Fairweather fans, the Tartans bandwagon is passing though

Sports fans, we all have that friend, and you know who I’m talking about: he’s the “number one Steelers fan,” but doesn’t know anything about them other than the fact that the they just won the Super Bowl. Pittsburgh is just the ultimate sports town, he says, seeing as the Penguins just won the Stanley Cup too. But he’s the one who heckles you for staying true to the Pirates even though they haven’t had a winning season for 17 years because “his” Phillies won the World Series last year; it doesn’t matter that he’s never been to Philadelphia in his life. Oh, and no matter that Pittsburgh doesn’t have a basketball team — the Los Angeles Lakers just won the NBA championship!

We all know him — the fairweather fan, or bandwagon fan.

But as annoying as bandwagoners are, and as much as I dislike them, I admit that they add to team spirit.

Hailing from Los Angeles, I have been brought up a Lakers fan. However, as great a city as Los Angeles is, it doesn’t have a football team. But when I arrived at Carnegie Mellon last year, the Steelers just so happened to win the Super Bowl six months later. Without hesitation, I hopped on the Steelers bandwagon and (safely and not destructively) rioted in celebration.

As much as I hated the Lakers’ fairweather fans when I was back at home, I have a new perspective now that I am coming from the other side. After the Steelers won, they gave me a reason to watch professional football, as well as another reason to be proud of my adopted hometown. Rooting for the same team has allowed me to connect to other fans, be they hardcore third-generation Steelers fans or bandwagoners like myself.

So my suggestion to you, the Carnegie Mellon student population, is to jump on a bandwagon! And I have the perfect wagon for you to jump on: Tartan athletics.

Carnegie Mellon is known for its intense team spirit, if you count the computer science department as a team. Contrary to the overwhelming recognition academics receives, support at athletic events is lacking, even though we have all reasons to be loyal to our athletes.

Currently, our football, tennis, soccer, volleyball, and cross country teams are doing exceptionally well. We have even fostered several University Athletic Association players of the week. Despite our athletic teams’ accomplishments, event attendance is laughable. It seems like the only people in the stands are those who personally know or are related to an athlete.

The Student Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) has taken note of this display of poor attendance and has instated the Tartan Rewards Program, which promotes event attendance through giveaways, prizes, raffles, and even a “SuperFan” banquet that will be held at the end of the year. Hopping on the Tartan athletics bandwagon doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?

Pittsburgh is the city of champions. Carnegie Mellon nurtures its students to become champions in their respective academic fields. Tartan athletics can combine the two to create a dynamite school spirit that will resonate throughout your college experience. Therefore, attendance at such events should be part of every Carnegie Mellon student’s life. Although Tartan athletics obviously cannot compare to the grandeur of Division I sports, going to games promotes school spirit and shows support for your classmates — not to mention getting you out of those windowless computer clusters.