Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Why I'm letting my kids stay up to watch the World Series

Image credit: Facebook/Kansas City Royals

Tonight, the Kansas City Royals enter the world's stage for the last time in the 2014 season. For the first time in 29 years, they have been competing in Major League Baseball's postseason, and from the first come-from-behind win at the American League Wild Card game on August 30, these playoffs have exceeded all expectations.

From multiple extra-inning thrillers to blowouts, the road to the World Series has been both an improbable one and really the only way it really could have happened. Of course KC would be in the World Series. Of course they'd sweep the ALDS and the ALCS. Of course they'd defy all predictions and their small-market status. Of course they'd belie their comparably low payroll and crush their competition. Of course.

I don't know if they will emerge as the victor tonight, and while I'll be disappointed if they don't, I am incredibly proud of all they've accomplished. And as this is the first time in nearly three decades that they've been in the mix for a title, I will let my kids stay up to watch the game — this last hurrah, this win-or-you're-done, this Game 7 of the 2014 World Series.

Many of these playoff games took way longer than even I could stay awake for. I'm 40, I'm tired and I just can't hang like I used to. I've watched most of it, but not all, and my kids haven't watched them all either.

We're at the K!
However, this World Series, we've watched them all. While the only one of my four kids who likes and appreciates baseball is 15 and can handle going to bed late, even if the 4-year-old wanted to watch, I'd let her.

This is a precious time, a moment that they may not get to relive for a long, long time. I was around 11 years old when Kansas City won their first (and only) World Series. Since then, the Royals have been shuffled off to the margins of the national consciousness as other teams get the highlights, the trophies and the dollars. Nobody cares about our low-payroll major league team — except those of us who remain loyal and have been for as long as we can remember.

Me, representing in the 1980s
This is an extremely precious time to be a Kansas City Royals fan. We can now enjoy the benefits of a team who has worked hard and played hard all year to get a chance at the postseason, and that hard work is playing off. We have endured being made fun of for supporting a losing team (earlier this year even someone made fun of my Royals shirt and I'm in the Kansas City area). And we've reflected on next year being our year, for many, many years.

Well, this year may be our year. We haven't been this close to seeing Kansas City hoist the Commissioner's Trophy in a long, long time. I've enjoyed the ride, and I'm enjoying sharing it with my boy. I hope for a win tonight, of course, but no matter what, I'm proud to be a Royals fan. Thank you, Boys in Blue.

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