We’ve reached that point in nearly every Royals season in the past 15 years where it’s over. It seems like it came later this year than in years past, but it really hasn’t. It seems like we were in it a little bit longer than years past, but we weren’t. It seems like my faith wouldn’t be tested until later in the year, but it was.
Why do I continue to love this team? Is it love? It is codependency? It is faith? Is it stupid?
You’re all familiar with the unending paradox of Lucy and the football. Charlie Brown continually charges at a football that Lucy continually pulls away at the last possibly moment, only to talk Charlie Brown into repeating the process endlessly.
Yeah. That’s where I am right now.
So, it is times like these that I have my yearly crisis of faith. It was made no less easy by classic rants by Steven St. John and Soren Petro on the radio yesterday as well as Nick Wright beginning his show wondering aloud why we still care.
Why do I care? I’m not sure I can put it into words, but I’ll try.
- I care because of my 8-year old boy, who has never seen a winning Royals season. He deserves to see one and I somehow think that if I maintain my fan-ship, that it will help. He’s never experienced a night like the night of Game 7 and I want him to experience it just once in his life.
- It’s because he still has his Zack Greinke Fathead on the wall and has forbidden me to take it down.
- It’s because of the way I feel when I walk into Kauffman Stadium. It’s an unexplainable feeling that surrounds me as I walk in that park.
- It’s because I look good in blue.
- It’s because when I was 12, my cousin and I basically lived at the park an entire summer. We brought fishing nets and begged players for baseballs and walked away with over a hundred balls that summer.
- It’s because the beer tastes colder at the K.
- It’s because when I was 13, I skipped school to sleep overnight for Opening Day GA tickets, and then called Q-104 that morning to tell my classmates that if they weren’t there, they were all “suckers.” (Which my principal happened to hear.)
- It’s because I went to games with my Dad and he was given the Buck O’Neil award this year.
- It’s because I hate the Yankees and all that they stand for.
- Yes, it’s because Cris Chambliss made me cry when I was 5.
- It’s because Fake Ned has tapped into a pocket of optimism about this team, blind as it might be, that is refreshing and pure. Scotch-soaked though it may be.
Does this all mean that I give the team a pass on little things like Kyle Davies and Jarrod Dyson and Balks and Tim Scott and Friends in Low Places and geese and dropped fly balls and stupid trades and comically inept play? No. It doesn’t. It pains me to see the miserable failings of this team, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t stop charging when I see Lucy holding that football. Bleeding Royal blue isn’t an option for me, it’s an un-healable wound.
How long? All your life Charlie Brown. All your life.