The bandwagon is a popular word that is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as: a popular party, faction, or cause that attracts growing support. It is often used in such phrases as jump on the bandwagon. Almost everyone has been accused of "jumping on the bandwagon," whether it was for a fashion trend, musician, style of music, social media app, or the ever so popular sports bandwagon. With the 2018 FIFA World Cup currently in progress, soccer fans across the world have come to an interesting bandwagon predicament as of this past Saturday.
With the early elimination of several popular teams in the Round of 16 such as: Portugal, Argentina, Mexico, Japan and Spain, followed by: Brazil, Sweden, Uruguay, and the host country Russia in the Quarter-Finals, fans were left questioning whether they were watching the 2018 FIFA World Cup or the Euro Cup. France, Belgium, Croatia, and England are the four teams left to battle it out in the Semi-Finals with the ultimate goal of course to advance and play in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final. However, with only European countries left, fans around the world are trying to avoid "jumping on the bandwagon" while still trying to pick a team to root for. The question is, can you actually avoid becoming a bandwagon fan?
In this situation, for many soccer fans, the answer is going to be no. Sure, there are fans that have been dedicated to a single national team for years. There are also fans that have just found their interest in soccer and are beginning to follow and dedicate themselves to a national team. However, one of the great things about soccer, and in my opinion one of the reasons that make soccer the best sport in the world, is that the soccer fan base doesn't really care about bandwagon fans. More often than not, most fans follow several national teams being that the national teams are comprised of members of different clubs within their country. However, it is highly unrealistic that a soccer fan would support only European national teams, thus, leading to fans having to "jump on the bandwagon" and permitting the 2018 FIFA World Cup to take an interesting turn for fans.
However, when choosing a team to become a bandwagon fan for, I believe the best way to choose a team is by looking at the team's statistics. Watching highlights and replays provide a great visual and definitely should not be ignored. However, they only show the exciting, interesting, or game-changing moments in a match, hence why they are called highlights and why they are replayed. When you look at statistics, it is a layout of the entire match and you are able to compare both teams side by side. You can look at an individual player's stats in addition to the teams as a unit. Statistics also are documented and kept a lot longer than highlights and replays due to copyright infringement.
In the end, whether you choose to support the French "Les Bleus", the Belgian "Les Diables Rouges", the Croatian "Vatreni" or the English "The Three Lions", they are four talented, well-deserving and diverse teams, even if they do all come from Europe. Regardless, a European team will be winning the 2018 FIFA World Cup and it will be interesting to see where soccer fan's loyalties lie.