DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 16: Anthony Dixon #84 of the Francisco 49ers jumps into a crowd of fans after defeating the Detroit Lions 25-19 at Ford Field on October 16, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
Yesterday evening a destitute Minnesota Vikings wrote up a FanPost asking for a one season pass to change his allegiance to the San Francisco 49ers. Given how the last decade has gone, this caught me a little bit off guard. I know the bandwagon is filling up, but it is still an odd feeling for this 49ers fan. The 49ers have been preseason favorites in the NFC West a couple of times over the last 6+ years, but they struggled out of the gate and sent any potential bandwagon off a cliff.
Now, the 49ers head into a bye week at 5-1, coming off back to back wins against first place teams in the Detroit Lions and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Now the team gets a bye week for their stunning rise to success to marinate with the media. There is still a ton of football to be played so I am not going to get too far ahead of myself. But it is a fact that the 49ers are officially becoming a bandwagon favorite. That FanPost is proof of that.
The issue becomes how to handle the bandwagon. Personally, I am a believer that you can never abandon your team except for if they move to another city or do everything in their power to completely piss on fan support. At this point the latter category is a tough one to fill in my mind. There are some struggling teams, but that category requires an epic amount of incompetence. I don't see enough of it in the NFL at this point. Just because your team is no good this year does not strike me as a legitimate reason to abandon them in their darkest hour.
While I do not encourage the bandwagon phenomenon, it is one which long time 49ers fans will have to deal with in the coming weeks, particularly if the team continues at this crazy rate of success. Some will be fans of other teams struggling right now, and some will be "born again" fans that abandoned the team over the last eight years. And, as happens with any overcrowding situation, we need to have some rules to maintain order.
Given that we have what I would consider the best community of 49ers fans out there, I thought I'd open the floor to rule suggestions. If you have no interest in bandwagon fans so be it. Feel free to move along and ignore them. However, since this is something we will "fortunately" have to deal with, what are should be the rules of the house? If we get enough good suggestions, I might even put together a post we can bookmark and provide a link to for bandwagon fans.