We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Fairweather Fan?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Sports n' Hobbies is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Sports n' Hobbies, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A fairweather fan is someone who is only interested in a sports team when it is doing well. The term may also be used to describe political followers, music fans, and followers of various figures in the entertainment industry such as directors, actors, and so forth. As a general rule, fairweather fans are heavily criticized by people who regard themselves a loyal fans, sticking with a team through bad times as well as good ones.

This term is especially common in sports, thanks to the fact that the fortunes of a sports team are easy to follow and understand. A fairweather fan tends to root for the team which is doing well, ignoring that team if it starts to fail and sometimes switching loyalties, even to an opponent. People sometimes refer to fairweather fans as “bandwagoners,” referencing the idea that they “jump on the bandwagon” of a team which is doing well.

A number of things influence loyalty to sports teams and other entities in the entertainment world. Often, the entertainment value is a major factor. It isn't very much fun, for example, to watch a team lose over and over again, especially if it's losing to lesser teams or suffering from technicalities. The history of the team may also be important, with fans tending to be more loyal to teams with an old history. Attitudes of other fans are also important: Red Sox fans, for example, have bonded over the remarkably unlucky history of their favorite team, creating a sort of group solidarity.

People who consider themselves “true” fans often sneer at a fairweather fan. Some fairweather fans go overboard with team support, decking themselves out in branded apparel, hanging team flags in their homes, and so forth, and this outward display is sometimes viewed as a cause for mockery. The very term “fairweather fan” is a bit pejorative, as it calls up images of the “fairweather friend” who only seems to be around when he or she can benefit.

Like a regular fan, a fairweather fan can be any age, with a varying level of interest in the sport. Someone who doesn't follow a sport that closely, for example, might be a fairweather fan simply because he or she doesn't feel enough of a connection with the sport to be invested in the outcome of a particular team. Conversely, someone who follows a sport very closely might support winning teams because they go further, providing more opportunities to watch or attend games. People may also become fairweather fans to share an interest with friends and loved ones, attaching their loyalties to those of their friends.

Sports n' Hobbies is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Sports n' Hobbies researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon972116 — On Oct 01, 2014

@anon972034 -- You've got to be kidding. Really? *Really?* No, a fair weather fan is one who, by definition, deserts a team unless they're winning.

For example, I root for the Chicago Cubs. Obviously, I am *not* a fair weather fan, considering they haven't been to the World Series since 1945! But I have enough sense to know when the pitching isn't working or the bats aren't hot. That's not being a fair weather fan, that's just being in touch with reality. I still love the Cubs and defend them against all comers, but I have the mental acuity to understand what's going on when they aren't doing well, and the mental balance to rejoice when they win, but not allow the losses to devastate me. When you're a Cubs fan, this balance is crucial.

By anon972034 — On Oct 01, 2014

There are various levels of 'fair weather fan' which I will not go into because it is a waste of time. I will say this. There is no such thing as a true fan! If you think one negative thought, even in the privacy of your own mind, you are a fair weather fan! Period!

A true fan never speaks or thinks a negative word about their favorite whatever (team, band, etc.). If your team lost every game in that season, you would still show your support for them, not saying one false word such as, "They suck!" If you do, you are a fair weather fan!

By shell4life — On May 23, 2012

@lighth0se33 – I think the exception to that rule would be boy bands. They have a massive following of young girls for a few years, and then, you hear from them no more.

Either the girls have grown up and gotten boyfriends, or the band is not putting out music often enough to stay on the scene and on the girls' minds. Young girls are so fickle, and they are definitely fairweather fans when something new becomes popular.

There can be a lot of peer pressure to be a fan of what is hot at the moment. This is bad news for boy bands who take a break for a few years. If they return to the scene, they may find that their diehard fans were actually fairweather ones.

By lighth0se33 — On May 23, 2012

Most fans of bands stick around, even when they fall out of popularity. Music can create a bond with people that often transcends trends, so many people will continue to buy a group's CDs and keep up with their tour dates, even after their record sales have dropped and they are no longer such a big thing.

I think that you see more fairweather fans with sports teams and politicians than with musical groups. This is probably because athletes and politicians are both rewarded based on what they achieve, rather than the way they connect with a person. Sound and lyrics can really touch a person's soul, and that prevents the formation of fairweather fans.

By OeKc05 — On May 22, 2012

@Oceana – It seems like these fans are stabbing the team in the back. That is awful for them to give up on the team like that.

It really annoyed me when my best friend, who had an obsession with a certain actor, suddenly lost interest when he got some bad publicity. She had covered her wall in posters of him, she had all his movies, and she watched any program that promised to interview him.

After she heard something that painted him in a negative light, she took down all the posters and sold all the movies. It upset me, and I told her that he would need his fans now more than ever, and what if the news wasn't even true?

By Oceana — On May 22, 2012

I am not a fan of football, but I live in a college town where almost every person I meet is a fanatic. The team's logo pops up everywhere, from t-shirts to cups, and not a day passes that I don't see at least one person with some form of sports merchandise featuring this logo.

They claim to be fanatics. However, this team had a really bad season last year, and many of them came out of the closet as fairweather fans.

I don't care about football, but it really bothered me that the same people who spend all their money and time supporting this team turned on them when times got tough. These people live and breathe football, and all it took was a few lost games to make them disloyal to their favorite team.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
Sports n' Hobbies, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Sports n' Hobbies, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.