It wasn't that long ago that I drafted a post entitled Welcome to the Bandwagon. The premise was that, because the Texans were finally looking like a winning team, (yeah, wow) the team would be attracting legions of new fans, many finding their way to this humble corner of the blogosphere. Turns out that that post was a wee bit premature, to say the least. We did draw some new fans, but I bet quite a few of them lacked the stomach for the drunken shopping cart ride that lay ahead and promptly abandoned ship.
Nowadays, however, things are different. We are better. We are jinx-proof. And we are about to be a playoff team.
Which means more bandwagon fans. After the jump, here are my thoughts on how we can be welcoming to our new cohorts. Let's make like Wee Man and jump, shall we?
Since a lot of you have been around for a while, I won't go into the more basic things that you all know about the site. You guys know about the no-homophobic-slurs thing and whether or not it's kosher to mention someone. You know about the glossary. You know about Jordann and his panda suit and Tim and his Zima fetish. Let's go further. I want to dig down to a more advanced level of BRBology.
THE RULES REVISITED
Number One: We're Not As Cool As We Think.
Remember that girl you knew back in high school, who was a total loser and wanted to hang out with you and would probably put out but you didn't want to be seen with her? Remember how your id was totally like, "Dude, go for it!" and your ego was like, "Hells no you dumbass, everyone will laugh, and besides, if you ever saw a real female naked you would probably black out from a sudden lack of blood to the brain?" Remember how you, being the not-so-suave guy that you were back in those days, gave in to your ego and passed an opportunity to get down with her? Remember how you ran into her a few years later at a party when you were both home from college and she was totally hot? Remember how you got drunk and tried to hit on her only to watch her leave the party with some other guy while you puked in the rose bush out back because you, in your drunken stupor, foolishly puffed on a dried up Cubano that some guy handed you? And then you saw her at the mall the next day and you were hungover as hell and she gave you look that screamed out, "I can't believe I ever saw anything in that turd?"
We've all been there, right? Haven't we?
Right. In that
horrible memory from my past scenario, the girl represents the Texans, only they're not quite at the point that they're ready to go back to the old neighborhood, walk into a party and leave with the dude of their choice. It's more like they're that girl when she's at the stage where she has enough self-realization to be aware that she has been pretty much a moped her whole life and she's going to start doing something about it. She's started working out and died her hair. But she's not at hotty stage yet because she's still insecure and clingy, and until she gets some true self-confidence and/or buys a push up bra, she's still going to be begging people to pay attention to her.
That's where we are as a franchise and a fanbase. We are getting better, but in truth, we haven't really done anything yet. We're no longer to the point where we have to get people drunk to hook up with us, and when we do hook up, we still tend to sit by the phone in the days afterwards hoping for a call that never comes. Likewise, as Texans fans, we protest loudly that we don't care about how much the national media neglects us, but then we make MMQB our first stop on Monday mornings just to see where Peter King has ranked us in the Fine Fifteen.
In my opinion, there are two things to consider when dealing with this. First off, this team is going to do good things, and soon. Just like the girl in our example is going to develop more self-confidence and eventually be a head-turner who can afford to blow off douchebags that wouldn't talk to her in high school, this team is going to have success. Probably this year. You can't really change when you become a fan of your team, just like you can't change where you were born. But you can appreciate the ride, especially if you came on board when the team sucked. Even if you were a latecomer to Texans fandom, you can appreciate that this team (and this town) have yearned for quality football for years. So appreciate the ride up, because one day there will be a ride down.
Number Two: Humor Is Your Armor.
To save time, I'm going to quote from my previous post here.
Have you ever tried to tell someone outside of Houston that you're a Texans fan? Do you like the way you feel when you see the look on their face? That's why, in order to survive as a Texans fan when things were really bad, we turned to alcohol. And when alcohol ceased to be effective, we turned to humor. Acceptable targets for humor include, but are not limited to: David Carr, Darcy Maeda, Seth Wand, Phillip Buchanon, Matt Stevens, Charley Casserley, Dom Capers, the Houston Chronicle (more on this later) and Tony Boselli.
Other acceptable targets include: how funny it is that so many people hated the Cushing pick, Travis Johnson,Anthony Weaver, Petey Faggins, Dunta Robinson, Richard Smith, Frank Bush, Eugene Wilson and Rhonda Kubiak. Basically, anyone is fair game.
Now, this all applied last year because we still really sucked (even if we didn't know it yet). And now that we are on the verge of becoming successful, it's important to keep it in mind. Because being the funny losers who no one really minded is one thing. But being douchebags when your team is winning is, well, like being a Cowboys fan if the Cowboys ever won anything.
One of the many things that has made BRB great over the years is that we've never taken ourselves too seriously. I want to stress that being able to poke fun at yourself, even when you aren't doing it as a defense mechanism, is an important part of keeping this community vibrant and respected. Even if it feels completely weird.
Number Three: Vince Young Still Sucks.
You think that just because he now plays Ringo Starr to Mike Vick's John Lennon that VY somehow wriggles off the hook? Poppycock. Vince Young sucks. He sucked yesterday and he will suck tomorrow. And the day after that, until infinity. He. Just.
Wins. Games. Sucks. Also, it's acceptable to dislike Tim Tebow, not because of his overbearing cockiness, but because of his overbearing politeness. And the fact that mainstream media commentators fawn all over both of them while ignoring the awesome season we're putting together. And I got dumped at the prom, AND I'M STILL HURT EVEN THOUGH IT WAS 20 YEARS AGO.
Number Four: Thou Shalt Not Read The Chronicle.
Fairly self-explanatory, wouldn't you say? Noted exceptions are, of course, Steph, Lance Z and the occasional piece by Dale Robertson.
I think that pretty much covers it. I hope our long-time regulars continue to show respect to de-lurkers and welcome them into the fold. We're a long way from being as popular as the Cowboys or Steelers as far as fanbases go, but what we lack in racists and douchebags, hopefully we can make up with class and wit. Failing that, there's always inside jokes and risque pictures of Mila Kunis or that Christina model.