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Tuning Up The Band(wagon)

Posted by Twins and Losses , 27 September 2017 · 995 views

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Tuning Up The Band(wagon) Yes the title is a wrestling joke. Yes I hate Apple IS 1984. Yes the Twins are on the cusp of a trip to the post-season for the first time since 2010. Regardless, a few weeks ago we had Sean Thornton (Bleeding Royal Blue) on the podcast to fill in while Dan was out of town. Sean and I have never met as he lives in Kansas and I’m in Minnesota (Shout out to Barry for introducing us online!). One of the topics Sean brought up was the Royals’ winning the World Series, and all of the bandwagon fans that started to fill Kauffman Stadium after their World Series appearance, and subsequent win the following season.

As a Minnesotan, one of our favorite past times is ripping the Chicago Blackhawk’s fan base for being a bunch of bandwagon fans. It also doesn’t help that they can claim multiple Stanley Cup trophies to Minnesota’s collective zero. The Wild’s slogan of “The State of Hockey” isn’t just because we have another NHL franchise in the state (Norm Green STILL sucks), but because most of us have played hockey at some point in our life. Outdoor rinks pop up every winter in neighborhood parks, and possibly a neighbor’s backyard. Whether you own a pair of hockey skates, figure skates, or even shoes and boots; you can always find a sheet of ice to play on.

The same can’t be said for baseball, where the Twins got their start in 1961. It’s not that baseball was new to Minnesota when the former Senators arrived, it’s that baseball isn’t a sport you can easily play throughout the year when 5-7 months are below freezing and the fields have been turned into ice rinks. I can remember playing baseball and softball in cooler weather and having pain shoot up my arms as the aluminum bat connected with the colder than usual ball. That’s not ideal, nor does it feel too good.

Luckily winter doesn’t last the entire year and we get around 5 months of warm weather to play baseball. For guys like Dan and I, the start of spring training is our groundhog seeing it’s shadow. Spring is officially on the way, and so is baseball. For as beautiful as Target Field is, there have been some terrible home owners where snow boots and winter coats have trumped wearing a jersey and jeans. But that’s okay because God invented alcohol to keep us warm!… Wait, that’s not true. I’m an Eagle Scout, so allow me to tell you all about “false heat…”

Alright, I’ll spare that topic for a different day. What I’m trying to say is Dan and I love baseball. Baseball isn’t just something we talk about when we’re bored. Baseball is something we talk about all year round. We are the guys that will sift through the Twins’ Reddit page for any morsel of news. Some days I’ll send Dan a text at 4:30 in the morning when I see something noteworthy I’ve scrolled past on Twitter. Other times Dan will text me after 8PM (bedtime for a morning show radio host) to let me know about a Brian Dozier in-the-park home run off a bunt. For as taxing as running and producing your own podcast can be, we still enjoy doing it throughout the year because it allows us to talk about baseball, and enjoy it together.

We’ve talked about being a gatekeeper on previous podcasts. How it’s uncool to prevent someone from liking what you enjoy just because they haven’t been into it, or know as much as you. I’m not saying that all bandwagon fans will be honest about it. Trust me, you all know one of your friends or family members “that’s totally loved the Twins since *enter their birth-date here*,” even though they’ve never been to the Metrodome or Target Field, and hates Joe Mauer because “this guy at the bar said he got hurt once.” Those kinds of “fans” will always exist (stares longingly at the cities of Chicago and New England and Dallas and New York and Los Angeles and their fans spread throughout the country), but that doesn’t mean all bandwagon fans are like that.

You can help a bandwagon fan become a casual Twins fan (this potential post-season run would be a great starting point), and you can turn your casual fans into a hardcore fan. If the Twins win the World Series this year, I know who it’s going to mean more to, and it’s probably not the person who just bought a shirsey to wear to the ticker tape parade.

- Panda Pete

(Originally posted on TwinsAndLosses.com)

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