The question of the day is whether one can be considered a "true fan" if they stop financially supporting their team when it hits bottom. My answer: Absolutely. On any given day, you can find 20+ posts on Fan Nation where people point out that sports has become nothing more than a business. Decisions are made based on finances as much or more than they are on championships. If your team consistently makes either bonehead decisions or decisions that clearly place the dollar ahead of wins, you are no less a fan if you stop buying tickets, merchandise or anything that puts a dollar in the owner's pocket.
Too often, this is the only message that the front offices and owners hear. Booing, letter writing, radio talk shows may be therapeutic for the fan, but they rarely result in actual change. What owners do listen to is when the cash flow stops.
I'm not advocating fans to leave their teams high and dry. As a long suffering Knicks and Broncos fan my continued support should be proof positive of that. More painfully, I've seen the team that I live and die by, Real Madrid, become a complete joke and a shell of the club that FIFA deemed the "Club of the Decade" for 1990-1999.
I'm tired of myopic fans and their rhetoric about standing by your team when times are tough. In fact, I would go so far as to question the fanhood of someone who continues to buy jerseys, tickets, pay parking, buy concessions, or satellite packages solely to watch their team when the owner has made it clear through their action that losing is ok so long as the bottom line looks good. (That's directed to you James Dolan) These fans maintain the lifeline that fosters incompentancy and failure. Remove that financial I.V. and see how quickly change can occur.
Make no mistake, you'll still find me every weekend sitting at home in front of my t.v. watching the games, cheering and wearing the same jersey that dates back several years and several pounds ago. But call me fairweather, shortsighted or disloyal if you like. I want my teams to win, and they need the support of management and ownership to do so. Since my requests for a lunch date with Pat Bowlen, Jim Dolan, or the Real Madrid board have shockingly gone without response, I'll let my dollar (or lack thereof) speak on my behalf.