As hard as it is to believe, our Kansas City Royals have been barred from competing in this year’s MLB postseason, ostensibly because they did not acquire enough wins over the last six months.
So what does that mean for Royals fans? Without a team in the playoffs, we’re going to have a lot more time to kill this October. We could always watch the other teams that are still playing, but everyone knows that it won’t be nearly as fun or exciting as it was when the Royals were around. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is probably really pushing the pace of play rules for this postseason because he knows how boring it will be without those crazy Kansas Citians to drive up the fans’ collective heart rate. I’ll bet David Ortiz just benches himself for the entire postseason so the games can just be over with an hour earlier.
If you’re not going to be spending this month embarking on a heavily-involved letter-writing campaign to get the Royals reinstated into the playoffs, you’ll probably be looking for some suggestions on how to use your sudden increase in free time. Here are some other, better ways to enjoy your October.
Watch other sports
A simple idea with endless possibilities. The two other major Kansas City teams — the Chiefs and Sporting KC — both have a chance to make the playoffs. If you aren’t a fan of them, hockey and basketball seasons will be starting soon.
If you’re looking to try something new, tertiary sports networks NBCSN and FS1 have plenty of obscure options filling their non-primetime lineups. Among the sports they will be televising in the near future are drag racing, rugby, and futsal. (No, I didn’t make up futsal. That’s a real sport.)
But if the absence of Royals baseball has turned you off of sports altogether, don’t worry. There are plenty of other fall activities in which you can participate. You could, for example,
Enjoy pumpkin products
Pumpkins, which only exist during the months of October and November, are extremely versatile. You can carve them into a jack-o-lantern. You can bake them into a pie. You can fill your house with their scent through candles and air fresheners. You can consume pumpkin spice lattes and, like the college freshman I passed earlier, pretend that it’s actually coffee. You can even smash pumpkins on the porch of that insufferable Cardinals fan down the street.
When the clock finally strikes midnight on your favorite baseball team’s Cinderella story and turns it into a pumpkin, you might as well make use of that pumpkin.
Visit a haunted house
There’s no shortage of haunted houses to visit in the area, and they can be a fun way to get your heart rate back up to the levels at which they could have been had the Royals made the postseason.
If you’re concerned about being a bit too squeamish, don’t worry. Most haunted houses don’t get too scary until the eighth inning or so, when Joakim Soria comes on to protect a one-run lead.
Start playing Pokémon Go before all the Pokémon Go into hibernation
I’m going to be honest, the only reason I’m including this patently false suggestion is because inserting the words "Pokémon Go" into an article automatically triples its view count, regardless of the actual subject.
Start a bonfire
But before you do we should go through a short safety checklist. First, make sure that it’s legal to start a fire at the location where you intend to have it. Did you remember to check the weather? We don’t want the wind interfering with the fire. Then, be sure it’s an appropriate distance from buildings and low-hanging trees. Go get a fire extinguisher or at least a good amount of water in case it’s necessary. Make sure you have the appropriate fuel for your fire — natural wood, nothing treated and no trash or cardboard. Do you have a first aid kit handy in case someone accidentally gets burned? You should probably have one of those. Ok, now make sure to clear out all the flammable material from at least a ten-foot radius around the bonfire. I think you should be good to light it now, just avoid using lighter fluid, and— oh, you forgot the marshmallows? I think I’m just gonna go to bed instead.
Construct an elaborate Halloween costume
Don’t listen to the people who tell you Halloween is just for children. The Royals themselves celebrated Halloween all year long. Among the Royals who participated were Wade Davis (cyborg), Billy Burns (mantis farmer), Danny Duffy (wizard/bear/bear wizard), and Alex Gordon (not Alex Gordon).
In addition, the whole team masqueraded as zombies for the entire month of July.
Spend time with your children
Did you know you have children? They’ve been wondering why you’re never around for six months of the year. Seven, sometimes. They don’t remember ever seeing you around in October the last two years. You should check up on them, see how they’re doing. I’m sure they’d love to spend some time with you, dad.
Begin working on your holiday shopping
I know it seems incredibly early, but it’s important that you get started now, because this year you won’t be able to buy Kansas City Royals World Champions merchandise for everyone on your list. Besides, you just know there are already a ton of stores with fully-stocked Christmas displays. Might as well get it all done now.
Collect pinecones and display them in a glass bowl
Look, this doesn’t sound fun at all, but that’s what came up when I googled "Fun Fall Activities," so I guess I could give it a shot?
I miss the Royals.
Comment below with how you’re getting through this bleak October.