Kansas City Royals: A New Era Of Fans
The Kansas City Royals have the biggest fanbase in franchise history, all thanks in part to a World Series title in 2015. These fans weren’t always around and honestly, most probably won’t stick around.
Just a few years ago, the Kansas City Royals were a joke of a baseball team. They had nine straight losing seasons spanning from 2004-2012 and before that, had last posted a winning record in 1993.
One didn’t see many Royals fans running around Kansas City in those days because they simply weren’t around. No one wants to consistently root for a losing team whether it be in baseball, football, hockey, or whatever sport you’re into.
In 2012, the year the Royals last had a losing record, they went 72-90. The roster included guys like Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon, and Mike Moustakas, all of whom are some of the biggest stars on the team now. I can say that this was the first year that I got into baseball and I did it as a way to connect with my hometown while I was away at college.
The team wasn’t very good in 2012, but I liked rooting for the Royals. I went to college where there were a lot of Cardinals fans around and a lot of them would only emerge during the playoffs. They would try and talk about the Cardinals as if they knew everything when it was clear that they were just hopping on the bandwagon. A large portion of those bandwagon Cardinals fans were from Kansas City too, which made me sad.
My friends and I went to the K over the summer of 2012 (it was a t-shirt Tuesday giveaway) and we had a nice time. The fans there kept to themselves and were respectful of one another. Everyone was enjoying the atmosphere and spending time out with their family and friends.
Sure, the people in attendance that evening could be considered true fans because they went to games when no one else did. They went purely for the love of the game and the team, which is awesome and the way sports should be.
Things aren’t like that anymore for the KC Royals though, as winning has brought a new breed of fans to Kansas City. These are the fans who have emerged just for the sake of cheering for a winning team.
Look, I get it. The Royals were bad a for a looooong time. Who would want to invest time in a team who lost 100 games three seasons in a row? I’m not trying to sit here and insult people for recently becoming Royals fans, that’s not what this is about.
The Kansas City Royals have accomplished a lot since that 2012 season, and they have earned the right to have a big fanbase. My problem stems from the fans who came out of nowhere and are going to games and ruining other people’s times, whether it be picking fights, being drunk and obnoxious, or just trying to be the center of attention, when that’s not what the people around them paid for.
I went to the game on Tuesday against the New York Mets, and I was appalled at what has become of Royals fans in just one short offseason.
People were rude, obnoxious, disrespectful, and worst of all, uninterested in the team and in the sport. In just under four hours at the ball park, I witnessed people laughing and talking during the National Anthem. My dad was snapped at by a woman who arrived in the SEVENTH INNING for having his feet on “her chair” (it clearly wasn’t her chair).
Lastly, people were yelling and screaming at each other about things that weren’t even relevant to the sport of baseball. One guy even thought the Royals were winning heading into the eighth inning. Un freaking believable, man.
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Sadly, I think that is just what comes with winning. As much as I’d like to have those nice fans back from the 2014 World Series who were just “happy to be here”, those days are gone, folks.
With winning comes the (and I hate this term as much as anyone) bandwagon fans who are around while the team is good and will be the first ones to jump ship when things go south. These are also the same type of people who you’ll see on social media ranting about how this team isn’t good when one negative thing happens.
A lot of these people treat baseball as if it’s like football. They’ll throw fits when the Royals lose one game when that’s actually quite common in baseball. Sure, it’s never fun to lose, but the nice part about baseball is that you go out and play the next day and can try and make up for it.
We haven’t seen a whole lot of bandwagon fans in Kansas City in the last decade, but that’s because the Chiefs hadn’t won a playoff game since the early 90s (until this year that is) and the Royals stunk just as bad. Now that we’re contenders, prepare for the bandwagoners, friends. They’re here and they’ll likely be here for awhile… or at least until we keep winning.
Being World Series champions is great, don’t get me wrong. I just wish the fans could go back to the days of being nice and respectful at the ballpark.