I have lived my entire life within a 1 hour radius of the Kansas City Metro area. This is an area that LOVE, LOVE, LOVES it's sports. Pro sports, semi-pro sports, college sports, high school sports; people eat it all up. Sports rivalries are a way of life.
And this October, one Kansas City team brought national attention, in a good way, to our love of sports. If someone had told me in April that the Royals would be in the World Series, I would have thought they were off their rocker. Sure, the Royals were doing better than they had for, well, most of my life, but a World Series seemed out of reach. I was just happy we weren't battling for last place in all of Major League Baseball, like a few years prior.
My dad raised me to love the Royals. Through thick & thin, good & bad years. (Although, he was never successful in getting me to love the Chiefs, because football...meh.)
Every year, like every other Royals fan I know, started out with the hope that maybe, just maybe, this year would be OUR year. The year that the Royals would break the drought and get into the playoffs.
2014 was finally that year. A season of cautious optimism growing into full-fledged OMG.I.can't believe.it.we're.in.the.WORLD.FREAKING.SERIES. This year's team rekindled our love of baseball.
Don't misunderstand me. Our love of baseball never died. Not even some of the worst seasons of baseball ever could completely extinguish that. No, what this season did was take that fitfully burning love and turn it into a wildfire of passion. We loved that they made baseball FUN again.
It's been an incredibly, fantastically fun season, and especially so in the post-season. Seeing Cain make seemingly impossible plays, watching Butler stealing bases or chugging from 1st to home, or the pure and absolute joy of having not just a good bullpen, but possibly the best in the MLB this season is just incredible.
So today, me, hubby & baby, and 10,000 other true blue loyal Royals fans gathered to say "Thank You!" to the team that has been so much fun to root for. It was great. And hopefully it somewhat lessened the sting for the team of having come sooooooooo close to taking the crown.
And then I made the mistake of reading comments on the news articles that covered the event this morning. Out of town/state people commenting telling us that we shouldn't celebrate the team that lost the World Series. Telling us that apparently we don't know how to celebrate properly.
So for you anonymous denizens of the internet that so clearly just don't get it, I have this to say. DON'T TELL ME HOW TO FAN!* Don't tell me how I should or should not support and thank these phenomenal athletes and men who gave it their all this post season. I believe that love should weather the good and the bad. Believe me, us true blue Royals fans have seen the bad, and a 1 run loss in game 7 of the World Series was not it. We went to games in the worst seasons in franchise history, watched as good players came and went, hoping, praying to have a good, complete team. We got that, and win or lose, we celebrated that today. So take your nay-saying, fair-weather fan malarky somewhere else. It doesn't fly here. GO ROYALS!
*I refuse to use the term fangirl due to its use in belittling and delegitimizing the fan experience of females, hence the potentially odd sounding phrasing.