I often hear from Royals fans, and when I hear from them, they often have a question about the team.
In this case, a Royals fan is seeking advice. I won’t comment on the wisdom of asking advice of a guy who appears to be having a mid-life crisis (have you seen my hair lately?), but I’ll do my best. I’ve edited the email for length and names have been changed to protect the guilty.
Hi there: how are you? First, I enjoy reading your pieces on a regular basis (the Hos haircut post/video was the best!). Thanks for the insights you provide, usually presented in an entertaining way.
(OK, let me stop this fan right there and ask a question; Usually? I’m under the illusion that I’m always entertaining and don’t appreciate reality intruding on my carefully constructed glass house. Now back to our reader’s problem.)
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I see that you publish your email address, so I figured I would take the more direct route. I hope that's ok. (Also, I guess I'm a little curious: do you have a lot of interaction with the fan base?)
(Yes, people stop me all the time and ask me how I think the Royals are going to do, and I usually tell the truth and say I have no idea. Right now, the Royals are dropping like fly balls — sorry, lame joke — so we’ll have to see what the replacements can do. Now, back to our reader.)
Who am I? A long-time fan. I have always followed/rooted for the Chiefs. And, like a lot of people probably, I re-discovered the Royals in 2013.
So I will get right to it...here is my dilemma: the angst I feel when the Royals lose is significantly greater than the joy I feel when they win. That on its own is bad enough...but there is more.
The fear of a loss literally takes the fun out of watching or following a game. Each day, before they play, dread starts to set in. And — sadly —I'm finding that it is affecting my moods in the bigger sense. This is crazy — right? (Since they play nearly every day...it's literally driving me nuts)
Sports and athletics have been a big part of my life and my family’s life. So we watch/follow a lot of sports in our household...this weekend my husband and I logged time watching PGA Golf, the NBA playoffs and baseball. Tennis, NFL, soccer...the list goes on depending on the time of year. But I have never obsessed over a team/player like this. (Ex: Steph Curry and the GS Warriors are playing as I write this...and I can watch the game and enjoy it very much)
I would love some perspective on this...am I alone in this whackadoodle attitude? How do I shake it? How can I get back to just loving the game for what it is (a game, after all) and just enjoy watching this Championship group play together...win or lose...for as long as they're together.
First, congratulations on realizing you have a problem; that’s the first step in getting better and I commend you on seeking professional advice.
Second, do you have any alcohol in the house?
I find a couple of Bud Lights take the edge off a lot of life’s difficulties. But if you don’t want to destroy your liver, I guess we can try a different route: facing reality.
No, you are not alone. Many fans carry the same attitude toward an NFL team and a big-league baseball team and that will not work. NFL teams can theoretically go through a season without losing (it’s been done) or go through a season while losing only rarely. A fan can live and die with those NFL losses because that fan won’t have to deal with very many of them. (Unless you root for the Dallas Cowboys, and then you’re on your own.)
If an NFL team loses 10 times, they’ve had a horrible season; if a big-league baseball team loses 70 times, they’ve had a great one.
If you’re going to be a baseball fan and not wind up in group therapy or your neighborhood bar, you have to adopt an even keel. Your team will lose and not only that, they will lose a lot. The key to baseball is winning more often than you lose, which is not a bad attitude to take toward life or just about any other activity (except Russian Roulette).
And try to focus on the process, not the results — that’s what ballplayers do.
The results are difficult to control, so you’ll be on an emotional roller-coaster if that’s what determines how you feel each day. So focus on the process: forget whether they win or lose; ask yourself if the Royals played well. If they played well, but lost, things will probably be OK. Keep playing well and you’ll win a lot of ballgames.
After watching the Royals lose for so long, I’m thoroughly enjoying watching a competitive team that fields interesting players and plays compelling baseball. Try to enjoy the moment and appreciate any activity that takes you away from the humdrum of life and gets you so emotionally involved.
And if that doesn’t work, have a couple cold ones.