It’s been a terrible January for many sports fans in Kansas City, but thankfully that has nothing to do with the Kansas City Royals.
This Saturday will mark the two-week anniversary of the NFL‘s second-largest playoff choke (Indianapolis Colts fans will presumably call it a comeback) of all time, in which my beloved Kansas City Chiefs gave up a 38-10 lead and witnessed injuries to nearly all of their Pro Bowl-caliber players in a 45-44 Wild Card round loss to Andrew … someone. Can’t remember his name.
Maybe I can’t remember, or maybe I just refuse to empower him through keyword usage. All I know is that the Chiefs needed to be very un-clutch and very unlucky to lose that game, but they managed to do exactly that, much to the dismay of KC fans everywhere.
This historically upsetting defeat coupled with another disappointing loss by the Kansas Jayhawks to San Diego State the following day sent me into a state of hibernation, the kind of which is very unbecoming of a supposed sports journalist or really any human in general.
I’ve re-worn the same pair of sweatpants for more days than any individual in any profession should admit to publicly. My schedule for sleeping has never recovered since the monumental sad-nap I took immediately following the Chiefs game. It’s far beyond the level of sadness that’s been deemed socially acceptable.
Nonetheless, hope for Chiefs fans appears quickly on the not-so-distant horizon – as long as those fans like baseball, too.
The Royals are in the midst of an unprecedented franchise up-swing, and Spring Training will be here sooner than you think, unless you’re neurotically counting down the days, which I most certainly am. 42 days, in case you were wondering. 42 long, cold days. If you’re really desperate, which I am, pitchers and catchers report on February 14.
That’s 29 days there, and I’ll be keeping diligent count on both dates while rooting for the Jayhawks and hoping I don’t lay down another sorrow-inducing jinx.
A string of impressive wins from Kansas and a steady flow of mildly positive Royals news pulled me from my sports hibernation, but I’m one of many that will enter the baseball season with still-wounded hearts. Most will do so expecting in earnest that additions to the team like Norichika Aoki and Omar Infante will serve as the final ingredients for the success with which we all can cleanse our failure-poisoned spirits.
As hard as it may be to twist a positive out of the Chiefs’ end to their season, Royals GM Dayton Moore would love to see that disappointment earn his franchise some new fans that are starved for success and will take it in whatever form that is the most easily accessible. It’s no wonder that several esteemed writers have compared sports fandom to drug addiction.
The Chiefs’ seven playoff appearances are the most without a win among any franchise in the NFL. The Royals have the MLB‘s longest playoff drought to date. To calm the masses, to soothe hearts and to promote hope throughout a city that’s been through the wringer in professional sports for decades, one of those things needs to change – and soon.