Arizona Cardinals have bandwagon fans? That’s great!
Jul 16, 2015, 3:09 PM | Updated: 3:10 pm
The Arizona Cardinals have bandwagon fans.
Really, they do.
According to a study by a couple of smart people at Emory University, a look at the NFL from 2001 to 2013 yielded that the Cardinals have the most bandwagon fans in the NFL.
“The winner, or maybe that should be the loser, of this ranking is the Arizona Cardinals,” the piece says.
Loser? Really? This should be cause for celebration.
I mean, the Cardinals — the ARIZONA CARDINALS — have a bandwagon.
Ask anyone who grew up in Arizona during the 90s and sat in the heat and on the metal bleachers watching terrible football if they ever thought that would happen. Hoped, maybe. But thought? Doubtful.
Remember, there’s a reason the team’s “State of Football” video is so cool — it’s accurate.
In 2001, the first year of the study, the highest attendance number the Cardinals posted was 47,239, which they drew in a season-opening loss to the Denver Broncos. In 2013, their lowest home figure was 60,034, which was the total in a Week 2 win over the Detroit Lions.
Twenty years ago the only way the Cardinals would sell out a home game was if the Dallas Cowboys or another one of the league’s popular teams was in town. Now, all they have to do is have a home game.
And that’s due to the ever-growing bandwagon.
Now, it’s understandable that some of you, the folks who sat through the blistering heat week after week, season after season, would be offended by the very notion that the Cardinals have bandwagon fans.
But that study is not talking about you, the die-hard who has “earned” the fruits the Cardinals franchise is now starting to bare. It’s talking about the fans who remember Cardinals history all the way back to Edgerrin James and Kurt Warner, the ones who got on board with the team once it moved into that shiny stadium in 2006.
When you look around University of Phoenix Stadium next season, though, will you be able to point those fans out? Will you look down on them if their first red jersey says “Fitzgerald” or “Leinart” instead of “Centers” or “Plummer”? Well, maybe if it says Leinart, but that’s a separate issue entirely.
The truth is, while there should absolutely be some level of pride and even achievement for someone who has been a fan since the SDS days, there is nothing wrong with anyone who is a recent addition to Cardinals fan hood.
Provided they stick around, of course.
Some of the people who proudly wear Cardinals gear these days will trade it in for some other team’s gear if and when the Cardinals begin to struggle, and those kind of “fans” are the scourge of the sports world. But chances are the vast majority of new Cards fans are not of that ilk; instead, they were either too young to really be fans or had just been waiting for the right time to finally go all-in with the franchise.
Assuming the Cardinals continue on their current trajectory, there is no reason to think their fan base won’t continue to grow. Many of those who hopped onto the bandwagon will in turn raise die-hards, and sooner or later you’ll have an incredibly loud, strong, and passionate base. That’s how it works.
But more than anything, the idea that the Cardinals have a bandwagon is great because of the most simple of reasons, one that should bring a smile to every Arizona fan’s face:
Bad teams don’t have bandwagons.