Humans are, by nature, social creatures and nothing brings people together like sports. However, for those who feel excluded because they don’t care for, don’t know much about, or don’t understand sports, there’s always the Kansas City Royals.
The Kansas City Royals are a major league baseball team (America’s pastime) and can be both your favorite team and your gateway to sports fandom. You see, the Kansas City Royals are the perfect team for the casual sports fan.
First, they are easy to learn about. Unlike the Washington Nationals, they aren’t the new kid on the block (they’ve been around since 1969). Yet, you don’t need to know about any storied team history like Yawkey Way, Bill Buckner, or the Curse of the Babe. In fact, if you want to do your homework, there are only three plays you need to know about: Bo Jackson’s wall climb, George Brett’s pine tar game and Eric Hosmer’s World Series base running.
In just five minutes on YouTube, you know as much (or more) about the Royals as most sports fans, and no one will question your fandom. In fact, you’re likely gain sympathy because no one hates the Royals, not even their rivals — the Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals — since neither of those teams considers it a real rivalry.
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Also, the Royals aren’t going to break your heart, which is perfect for the casual fan. For over 25 years, the Royals were one of the worst teams in baseball, until suddenly they weren’t. In 2014, they won the American League pennant, and in 2015 the World Series. Now, they are back to being terrible again, but that’s great news for a casual fan.
While other more competitive teams are likely to bring fans anxiety and angst, the Royals are guaranteed to lose. And that’s good for you. If you happen to see a game, you already know the outcome. Plus, if they surprise you (perhaps sweeping the Twins or winning a series against the Cardinals), all the better. You know they aren’t going to the playoffs, so you don’t have to sweat it. Plus, as a bonus, Royals games are virtually guaranteed not to be sold out, offering you the perfect low-stress experience when you attend in person.
Speaking of sellouts: For all their good points, sports fans have a terrible habit of gatekeeping. However, as a Royals fan, no one will question your loyalty. Casual fans of major sports teams (the New York Yankees or Golden State Warriors) are often criticized by their sports-crazed brethren as “bandwagon” fans. But no one will levy those accusations at Royals fans.
Can’t name any Royals players? No problem — the team is calling up so many minor league players, most fans can’t either. Besides, you already know the three most important in Royals history (and the first two, if I’m honest, are all you really need to know).
Now that you are a casual Royals fan, you need to be armed with the only surefire response you need to join any sports-related conversation. Anytime you hear people talking about sports, just use some variation on the phrase, “Try being a Royals fan.” It’s quick, nondescript and lets you join in the fun.
Overhear Los Angeles Dodgers fans complaining about losing? You could say, “Think that’s bad? Try being a Royals fan.” If New York Giants fans are talking about a big win, add in, “I’m jealous. Try being a Royals fan.” It’s versatile enough for any situation.
In my experience, the major drawback to Royals fandom is the lack of available Royals gear. But not being the most popular sports franchise shouldn’t bother the casual sports fan. All you need is a Royals hat and no one will question your loyalty.
So, that’s it. You are now official. Relax, buy a hat, and “try being a Royals fan.”
Jordan Cofer is a lifelong Royals fan and Missouri native. He lives in Georgia.