Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Bandwagon Test

Watching the Portland play Dallas in Game 3, I was struck by how amazing the Trail Blazers crowd was. Loud, energetic and engaged, they were essentially everything Miami fans aren't. Yes, I'm still all up in arms over Miami's bandwagon.

Please understand one thing; the people I'm all up in arms over are those who couldn't tell me who the Heat drafted when they missed out on Derrick Rose in 2008. There are true Heat fans out there, just like there are very good Lakers fans out there who suffered through the Smush Parker, Chris Mihm, and Kwame Brown years. These good people should not be confused with the bandwagon jumpers, and are not the targets of my ire.

So I decided we need a test. A list of questions that would weed out the wheat from the chaff. This test can be modified and used on any possible bandwagon fan in any sport (ie: the Yankees, the Red Sox/Celtics, the Lakers, the Bulls, the Patriots/Packers/Steelers, and the Cowboys if they ever get good again) simply by modifying the questions. And here are my requirements for the Heat, 10 basically easy questions that true fans SHOULD be able to answer.

  1. What year did the Miami Heat become a franchise in the NBA?
  2. What team was Miami's bitter rival during the 90's?
  3. What All Star post player for the Heat made an inspiring comeback to the NBA after kidney surgery?
  4. In what year did the Heat win their first NBA championship, and who did they beat?
  5. What coach did Pat Riley replace at the helm for Miami's championship run, and what current division rival does he coach now?
  6. In 2008, the Heat got the second pick of the NBA draft, missing out on Derrick Rose. Who did they pick?
  7. Name the last two teams to knock Miami out of the NBA playoffs.
  8. Who is the current coach of the Miami Heat?
  9. Name two members of the Miami starting lineup that aren't named LeBron, Dwyane, or Chris.
  10. In what arena do the Heat play their home games?
  1. 1987-1988
  2. New York Knicks
  3. Alonzo Mourning
  4. 2006, Dallas Mavericks
  5. Stan Van Gundy, Orlando Magic
  6. Michael Beasley
  7. Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics
  8. Eric Spoelstra
  9. Mike Bibby, Zydrunas Ilgauskas
  10. American Airlines Arena

Worthy of Respect- 9 or 10 correct answers
I dub thee...not a douchebag
Anybody who can get 9 or 10 of these answers correct is a Miami Heat fan for life. Hate the team all you want, but respect these fans.

A Passing Grade- 7 or 8 correct answers

Gandalf HATES bandwagon jumpers.

Members of this group are safe from blatant outward questions regarding their loyalty. They are likely either sincere fans of the NBA who decided on the Heat, or Heat fans who are under the age of 25, which would make questions about the early years of the franchise more difficult. Still. Feel free to judge them inwardly, if you feel the need.

THE BARE NECESSITIES- 5 or 6 correct answers
If you can think of an excuse to put Baloo into your NBA post, you do it. Plain and simple
This group could be legitimate...or they could have just gotten lucky. Here's a tip: if they are wearing a LeBron James shirt or jersey, be very wary of them. If their Heat apparel looks well worn and loved, give them a grudging pass.

THE WORST OF THE WORST- Less than 5 correct answers
Sew this to their clothes when they aren't looking.
Violence is not encouraged, but glaring is very appropriate. Anyone who can't answer this many questions correctly regarding their so-called "favorite" sports team doesn't deserve to wear the colors. Hand these people a copy of Bill Simmons' Book of Basketball with a shake of the head and a clever, derisive comment.

Keep fighting the good fight, and keep true fandom alive!


  1. I like that you consider giving someone The Book of Basketball punishment.

  2. Haha. It's definitely not punishment, just a very accessible, easy to read solution for stupidity.