The Royal Slogan Of Honesty

I’m not closed-minded on many things.  Of all the things that annoy me in a person’s views, the only thing I truly can’t tolerate is when they won’t listen to another’s.

I say this knowing that on at least one subject, I am the worst kind of hypocrite.  You can’t convince me I’m wrong when it comes to this topic, and if you disagree with me, I’ll likely spend most of the argument interrupting you to explain why I’m right.

Opening Day in Major League Baseball should be a national holiday.

The sport we’ve nicknamed “America’s Pastime” mirrors the last half of our nation’s history.  The modern-day civil rights movement began on April 15, 1947, the day Jackie Robinson stepped onto Ebbets Field in Brooklyn.

The front page of the New York Times sports section on April 11, 1947, four days before Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier.

Opening Day should be recognized and celebrated in an official capacity, especially when your team gets a home opener.

THE ABSENCE

The deception with the Kansas City Royals starts with absence.  Six months of wintry absence, and I’m guessing you’re familiar with the heart’s reaction.

Anyone who knows me well knows of my love for the Royals.

Growing up in Kauffman Stadium’s upper deck, I watched George Brett hit, Frank White field, Bret Saberhagen pitch, Willie Wilson fly, and Bo Jackson do things no human had ever done on a baseball field.  I wasn’t yet 10.

I’m old enough to have been alive in 1985 when four of those five men earned a World Series ring, but not old enough to remember it.  I do remember one winning season in the last 16.

The Royals have sold me on rebuilding movements no less than four times during my relatively young fanhood, each of which relapsed into a futility that made you recognize much too late the lemon you bought.  Those movements didn’t have George’s or Bo’s, and even the players who slightly resembled my childhood heroes moved on to more lucrative contracts rather than stay in Kansas City with an owner who wouldn’t pay them and a team that said, “Trust us.”

Every spring for more than 20 years, I have greeted Opening Day as though the previous summer gave me no reason to be wary.

This time, the Royals warned me instead.

THE SLOGAN

Commercials selling Royals tickets begin in early February, and that’s smart.

February is rough.  The back end of winter still promises several more weeks of temperatures that got old around Christmas.  The Super Bowl marks the start of a month-and-a-half stretch of no professional football or baseball to watch for Kansas City fans, and reminding them good times are ahead requires good timing.

The first time I heard the slogan for the 2011 season, alarms went off in my head.  I didn’t recognize the strategy, and therefore, didn’t trust it.  My Royals went honest.  Appallingly honest.

“Major League Moments.”  That’s the slogan.  Moments are what they’re selling us.

See?!!

Not a Major League team, not Major League play, not a Major League season to follow.  Moments.  Come to the game, and ever so often, our players will give you a glimpse of the Major Leagues.

Somehow, when the alarms subsided, I wondered if this could finally work.

THE ANTICIPATION

For the first time in my memory, the Royals aren’t the only people talking about the Royals’ rebuilding movement.

We’ve heard of the team’s unheard-of cache of prospects here, here, and here…but have never seen it here in the real world.  It hasn’t translated to a series of “Major League Moments” yet.

This is the group that gives us hope, though.  This is the group that, despite nearly two decades of Kansas City growing baseball-weary by July, we say “playoffs” and only the people who don’t fully follow the sport still laugh.

THE UPSHOT

During a recent online chat with a Kansas City Star sports columnist, a fan asked Sam Mellinger to give them reasons to come out to Kauffman Stadium in 2011.

Mellinger quickly fired off a list of entries.  “The food!”  “The beer!”  “The weather!”  “The fountains!”

He followed his list with, “…”

That’s the kind of season most predict for the Royals in 2011.

I don’t care.  For the first time I can remember, the Royals decided to be honest with me.

Opening Day should be a holiday.

I have no idea why I’m going to work.

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One Response to “The Royal Slogan Of Honesty”

  1. Word Press syndicate Says:

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