The city of Dallas as a whole is not as bad as the rest of the cities on this list but the Cowboys alone makeup the difference. Regardless of recent success, the Cowboys have arguably the largest sports bandwagon fan base in not only America but possibly the world. While the team has undoubtedly been successful throughout their history with 5 Super Bowls wins, they haven’t won a Super Bowl in over 22 years. Modern success isn’t what built this longhorn Cadillac of a bandwagon however. It most likely has something to do with the genius marketing of calling themselves “America’s Team.”
“Our Cowboys always wore white hats, was the good guys and represented what was best in America, and it just took hold. Certainly the cheerleaders didn’t hurt either,” Bryant Sewall, owner of the Phoenix Prowlers, told Bleacher Report. “The hole in the roof at Texas Stadium so God could watch the game added to the mystic as well.”
Due to this self-proclaimed title, they continue to be the most valuable sports team in the entire world. That means, you can travel anywhere in the world and the NFL team you will mostly likely find people wearing will be Dallas. If that isn’t the definition of a bandwagon sports city than I don’t know what is.
Like Boston, Chicago has a lot of history and success with their sports franchises but like LA, it is a much larger city. Although it may not last much longer, the Bulls are currently third in the NBA with 6 championships, completely dominating the ‘90s. Not only the best basketball player of all-time, Michael Jordan is still probably the most popular player ever to live. The Bears are also second in the NFL with 9 Super Bowl championships and still claim the only 2 championships the Cardinals have ever had while they were still in Chicago. Possibly more cultural influential however was the Bill Swerski’s Superfans SNL skit in the early ‘90s.
In one of the most popular SNL skits of all-time, people worldwide remember Chicago for Mike Ditka and “da Bears.” Chicago has also had the pleasure of claiming the Blackhawks, arguably the most bandwagon NHL team ever. What really set Chicago over the bandwagon threshold however was the Cubs finally winning a World Serious after long last. Like the Dodgers, Instagram everywhere saw girls from across America wearing a blue hat with that red C. While Chicago may be a large enough city to claim a huge fan base, it doesn’t justify all of the fans nationwide that have no Chicago affiliation.
Pitt is a bit more like Boston than LA in the sense of bandwagon sports cities. Whether it’s the success their teams have seen over the years or the obnoxious black and yellow, Pittsburgh seems to have more sports fans than an actual city population. While PNC Park is definitely one of the best ballparks to enjoy an MLB game, the Pirates are not the main reason for the nationwide Pitt obsession. The Penguins are notorious for their bandwagon fans amongst the NHL with Sidney Crosby continuously selling the most jerseys. It doesn’t hurt that they have won the Stanley Cup for the past two seasons either. The main reason I feel Pittsburgh has such an abnormally large bandwagon however is because of the Steelers. The Steelers are forth in the NFL with 6 Super Bowl Championships, 4 of which came in only six-consecutive seasons of each other throughout the ‘70s. If you ask a person outside of Pitt why they are a Steelers fan, they will likely respond, “because my dad was.” The ‘70s converted boys nationwide to root for Pitt while the ’05 and ’08 Super Bowl wins solidified the younger generations support. For how small of a city Pittsburgh is, they have probably the most disproportionally large fan base, making them a true bandwagon city.
2. Los Angeles
LA is a perfect bandwagon city. Of course, they have seen great success in certain sports throughout history. Regardless, people across America will wear Los Angeles gear regardless of if they have ever actually visited the city, let alone attended a game or not. LA is a cool city. It is a city where celebrities live and where pretty much everyone else in America wants to move but can’t afford to. Other than perhaps the Yankees, a Dodgers hat is an Instagram favorite for girls who don’t actually care about the team or the sport. The fact that it says, “LA” is enough to get a few extra likes.
The Lakers aren’t much better either. Even if they are having a terrible season, appearing courtside at a Lakers game is more of a fashion trend for celebrities than actually enjoying the game. Want to play a fun game? The next time you see someone wearing a Dodgers hat or a Lakers jersey, ask them to name more than one current player.
It’s hard to create a list for the most bandwagon sports cities without mentioning Boston. It is a city that runs deep, not only in American history but more importantly, sports history. They hold one of the original eight NBA teams, one of only two that still resides in their original location, one of the original American Football teams, one of the original MLB teams, and one of the original six NHL teams. A common thread for nearly all bandwagon sports fans is the lineage excuse and a city with old teams is a breeding ground for this. It will usually be a claim to have some connection to the city or specific team, no matter how obscure it may be. Even though we all know the real reason they like a team is because they are good and we don’t care that their grandpa visited Boston on a business trip in 1956 (that goes for you Duke fans as well.)
Those overly cocky chowder eaters don’t just have history to cling to either. The Patriots are tied for fifth with 5 Super Bowl championships, dominating modern history. The Bruins are tied for fourth in the NHL with 19 Stanly Cup appearances and 6 championships. Regardless of the “curse,” the Red Sox are fifth in the MLB for World Series wins and the Celtics are first in the NBA with 17 championships. For a grey, old city, Boston has nothing better to do than worship their sports teams and the rest of America has taken pleasure in riding that successful bandwagon.