I thought this ajc.com article was interesting, but I do not think it is a new phenomenon.
“We’re fair-weather fans here in Atlanta,” Champs store manager Terry Presley said. Though Hawks jerseys are selling more briskly following the organization’s first playoff series win since 1999, other teams’ stars still rule our decidedly non-partisan corner of the NBA universe.
It’s a local phenomenon not restricted to basketball. Cowboys and Steelers fans typically show up in large numbers whenever Dallas and Pittsburgh come to Atlanta. The same applies at Turner Field when the Red Sox and Cubs visit.
“There’s a bandwagon element to Atlanta fans that doesn’t just apply to Atlanta teams,” said John Kincaid, co-host of “Buck and Kincaid” on 680 The Fan.
When I was growing up, there were always kids that were Cubs and Yankees fans. Of course cable and the Super Station helped spread the Braves, but not everyone followed the local teams. Same for football – Cowboys and Steelers dominated, but that was typical for the time.
Growing up in SEC country, it was fairly predictable that everyone followed Georgia, Alabama (Bear was akin to God), and Auburn, with a smattering of a few others. Of course there were always your random Irish fans, and the yearly fluctuations of new teams depending on who was at the top of the polls. For example, the rise of The U saw influx of obvious bandwagon jumpers. And so it went.
When I moved to Atlanta was the first time I realized that no one living in Atlanta was actually from Atlanta. Still, you would expect transients to eventually pull for their new hometown team. Not so much.
It always sucks going to Falcons games and seeing so many opposing fans; kind of kills the home dome advantage. Then again, it was joy watching all ‘Da Bears fans hang their heads after Atlanta kicked them in their collective nuts last year.
And with that … I’m out. Happy Saturday!