With pitchers and catchers only 9 days away from reporting for the beginning of a highly anticipated season, I'm finding it harder and harder to wait to fill the void that's been missing since September. One way to do that of course is through shameless consumerism, so today I perused the official Royals shop online, which you can find here.
In the interest of helping dedicated diehards like myself (and potential bandwagoners jumping on to watch the fruits of the BFSE develop here) decide how to show off their bursting Mission: 2012 pride, I've compiled a list of 6 items available online that definitely won't do that.
AC Downflap Game Cap ($31.99)
Target Demographic: Men likely to answer the door in their underwear, Alcides Escobar's most ardent supporters.
Why to avoid: I'm doing my best to refrain from any outdated spork/Willie Bloomquist jokes here. Simply put, there's no right way to wear this hat. When it's cold enough to warrant "downflap' mode, this cap looks like it mated with a Canadian fur-lined aviator hat without maintaining the ironic hipster-chic look. When it's warm enough to stow the earflaps, the cap looks like it mated with a maxi pad with wings.
Better Choice: Any Royals hat you currently own coupled with a goddamned scarf (when applicable).
Phiten Tornado MLB Authentic Collection Titanium 22" necklace ($49.99)
Target demographic: Hyper-competitive rec league athletes (C or D divisions)
Why to avoid: Phiten essentially created the necklace version of Brawndo from Idiocracy. Replace "sports drink" with "glorified plastic friendship bracelet" and "electrolytes" with "titanium" and you have a Phiten necklace, complete with purported medical benefits.
Better choice: Not wearing a necklace. Ever.
Classic Mesh Flip Flops ($11.97)
Target demographic: ???
Why to avoid: Team-oriented fashion footwear is puzzling even under the best of circumstances, but ugly $12 sandals that are likely to melt to the asphalt under a Missouri summer sun do not really have any place in a baseball team's store.
Better option: Even if one were to get his ass beat ghetto old-school style and have his shoes tied together and thrown over a telephone wire, there are still better footwear options out there. Barefoot being one of them. Kleenex box shoes being another.
Women's Quilted Vest by Cutter and Buck ($99.99)
Target demographic: Mid 50's aged women whose imminent presence is announced by a choking cloud of perfume.
Why to avoid: Never all that stylish to begin with, performance vests simply do not work for women's fashion in light of how a woman's metabolism works. Always freezing until they're sweltering, sleeveless items designed with the illusion of fashionable warmth make little to no sense for women to wear, as it practically begs them to make the wrong decision for gameday clothing.
Better choice: A coat is always the correct decision for a woman until it's t-shirt season (which accounts for 90% of the Royals season in a Missouri climate anyway). Women simply have no need for intermediate-warmth wear.
Microsuede City Bomber Jacket ($134.99)
Target Demographic: Septuagenarians who take the Royals too seriously, Generation Y-ers who don't take the Royals seriously enough
Why you should avoid: No matter your intentions, it's tough to avoid looking like a (mildly) Royals-themed microfiber couch set from Homemakers Furniture when wearing this.
Better option: Saving up for a real leather coat, verbally notifying anyone you'd like of your status as a Royals fan.
Authentic personalized white home jersey ($240.99)
Target demographic: Children, new fans unsure of who would be the best player to put on the back of the jersey
Why to avoid: As anyone who's ever attended a live baseball game can attest to, wearing white means there's a 100% chance you will end up displaying both ketchup and mustard on a prominent part of your shirt by the end of the 3rd inning, regardless of whether you've decided to eat anything or not. While frustrating, it's still possible to save face in this scenario with a shrug and a smirk, chalking it up to the live baseball experience. This however is not possible if you've shelled out the dollars to put your own name on the back of your personalized jersey. Food stains + $240 jersey + juvenile narcissim = appearance of a severe case of arrested development.
Better choice: Eric Hosmer dark blue authentic jersey ($246.99). If you're willing to invest this much in a glorified shirt, make it count. Enjoy Hosmer's cost-controlled years in style, and also with the peace of mind that it will conceal all the beer you're bound to spill on it throughout its lifetime.