Every fanbase is unique, partly because of their divisions and their reasons for being divided. Sure, we all cheer together and suffer the pain of defeat in unison, but not all fans are created equal.
This tumultuous-yet-thrilling start to the 2014 season for the Kansas City Royals succeeded in bringing out all the different subsections of KC baseball fan out of the woodwork, exposing themselves as targets for my overwrought psychological analysis.
Most distinctive, especially right now, are the bitter, bad-mouthing veterans of the Royals fan scene — the Royals Hater. Haters, to be more precise, are the fans who have come to expect the worst (albeit honestly) and predict utter failure every season. This kind of negativity can be bothersome, but it was bred into 25-plus years’ worth of Royals fandom by … well, utter failure.
When KC was cruising through their 10-game winning streak and hopes were high, the haters continued to hate without skipping a beat. I almost want to applaud them for their determination, if I weren’t about to publicly call them out for being cowards.
Royals haters are the sports equivalent of that friend you have who won’t even try dating again because he’s been through too many bad relationships and/or painful breakups. They decide to harden their exteriors so they don’t expose their hearts, lest they be brutally disappointed yet again.
In either context, these people need to give hope a chance, regardless of how corny my advice sounds or how scary it feels to chance being hurt again. All haters will do themselves a valuable service if they can just criticize their team and praise them whenever doing either is actually just.
The Royals are three games above .500 and 1.5 away from a Wild Card spot at the halfway point of the season. That’s all that matters right now. Things could be better, and things could be worse, but anybody who tells you this franchise is pathetic and hopeless should probably just be ignored.