are. So will I be rooting for the Saints and their lousy bandwagon fans this weekend? You betcha! They’re still better than Favre.