‘My name is Stephe, and I’m a Kansas City Royals fan.’
‘Um, yeah, it’s been like forever since we’ve played meaningful games in, gosh, I don’t know, July, so it’s been pretty tough on us.’
‘Uh-huh.’ ‘Yup.’ ‘We’ve been there brother.’
And so it goes when you’re a small-market fan. Year in and year out you’re served a big bowl of prospect pudding, hoping something comes together to give you hope…for next season. When a player blows up, he’s gone, traded for a whole heap of upside and players to be named later.
As a result, there has bee many a night where us Royal’s fans have been outnumbered by ‘their’ fans. Let’s be honest, no matter how badly you’re doing, the away team should never have home field advantage in ‘your’ stadium.
I’d like to say that all fans are created equal, but they’re not. Some are better behaved than others. Here’s the best and the worst.
Absolute Worst: Chicago White Sox
They’re obnoxious drunks who somehow escaped the gravity of the blackhole that is Chicago’s south side and are now inflicting themselves upon the rest of us. They are thugs, enthralled with the foul-mouthed buffoonery of the Ozzy Guillen roadshow. The team photos look like mugshots and the fans behave like convicts. I believe they are baseball fans because it gives them 162 more reasons to tie one on and scream incoherently at passerbys. Jerks. From the tops of their pointy heads to the bottoms of their dirty black sox. I’d consign them to hell if I could, but there already headed there so what’s the point.
First Runner Up: New York Yankees
Yeah, it’s easy to hate the evil empire, but truth be told, I don’t mind the players, with the exception of A-Rod, and that’s completely based upon his salary. Cut his pay, and he’s just another standoffish guy making googly eyes at Jeter. No, it’s their fans that ruin a ballgame. They bring their cheers, their stupid accents and their egos. Those egos. Someone needs to explain to them that they don’t get to win because they’re the Yankees, they have to play the game and sometimes they lose and that’s okay. It is not an affront from God. It’s life. Get over it, and yourselves, before someone confuses you with White Sox fans. Oh, if you ever want to find out how many championships the Yankees have won, cheer a Yankee loss, be it at the park or a bar or anywhere. One of these nimrods will be there to tell you…’Yeah, yeah, live it up. Get back to me when your team wins 26 World Championships!’
Sore fucking losers.
Second Runner Up: St. Louis Cardinals
Could have placed higher if it weren’t for the jerk Yankee fan sitting behind me recently. Despite St. Louis’ reputation as a quiet, Midwestern city, Cardinal fans somehow manage to combine the worst traits of the White Sox – drunken, hate-mongers- with the worst of the Yanks – a sense of entitlement. The result is pure ugly. They meander through the ballpark talking about how the new Busch Stadium is so much nicer than the K, how St. Louis is so much nicer than Kansas City, and how Missouri is so much nicer than…wait, we’re both in Missouri. I think their cad-like ways are the result of a multi-generational addiction to Budweiser. They are born semi-alcoholics prone to outbursts of obsceneties, a condescending nature, and a huge hole in their collective memories, especially when you talk about 1985.
Up and Comers: Detroit Tiger and Boston Red Sox.
As the Tigers have become winners, their fans have become annoying. Because they haven’t been winners in a really, really, really long time, they have a long way to go on the way to boorish. But, they are determined and they’ve made some great strides in the past couple of years. I think their biggest problem is the lack of burnable, abandoned property available when they’re on the road. They are uncomfortable without their matches and gasoline and it shows. Truth be told, I tend to hate them because the Royals make the Tigers look unbeatable when they come to town. Take two out of three from the Yankees, give up 19 runs in one night to the Tigers. Shit.
And that leaves us with Bandwagon Nat…I mean, Bosox Nation. Five years ago, there was a handful of Boston loyalist who trekked out to the stadium to watch the Sox come up short against the Yankees. Again. And then something horrible happened. They won the World Series. And not just once, but twice in our lifetimes. Now when the Sox come to town, there’s Boston merchandise EVERYWHERE! Granted, fully two thirds of these people have never been to Fenway, have no idea what the Green Monster is, and if asked who their favorite pitcher was would respond with ‘Umm, that guy with the bloody sock, I guess.’ Ask a true believer and he’ll scream ‘NOMAAAAAR’ in your face. Point out that Nomar was a short stop and he’ll follow up with ‘I fuckin’ said Nomar, you fuckin’ douche!!’
That’s a fan.
And on a side note, or maybe just continuing a thought, but if you’re a NL city, you’d best pray that God never takes September and October off allowing the Cubs to somehow win the World Series. It would make what I go through with Boston look like a walk in the park. You can’t find Illinois on a map, but you’re a lifelong Cub fan….suuuuuure you are.
Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians.
Both cities know what its like to suck and as a result tend to be pretty understanding when they come to the K. It’s like we’re all in the same boat. We all hate the White Sox.
How can you hate the people that brought you Ichiro, the greatest slap hitter in the history of baseball? I never knew Kansas City had such a large population of Japanese until the Mariners came to town. And we all know the Japanese are polite, maybe not Canadian polite like Blue Jay fans, but polite nonetheless. Also, they have very cool cameras. Thank you, Ichiro!!
Sure, the team used to be in Kansas City, but we don’t hold grudges, unless you’re from the Kansas side, and they’re a mean bunch of pricks. A’s fans understand what it means to be a small-market team, watching your most marketable talent leave at the onset of their peak production, replaced by top prospects. They’re also lucky to have a team run by one of the best minds in baseball, who can amazingly create winners year in and year out. I think I like them because they used to be us, and now they are them, and that makes me think that there is hope, and that one day, maybe, we can be like them, too.
And that’s how it goes when you’re a small-market fan.