Normally in each sports lovers life they’ve had to deal with one of their favorite teams being bad.
Being from Cincinnati, and attending Miami University, I’ve dealt with many bad . . .scratch that, terrible seasons.
The Cincinnati Bengals have been better in recent years (outside the playoffs), while the Reds are in the midst of rebuilding. That has made me start thinking if the Reds are becoming bad again, and the Bengals start to become bad again, why should I want to stay on the wagon? Why should I endure losing seasons, missed playoffs, and ridicule from Pittsburgh and St. Louis fans?
If you ever have this thought, I’ve come up with five reasons why I believe loving your bad team can pay off.
1. You Have Loved Them In The Past
They are your team!
If you have pride for, not only your team, but your city then why give up on them ever?
Yes, they break your heart sometimes and make you so mad that you scream at the TV but, your team is your team. Period.
When having this anger just remember why you loved them in the first place. Take a deep breath and remember the game when they clinched the playoffs or won the championship in their respective sport (if they have been lucky enough).
If that doesn’t help then remember the players who captured your heart as a child. Fond memories like these can help you forget about the bad team that you are watching now.
2. Switching To Another Team Is Normally Just Bandwagoning
While I understand the temptation, DO NOT SWITCH TEAMS!
This makes you look even worse to all of your friends, and it shouldn’t feel right to you.
I know that I was tempted to switch to cheering on the Colts recently. Andrew Luck and the fact that they were still relatively close were enticing.
I wanted a team that did not consistently lose in the first round of the playoffs. Even though I threatened to be done with the Cincinnati Bengals I’ve stayed true. If I had switched, I would have been a huge bandwagoner. If the Colts would have become frustrating and the Bengals would have become a Super Bowl caliber team then I would have looked like a fool when I switched back.
3. They Will Be Good Again
Why miss out on the times that they are good? Then you can brag about them being good!
Normally teams go through bad times, and it could be a long time between championships or even good seasons. While it may feel like it is never going to get better, it almost always does. (Unless your team changes cities in which case I am truly sorry).
Either management will be changed, or the players will finally develop into a cohesive group that can play well. When these things happen, and they normally do, your team will be enjoyable to watch again.
4. Young Players Are Fun To Watch Grow Good or Bad
Personally I think one of the best things to do when watching a team do poorly is to watch the young up and coming players.
They could be the lifeblood of your team eventually. Getting to know them early through their ups and downs is what makes you grow attached to them.
When they reach expectations or even surpass them you root for them even more. It is great to see their development. You feel a much bigger connection with them because you genuinely want to see them succeed.
When they are finally a part of a solid team with other young players that you care about it makes it even more satisfying to see them win!
5. If You Are A True Fan, It Is Like Marriage Is Supposed To Be
Lastly being a true fan is like being married. (Although I am not, yet)
Whether your team is good or bad, you should love them through better or worse and in sickness or health until death do you part.
Even if your team dies (leaves), you should still continue to have the fervor for them. Places like Montreal, who lost the Expos, and Seattle, who lost the SuperSonics are still passionate about their team even though they are no longer with them.
This love and desire has allowed commissioners of each respective sport to consider these cities when either adding new teams or moving some teams to another location.
Fans should be loyal, and their loyalty normally pays off. It is even more satisfying to stick with a team through worse and sickness because when they are better and in good health you can enjoy them more.
When your team is bad go back to these five reasons and remind yourself of the good time and that overall it will get better.
Also finding the small things will help you enjoy them more when they do get better.
Lastly, that loyalty pays off because once your team achieves greatness you have the bragging rights, my friend. Take it from a Cincinnati fan who has seen and heard about the some of the bad times.
It can sometimes suck. But when you go to a game and see Jay Bruce walk off with a home run in the ninth over the Astros, allowing the Reds to go to the playoffs for the first time in a long time, you stop thinking about the bad times. You bask in the moment and love it even more than you thought you would.