Opinion

Hop on the Bandwagon

03.21.12_Page_07_Image_0001The New York Giants, House Music, #Kony2012, Jeremy Lin, – go ahead, hop on the bandwagon.

What exactly is a “bandwagon?” It’s a term that’s used rather frequently, that’s for sure. For our generation, “hopping on the bandwagon” can best be described as publicly supporting a conduct, or belief, for mainly one reason only, because everyone else is partial to it.

As more people begin to believe in something, others come to believe it as well, and for decades, this has been a trend. From the poodle girls and leather jackets of the 50’s, to the legwarmers and fingerless gloves of the 80’s, we as humans like to follow trends; apparently it’s in our nature.

There’s nothing wrong with preferring one thing over another, even when that preference is of the masses, however, “hopping on the bandwagon” has become a term seen in negative light, and apparently those on the “bandwagon” are not respected.

This past football season, both the New York Giants and the New York Jets had a plethora of support from their fans. Each week closer to the playoffs, the Giants and Jets rivalry grew as each side hoped their team would secure a spot in Super Bowl XLVI. On Christmas Eve, the New York Jets ruined their chances, losing to a top rival, the New England Patriots, a hard feat to swallow for any fan. Despite any Jet fans hopes and wishes, the Giants made it to the Super Bowl, and so the “bandwagon” began.

“All of a sudden everyone’s a Giants fan,” said Michael Ciprello, a senior at the University. “Your team [the Jets] looses, so you throw on a Giant jersey as if they’re your second choice. If your team loses, deal with it and wait until next season, don’t all of a sudden become a fan of the winning team just because they’re winning. That’s a bandwagon fan, and I don’t like them!”

Ciprello went on to add that a bandwagon fan will cheer for a successful team because they would rather cheer for someone, than for no one. “They don’t get the point of being a fan, through good and bad,” he adds.

Bandwagon fans are everywhere it seems. The newest NBA sensation, and starting point guard for the New York Knicks, Jeremy Lin, has gained a lot of attention this rocky NBA season. The Knicks, known for their unstable performance from season to season, have gained and lost fans with every free throw attempt.

Lin came to this year’s short season like a Harvard whirlwind, averaging 22.4 points per game, according to ESPN. com. He seemed to be just what the Knicks needed, a total phenomenon, and the previously quiet, dormant Knicks fans noticed his talent. Mesmerizing to watch at first, “Jeremy Lin is the future,” was posted all over Facebook and Twitter.

Lin’s lucky number “17” jersey sold like overpriced beer at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks were back, and so were their socalled “fans.”

Currently, the Knicks are lower in standings than originally anticipated for the Eastern Conference, with 20 wins and 24 losses. The once overly excited fans, ready for a conference championship, have abruptly dulled down. “We all got excited for Lin, he was going to change the game for the Knicks. At first he did, but it wasn’t enough,” said alumnus Rob Abolt.

“I’ve always been a Knicks fan, but they’ve been so bad the past few years I gave up hope, but with Lin I got excited. I hopped on the Lin bandwagon and hoped for the best … but yet again I’m disappointed,” he added.

Bandwagon fans don’t only apply to the sports world; music also falls victim to those partial to trends. House music, consisting of hard artificial beets and little lyrics, has boomed in popularity over the last few years. A genre that was once solely for the “club head” has made its way to the ultimate mass music murderer, commonly known as the radio.

“Everyone’s all into house music all of a sudden,” said Vincent Mahmoud, a student at Monmouth. “They put it on the radio and everyone think it’s cool. They hop on the house bandwagon because its something new being commercialized. It was cool before it was on the radio … what the radio plays is garbage, good house you need to go out and find on your own.”

And then of course, there’s the infamous 30-minute video about a boy in Uganda named Jacob, and the man in power who needs to be stopped. When the “Kony 2012” video was released, it exploded into the minds of everyone who saw it, some 82 million currently to date.

There was much controversy surrounding the release of the video, especially throughout the target audience, the U.S. People began posting throughout various social networking sites their thoughts on the whole ordeal.

Many hopped right on the bandwagon, agreeing that what was occurring in Uganda was horrible, and needed to be stopped immediately. Others, who agreed the situation was appalling, felt that there was nothing anyone could do, not with a twitter or status update for that matter.

“People see other people posting about something, even if they have no idea what its really about, they feel compelled to start posting about it too, feel like they need to do something about it, but forget the next day,” said Joe Koenig, a Monmouth junior.

“The Kony thing was funny,” he added, “because I know people were posting about it without even seeing the video, so many people are like that with everything, straight bandwagoners.”

Follow the trend, hop on the bandwagon; these are one in the same. But either way some things will never change. There will always be a new phenomenon, a new hype, and a new topic for opinion. Whatever you chose, take a stand, know the purpose, but have a reason: don’t be a bandwagon fan.

PHOTO COURTESY of communities.washingtonpost.com