Some Never Will Be Royal

There’s been a phrase going around the last few weeks as this town has watched their baseball team make this incredible post-season run. “I don’t know what to do with my hands!” And we really don’t. Most folks weren’t around the last time this happened and for those of us that were, it was a completely different time. Cell phones had just been invented and they only made phone calls!

BringBackSungWooA lot of us deal with the fear of the unknown and sports stress in our own ways. When I’m stressed, I like to clean the house.  Luckily, I don’t get stressed much so my house is filthy. But when your team is in the World Series after a 29 year drought, you don’t know what to do with your hands so some of us flail them in the air while a few make a fist.

Since the news that SungWoo Lee was returning to Kansas City for the World Series through the work of a documentary crew with ESPN’s 30 for 30 Series broke, there has been a lot of positive reaction. I mean a LOT.  The graph below shows the magnitude with which the city of Kansas City and then the nation threw open their digital arms for a social media hug.

There were some folks raising the debate on Facebook and Twitter whether SungWoo was the best recipient of this hug of generosity. An opinion is just that, an opinion, and you can’t really change an opinion. But some of the comments I’ve seen have been just misunderstood and going off inaccurate information.  So, at the risk of making my second West Wing reference of the week, I’m going to get into the comments sections and try to set the record straight.

TRUE OR FALSE:

  • There are more important things in the world other than SungWoo going to the World Series
    • TRUE – There are. There’s a ton of them just around the World Series story.  A partial list of those include:
      • Who will sing the National Anthem? Personally, I think Gracie Schram should sing every national anthem until the end of time. This gal is fantastic also.
      • Whether Frank White can be a part of the ceremonies in some way. This is probably less dependent on the Royals and more dependent on Frank White.
      • The insanity of ticket prices.
      • The inspiring story of Tim Grimes and his personal battle wrapped around the joy he’s feeling with the Royals success.
      • Watch parties. Where to have them? What do to? Here’s one.
      • And there’s dozens more that fill my timeline every day… Run with one of those ideas. Don’t hate on mine.
  • SungWoo or “The Internet” raised money to fly him back.
    • FALSE – This whole project is being produced by Maggie Vision, a film production company with ties to ESPN. SungWoo never asked for any of this attention, but he absolutely loves the opportunity to come back.  Don’t get me wrong. We offered. But as the World Series became more of a reality, the Maggie Vision offer was too good to turn down.
  • There are more deserving fans/sick children/true Kansas Citians that should go to the World Series instead of SungWoo
    • FALSE – “More deserving” is a red herring – but as I have written about as far back as three years ago, SungWoo is one of the most dedicated, knowledgeable, passionate and positive fans in Royals Nation. It’s true, the World Series should be a celebration of the fans, but it’s instead an opportunity for corporate folks to gobble up tickets. I see this as an opportunity to send a “true fan” to the game – albeit one that has never lived in Kansas City.  Part of that is up to luck and fate and part of it is up to what people are interested in. As we showed this week, a lot of folks are supportive of his passion. It’s a neat story. He’s a neat guy.
  • I’m benefitting from all of this by getting swag/World Series tickets/sexual favors or money.
    • FALSE –  I’m just a guy who writes stories. This is a great story. That’s all I want from this is a great story. I haven’t been offered World Series tickets. SungWoo has. And he deserves them. When he was here in August, I got to do some amazing things with him. We went to the top of the Liberty Memorial, toured Arrowhead, climbed the Hall of Fame to hang the W. Nothing was asked for. Everything was offered through the generosity and spirit of Kansas Citians.  This is no different. If three tickets fell off the back of a truck so I could take my wife and 12 year old son to a World Series game, I’d totally snatch that shit up, though. Sexual favors, too.
  • People are going to bitch and moan about anything.
    • TRUE – I’ve done it myself. I do it all the time. “Why does that guy get to go ahead?”
  • ESPN is going to make money off of this.
    • Well I certainly hope so. It’s an amazing story. SungWoo’s dedication, his life long dream coinciding with the start of an incredible playoff run by his team? Yeah. It’s a great story and it would make a great documentary. I hope we all watch it and buy DVD’s and they make mountains of cash.
  • You are a fat blogger who is just looking to get your name in lights.
    • Um. Excuse me. I am a fat COLUMNIST. Thank you very much.  The name in lights is just part of the job.

So much of these events is scripted and planned out months in advance that we should just have some fun with being a part of the story.  Besides… watch this video and tell me this kid won’t have the time of his life at the World Series.  If you’re jealous, don’t be. If you’re a hater, h8rs gunna h8. But let’s all agree, that this guy is a fan, mmmkay?

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