on the topic of fandom

i’ve been working in kcmo for the past few months and the last couple weeks have been a special treat. seems the local baseball darlings, the KC Royals, have achieved something many fans have never seen in their lives; those who do remember 1985, are being rewarded for their dry, 29 year-long allegiance. the Royals are going to the big show.

kcmo is populated with fans. there are chiefs fans (no one ever mentions that the name seems to be sliding under the radar) and royals fans, and they all wear the colors proudly. even the downtown grocery store, across the street from where i work, has an entire section devoted to swag. my corporate client has even stayed the dress-law so employee/fans can take advantage and wear their KC Royals colors proudly.

during this jubilant time, khaki-infested meetings are being augmented with cotton and polyester blue jerseys and similar apparel. i hope the chiefs perform well so they get their similar turn.

fans, and i don’t mean an instrument for producing a current of air, are a peculiar lot. somewhere on the scale near religion, politics, free beer, and gun rights, is being a fan.

fan
[fan]
noun
1. an enthusiastic devotee, follower, or admirer of a sport, pastime, celebrity, etc.: a baseball fan; a great fan of Charlie Chaplin.

origin
1885-90, Americanism; short for fanatic (other sources site first use as early as 1682)

synonyms
supporter, enthusiast, partisan, booster, addict.

dictionary.com unabridged. random house, inc. 17 oct. 2014.

a fanatic is someone “marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion” so i think we’re on to something here. fans can be fiercely loyal. they can resort to primal brain stem actions too and commit stupidly reckless acts. so far, the kcmo fanbase appears to be above that nonsense.

fans, in general, are welcoming to new joiners-to-the-club. they’ll embrace you while simultaneously reminding you that they were always a fan, thank you very much. take a look at top-hashtags.com/hashtag/royals and you’ll see the innocuous: #takethecrown #beroyalkc #beroyal #kcroyals #partylikeits1985.  but there are also these gems, claimed to the most tweeted hashtags in the past couple weeks (thanks Brad!): #Royalsbandwagon #Royalfanwannabee #youwerentaroyaluntiloctober, and my personal favorite… #ibleedroyalblueandyouwillalwaysbeapieceofshit. i’m pretty sure beer was involved there.

kcmo baseball fans are subdued when compared to world cup soccer fans, however. as my daughter would say, those people are cray cray. i personally know where some nascar fans are who will never speak to me again (i’m ok with that). and i lost a girlfriend in college once because i traded my illinois sweatshirt for another coed’s michigan sweatshirt; at least that’s the reason i keep telling myself. i’ll stop there lest i receive a fan-backed fatwa.

songs have fans as do movies, books, authors, painters, dancers, writers (hint hint), etc. we humans like to perform our art and fans are always welcome. i’m delighted to be in a city where fans get to fully enjoy their team’s success thus far; i will be rooting for them in the world series.

and oh yea… go niners!

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