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Bandwagoners, Gas Station Jerseys and Hipsters: Why San Francisco Sports Fans Are The Worst
Candlestick Park in San Francisco is closing after more than 50 years of sports memories. The San Francisco 49ers are about to play their last NFL game at the stadium they have called home since 1971. Candlestick Park was also home to baseball's Giants from 1960 to 1999.

Bandwagoners, Gas Station Jerseys and Hipsters: Why San Francisco Sports Fans Are The Worst

candlestick 49ers

I love the Bay Area, we are the hub of progressive values, great food and beautiful weather (Unless you live in the Richmond district of San Francisco). The Bay Area is also known for its historic sports franchises; from the Say Hey Kid Willie Mays and the San Francisco Giants to the Mad Bomber Daryle Lamonica and the Oakland Raiders. I’m sure back in the good old days there was a friendly East Bay-West Bay (San Francisco and Peninsula) rivalry between the die-hard fans on both ends of the Bay Bridge. Unfortunately, the San Francisco fan base has been diluted and polluted with a plethora of bandwagon fans who call themselves the “faithful” and “melk man” all while wearing their panda hats and freshly purchased gas station Kaepernick T-shirt jersey.

I have seen firsthand how the growing gang of hipsters and yuppies have joined the ever growing bandwagon of the Giants and 49ers. It seems like just yesterday that mobs of wealthy college kids from Orange County and the Pacific Northwest had a bon fire at the University of San Francisco to celebrate their “hometown” San Francisco Giants World Series win. They were soon joined by their pot smoking Toms shoes wearing brethren from around the Bay Area to honor Tim Lincecum and the rest of the San Francisco Giants at the World Series parade. The same fanbase that called East Bay fans thugs and lowlifes were now rioting and burning down the freshly gentrified Mission District and MUNI buses. Where were all these Giants “fans” when Robbie Thompson and Will Clark were playing at the Stick?

To my dismay, the San Francisco Giants World Series run and the throngs of bandwagon fans that followed would soon be eclipsed by the rise of the “faithful”. For nearly a decade both Bay Area football franchises had hit rock bottom as jokesters like Mike Singletary, Lane Kiffin, Dennis Erickson, Art Shell, Bill Callahan and Terry Donaghue had led both teams into the gutter. While Raiders fans were still acting like the loud and proud fans that personifies the Raider Nation, you could hardly hear a peep from anybody but the die-hard 49ers fans.

The tipping point for San Francisco 49ers bandwagonism came during the 49ers remarkable upset victory over the New Orleans Saints. For these brand new “die-hard” fans, Alex Smith was the next Joe Montana as his awful history had no precedence in their football history. When San Jose native Kyle Williams fumbled away the 49ers chance to make the Super Bowl, these fans writhed in pain like a Spanish soccer player on the pitch.

Of course these new 49ers fans had no idea what free agency or the draft was but they soon donned their freshly bought gas station 49ers gear as the season got into full swing. Soon Colin Kaepernick became the flavor of the month(Glutten free, organic freshly made flavor mind you) and Alex Smith became a martyr after he lost his job. When the San Francisco 49ers lost the Super Bowl, the Oakland Raiders trended on twitter because the PBR induced drunk tweets of 49ers fans commenced. Even today you will see the 49ers new throngs of fans “watching” the games while indulging in “Sunday funday” mimosas at a local Marina bar that has a 15 inch TV.

What made the rise of the “faithful” so infuriating was the incompetent smack talk that came from their mouths. I could take the “Al Davis is a crypt keeper” or “JaMarcus Russell” shots all day but the “Raiders Suck” remarks just wouldn’t do. It is frustrating to hear smack talk that is as eloquent as  Frank Gore during pregame introductions. There is nothing worse than having to deal with a mob of bandwagon fans trying to insult a fan base that has been repping their team through the thick and thin.


I blame the fall of San Francisco sports fans on the throngs of young hipsters who have moved to the Bay Area. These fans have tarnished the great legacy of Bay Area fandom. My great joy of the Golden State Warriors success last year was soon replaced with gloom as new Stephen Curry jerseys were popping up all over the city. The empty BART trains that would usually take me back to San Francisco after leaving Oracle arena were soon replaced by rambunctious trains packed with fans yelling “whose got it better than us” chants by fans who probably forgot what sport they were watching.

The once great culture of Bay Area fandom has now turned into the great divide of cultures. The Raider Nation and the green and gold fanatics are still out there putting their heart and soul on the line for their beloved Oakland franchises. While AT&T Park and Candlestick has been diluted with the fair-weather fans of San Francisco.



Malk was born and raised in the Bay Area. He likes to enjoy his Sunday’s watching football and drinking beer.



