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The Anatomy of a Fan, Part 3: Should Fans Expect a Winner Every Year?

So, 2015 is upon us--so enough of 2014, already! Should fans expect a winner every year, or should we just expect teams to do their best, regardless? What do we regard as successful? As a winner?

Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Should Rapids fans expect a winner each season? That's a tough question.  Folks begin talking about our market ("We have a bazillion other pro teams here!") and many decide to give the team a pass. I can relate.

I'm a long-time Cincinnati Bengals fan, so yes, I'm still beaming from the win against your beloved Broncos.  But leading up to the game, I felt certain dynamics at play.  The Bengals have a long history of incompetence in ownership, only having it turned around by a steadiness and consistency at coach (Marvin Lewis has coached the Bengals for 12 years).  We have it in our DNA that any prosperity (that is, a winning record, much less the playoffs) is unexpected and ultimately welcomed.  The Broncos fans, however, expect winners.  Numerous trips to the Super Bowl, even more numerous division championships make it almost a giving that an above-average product will be on the field.

[OK, enough about American football.]

As a fairly new Rapids fan, I'm still learning the dynamic of our fandom.  I haven't quite put my finger on the pulse of whether we expect the Rapids to win. Sure, as we've found out from the last two weeks that some fans will stick around no matter what, while others will walk away from frustrations at the product on the field.

But both of these extreme camps may betray a common philosophy: neither puts an expectation on the team to win. Fans that come and watch regardless may want a team to win, but will still support even if the team is stuck in the valley, but still may not expect a winning product.  Those that walk away have given up, again, due to that lack of expectation.

It's the old 10-80-10 rule.  I've pastored Protestant churches for over 20 years, and even here, you'll have 10% that support no matter the issue; 10% that will question every issue--and 80% that could go either way, depending!  It's the same principle here.  Though I haven't polled every Rapids fan in the world, I would venture to say that 10% are all in, no matter if the Rapids are at the bottom of the table; 10% are one more bad season away from saying, "Sayonara!"

But that 80%--what about you?  All of you who clam to be objective followers of the club--should we expect a winner every year?  Should we simply desire to be competitive?  Playoffs?  Not finish at the bottom?

Clue us in who sit faithfully in the South Stands.  I'll fill you in next week on my thoughts, but I'm just one Rapids fan.  What about you?  Send me a tweet or leave a comment in the comments section.