The trade deadline has come and gone. By now it is clear to many that the Royals will once again not be playing in the post-season. This is a feeling familiar to most of us. Some of you are perhaps a bit newer to being Royals fans; you think it’s only a matter of time until the Royals second half devil magic kicks in and they win fifteen of twenty or eighteen of eleven.
So which group is right? Who are the true fans, the realists/pessimists or the dreamers/optimists?
In the past there have been fans who came to the park with signs, antlers, or wearing cat onesies (side note: did we ever get a ruling on exactly what those are called?) Still others have claimed membership in the Gordo-nation, the Cain Club, or Sal’s Gals. But there were also fans who showed up just wearing a Royals shirt, or just a blue shirt, or maybe even a completely-unrelated-to-baseball shirt.
Surely those fans with crazy get-ups or part of the various clubs are the real fans, right? I mean...if you can't even wear a blue shirt to the Royals game, you're not a Royals fan. Are you?
There have been fans who late in a contest chanted for the Royals to at least get twelve hits so they could have some free donuts. Those who hoped for a grand slam in the sixth inning for a nice wad of cash. Plenty who were happy the Royals won but wish they would have scored one more run so that there could be some half price pizza.
Come on, free food can't be as important as the Royals winning? Those people aren't Royals fans?
Some live near KC. Some moved to or away, Some have just visited. Some live halfway across the country or even the world.
And they’re all true fans. Every single person listed above is an example of a true Royals fan. Sometimes life intervenes. Sometimes losses are painful. Sometimes they're just boring. We all watch baseball, particularly Royals baseball, because it brings us some kind of enjoyment. That is the one and only requirement of true Royals fan. Well, with a couple exceptions.
In a poor season it’s easy for the losing to lead to negativity which causes people to lash out. But remember that attacking a player, even verbally or textually, because of his play, or a front office worker because of a signing/trade, or a fan because they have a different opinion than yours are not the marks of a true fan. It's OK to wonder if a player has lost his ability to play, but death threats are never cool. It's OK to question the wisdom that lead to a trade, but promising to assault someone if you ever see them in the parking is horrid. Arguing and debating the relative merits of deals, players and teams with other fans is the entire point of this website. But threats and insults are unworthy of you. A true Royals fan is also kind and considerate to those around them.
A lot of people are still going to go to every game. Many will watch from home. Some may turn some of the games on, but turn them back off when they see the Royals down by a lot. A selection of people may not watch even one more pitch this year and only check the box scores, or the prospect reports, or not even that until next year. A true Royals fan enjoys as much or as little Royals baseball as they want, in whatever form they want. If the negativity or the losing is too much for you, take a break. The Royals and Royals Review will still be here, waiting for you.