ESPN writer Rob Neyer gives you a view of who he is in one of today’s Sweet Spot posts. It’s kind of nice for a change. But is it easier for him to do this because no Royals fan can be taken seriously right now? I mean, they’re not a threat to do much of anything. So you can’t fault a guy in the media for having a rooting interest in the ‘poor little old Royals’.
This is a good time to be a Royals fan.
Well, a patient Royals fan, anyway. The Royals might lose 100 games this year. Might lose 105. Fans who don’t believe in crystal balls might not suffer 100 losses gladly.
Me, though? I’m patient. I just don’t know if I’m still a Royals fan.
Without the Royals, I wouldn’t be Rob Neyer, Baseball Writer. I don’t know what I would be. Rob Neyer, High School History Teacher. Rob Neyer, Small Time Lawyer. Rob Neyer, Pizza Hut Manager. Something. Before my family moved to Kansas City in 1976, baseball was just another sport. Before I became infatuated with the American League West-winning Kansas City Royals that summer and fall, the Royals were just another team that occasionally showed up on the radio playing the White Sox (the team I’d sort of half-followed before).
Everything changed in 1976. I cried that October, then again the next October. I rejoiced in 1980 when the Royals finally beat the Yankees, was despondent just days later when the Phillies beat the Royals. My affections somehow grew stronger in the fall of 1984, when the Royals improbably hung on to reach the playoffs with a patchwork roster and an 84-78 record. In 1985, Nirvana.
I personally wish that more baseball writers/bloggers/whatever wore who they are right on their sleeve. It’s okay to be who you are when you write. Even if you write for a major mogul like ESPN. It’s a side we don’t get to see often enough. Even and especially if you’re a Royals fan.