Originally appeared on PineTarPress.com – a now defunct website – on June 19, 2015
Those pesky Royals fans are at it again.
You’re hearing it withmedia including the three hour infomercial against homerism All-Star voting courtesy of Eric Karros on Fox Sports 1’s Royals broadcast on Thursday.
Memo to Eric Karros: First off it’s Perez. Pur-ez. Not PAIR-ez. Second off, we don’t care.
I’m confident that I can speak for the majority of Royals fans here when I say to Eric Karros and other national writers who have called the barrage of All-Star voting “wrong” and “bad for baseball” – I can confidently say to you – “go blue yourself.”
You don’t know. You haven’t been there. Jeff Chadiha of ESPN.com said on 810 WHB that folks at ESPN in Bristol were so concerned about tampering that they were convinced of a vast conspiracy in Kansas City.
Here in the 816/913, you know exactly what has been going on and that’s voting.
And you were also here for the Wild Card, October, and Sungwoo, and#BounceBackJimmy, and Dress to the Nines, and the Grand Slam and dozens of other events where those pesky Royals fans flexed their muscles to be part of the story.
In fact, if you’ve been paying attention, this is nothing new. So distraught was Kansas City after having their team ripped from them and moved to Oakland, Major League Baseball awarded Ewing Kauffman the Royals after a wait of only two years. Cities like Washington DC had to wait decades. Montreal is still waiting and likely will for eternity. Kansas City is a baseball town at its core.
Kansas City is also a passionate town. Not just for baseball. The over zealousness of fandom in Kansas City comes as no surprise to Chiefs fans, who continually best Seattle in the decibel record for an outdoor stadium. It comes as no surprise to Sporting fans as they have hosted 60 (ish?) continuous sellouts. The demise/move of the Kansas City Kings wasn’t due to anything with the fan base. The success of the defending champion FC Kansas City women’s soccer club is growing in popularity. It comes as no surprise to fans of Kansas Basketball and Missouri Football, nor does it shock fans of the minor league teams in Kansas City. The 2014 champion Comets indoor soccer club, the always successful Missouri Mavericks and the Kansas City T-Bones who drew over 10,000 fans last TUESDAY night.
Royals games are setting broadcasting records for ratings. The team has propelled a once bottom dwelling sports talk station to overtake the perinneial hard rock radio station for number one in Kansas City.
The list of accomplishments goes on and on.
Frankly, piling up votes for Eric Hosmer and Omar Infante ranks about 12th on the list of amazing things this fanbase has done.
But it is the latest buzz for the national baseball writers. Royals fans have broken the All-Star game. They’ve found the cheat code to online voting.
My advice to anyone in the national media looking to write a column about All-Star voting or Royals fans over the next two weeks is this: come here. Come to a game. Don’t sit in the sanitized press box where you are handed your game notes and a free hot dog. Sit in section 432, Row DD. Stand on the Pepsi Party Porch. Talk to the fans walking around Dick Howser’s statue. Walk beside Dave Webster dressed as Kay-Cee for 30 minutes as he tells the stories of the Kansas City Cowboys and the Satchel Paige and George Brett and the “W.” Understand that this fan base is erupting with 30 years of pent up joy. Understand that this might not be the “Best Fans in Baseball,” but is easily the “Best Fans in Baseball Not Currently Under Investigation by the FBI.
Come to Kansas City. It will be as if you’ve dipped yourself in magic waters.
Don’t just furrow your brow, look at Omar Infante’s voting numbers and assume some BBQ fueled, pop-tart eating blogger is stacking the vote.
What you are seeing from Royals fans is pure love. And it should be celebrated as beautiful. It should be celebrated.
Oh sure, it’s exposing some flaws and bringing the purpose of the All-Star game to the national debate. But that’s completely missing the point.
Every time I see a hater online, I just #Vote35. I also #VoteOmar and #Vote13 and #VoteA1 and all the rest. Every complaint is energy wasted not voting. We’ve already experienced a grumpy Joe Buck. We are prepared for what is happening.
And while we sort of care what you think, we care less and less with each passing day. We are turning our insecurity into swagger and our swagger into unrivaled confidence. And to borrow a phrase from another amazing fan base – those of Sporting Kansas City – who have the term “No Other Club.”
There are no other fans like Kansas City fans.