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  1. Really easy to compare 49ers/Giants with 2 teams that haven’t won anything in 20+ years. Don’t think for a second that bandwagon fans don’t happen in every city in America with teams that have newfound success, that’s the nature of sports, like it or not. When (if?) the A’s or Raiders win the big one (and get a new stadium), you can bet your hipster ass there will be an influx of bandwagon fans. You might as well quit watching sports or being a fan of any team if that’s what you worry about. Furthermore, SF has a huge population of non-bay area native Gen X and Gen Y people that it’s no surprise they are excited to root for their new home’s winning team. Would you expect anything less?

  2. Dude the Raiders do Suck. Accept it.

  3. Not fair at all. I was a bandwagon Giants fan in 2002 and it led to a lifetime of diehard fandom. Let the bandwagoners join in on the fun, it’s not like they get the same fulfillment as the diehards anyway.

  4. I watched my 1st birthday video on VHS and i was decked out with my niner sweater and sweat pants. so, to whoever wrote these simple minded blog, go F yourself.

  5. You SF fans just don’t get it. This seems to be the only way you can respond to the issue. Nobody is comparing the bay area teams here. We have love for all bay area teams. This is simply about “BANDWAGON FANS” which are obviously sporting the San Francisco brand. All these flags hanging from peoples cars, where were they a couple years ago? Also, in 2011, I was at the O. Co watching the A’s host the newly crowned champs, the Giants, in an exhibition. It was a friendly day, everyone was welcome. I was with my family. A group of teens, Giants fans of course, were sitting a few rows below us. Before the first pitch, one of them stands up out of nowhere and yells out “F*ck the A’s!’ No one had time for that negativity. I guess we all new it was just some loud mouth band-wagoner who didn’t know what he was saying, cause everyone else just ignored it. But, this is exactly what goes on and it’s just a shame. Dwell on that.

  6. And yes, a lot of us do come from the “hood” and most of us “ghetto people” can’t afford to buy tickets too often so of course you don’t see the sell outs. Best believe were out there representing behind the television and out in public, always.

  7. I couldn’t agree with you more Malk. Those nit-wits who never came out to the ‘Stick to see the ‘Rober Craig ‘Humm-Baby’ teams of the 1980s, or never watched the great teams of the Montana/Young/Walsh/Seifert era have absolutely no historical knowledge or interest in our teams, or any other teams for that matter. They go out there simply because the teams have been successful and it’s the ‘hip’ thing to do in SF. If the bay area had to depend solely on the hard core fans, they wouldn’t fill up half of the stadium for any of the games. Our Giants fans today remind me a lot more of the Dodgers’ crowds back in the pre 1990s era in LA. Most are not even watching the game but rather, texting, tweeting, facebooking, or talking on the cell phones during the game any annoying any of the hardcore fans who sit nearby. My in laws who have season tickets said that the other night that the enjoyment of the game was ruined by these idiot 20 something year olds who they had never seen at the game who spent the entire night talking loudly on their cell phones and comparing tweets. There are more people interested in wearing panda and giraffe hats at Giants games, and don’t get me started about the Niners bandwagon fans. They have the gall to call themselves: “The Niners Empire!” Who the heck are they? None of them were even around when the Niners experienced their greatest success, and they could care less about those teams.

  8. Barry Joe Montanalow

    So according to you idiots, someone has to do their history and turn in a 30 page term paper on the Greatness of old 49er and Giants players and fill out an application to be fan?? Fvcking get over it!! Not everyone is hitting their forties and fifties like you old farts! So what, if we weren’t alive back then, we’re not allowed to be fans? This has got to be one of the dumbest articles I’ve ever wasted my time to read!

    I’m insulted by the extremely biased viewpoint beginning with the title. ALL successful teams have bandwagon fans. Not just here in the Bay Area, you narrow-minded twit!! I’m sorry that the Raiders suck, but it’s a fact that you need to deal with. 10+ years without a winning season? No wonder why you’re so butthurt!

    So the few bad apples you had to face are representative of all Giants and Niners fans? Way to GENERALIZE and make irrational conclusions about the fanbase.

    Now that you’re older, you need to start thinking about being mature, not writing asinine articles like this garbage.

  9. Look man I am a 49ers fan living in Atlanta for over 20 years. I could write this very same article about Falcons fan……this is so generic.

  10. At what point did you become a Raider fan? Was it because of your friends? Your Family? Your Environment? Wouldn’t that make you a follower, or better yet, a bandwagoner in a different sense? Lets face it, everyone has their first moment they chose (or didn’t) they were a fan and who cares if it comes after a big win. Fans equal revenue, revenue equals better players and better amenities, better players and better amenities makes being a lifelong fan, or a recent one, just that much better.

    I think the general consensus in this comment area all point to the same bottom line: You are just mad the Raiders can’t get bandwagon fans*.

    *From winning seasons. Sharing the love for black and silver makeup doesn’t count, that’s a style (or lack thereof) choice.

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