This is one of my favorite musings, originally posted on April 16, 2006 over on my MySpace blog.
What makes a fan, a fan? What inspires a person to put their ass in the bleachers week after week, even when there are other things that could/should be done? When your team is successful, it's easy to answer those questions. In that case, you go to watch your team do well, you go to say you were somehow a part of their successes. You go because it's easy to enjoy wins.
But what about me? As you might know, I'm a huge Kansas City Royals fan. I was born that way. So what is it that makes me listen to games when they're not on TV, or even watch that pitch-by-pitch ticker that MLB.com has? What makes me make that eternal drive across Kansas to go catch a Royals game in person, even though I know there's a good chance I'll be seeing my team lose?
I've been asking myself this for years. I've never wavered as a Royals fan. Ever. But I don't kid myself, either. I know the club has done some stupid, stupid things over the years. The last few seasons have seen an endless shuffling of various managers, and it's been a mess. I swear, if they don't keep Bell for at least 8 seasons, I'm gonna flip. But that's not the point. The point is that, despite all these shortcomings--last year's dismal season, some god-awful trades, constant mocking from everyone--I'm still a hardcore KC fan. I bleed blue.
I guess, if you look at it from a non-sports-fan's perspective, it might be a little silly. Why keep following a team that isn't successful? Maybe it is irrational, but since when has love ever been tied to reason?
Since I was little, I learned to fall back on the line, "there's always next year." Is that a bad thing, to have to utter it year after year? Maybe. But what separates the fair-weather-fans from the Mindas of the world is whether or not we do it anyway.
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