People who wear sports memorabilia are usually not fans... Just go up to them and start talking about the team.. Most of the time, they will tell you that it is just because they live there or that their brother bought it for them.. To judge popularity off of sports memorabilia sales is completely moronic.. To judge it off of whether some invests their free time and actually watches the game is much less moronic in my opinion.
Even most people I meet wearing Rider gear have no clue that Durrant is out for the season here in Vancouver.. A couple of dudes wearing the crap didn't even know who Durrant was.. They wear the crap to let people know they are from Saskatchewan and proud of it.
Real fans, casual fans...they are still paying fans which is what matters as far as the bottom line. You dismiss them as not being real fans. I say then why do they sell so many more seats? Who really cares if someone watches the game on TV, if they are invisible and really nothing goes towards the team? I've missed 5 home games since 1981, and believe me, I have seen and felt the difference in passion for the Argos in the city. I also see how everyone talks Raptors, Leafs and Blue Jays. You would have to be an idiot not to understand this.
At the Argofans forum, we actually have a thread going on wear to buy Argos merchandise. It is that hard to find that we have to post it when someone finds it. Does that sound like a team/league that is popular in the market? I really hope the marketing machine that is MLSE (they will be managing the team even though they are not technically the owners) can change that, and do feel somewhat confident they will.
Here in Toronto yes a lot of people wear Craptors and BJ merchandise.
The vast majority couldn't tell the difference between a baseball and basketball.
It's the cool thing to wear with the younger crowd.
Heck many of these people have never been to a game, wouldn't even know a player on each team.
In fact, they can't afford going to the Air Canada center to watch the basketball as the seats are too expensive.