Sociology of Royals Fans Reviewed by Momizat on . Ok folks, time for a little self-examination.  Not that kind of examination,  put the rubber gloves away.  Having been a fan of the Royals since the early 19 Ok folks, time for a little self-examination.  Not that kind of examination,  put the rubber gloves away.  Having been a fan of the Royals since the early 19 Rating: 0
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Sociology of Royals Fans

Sociology of Royals Fans

Ok folks, time for a little self-examination.  Not that kind of examination,  put the rubber gloves away.  Having been a fan of the Royals since the early 1980’s, I’ve become very familiar with the various creatures that are my fellow Royals fans.  They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, socio-economic status, and mental health status.  They are also, in my opinion, the brightest group of fans in the league.  You’d have a tough time finding another fan base that knows their minor leaguers—from AAA clear down to Rookie League—like Royals fans.  And even though the Royals haven’t been relevant for a long time, through thick and thin (mostly thin), the Royals have remained relevant to their devoted (and in some cases, delusional) fans.  The following is a breakdown of the five general types of Royals fans that exist:

The casual fan:  This person has little more than a rooting interest in the Royals—which is to say they’re aware that Kansas City has a baseball franchise, but probably couldn’t name the starters at each position.  They attend 1-3 games a year, but generally attend because it is part of some sort of social function than a burning desire to go sit at the park to watch some baseball.  They probably have a Royals visor and no more than two Royals t-shirts.  Drink a beer with this fan at your own risk.  Just know that you’ll likely find yourself explaining just what the hell a rosin-bag is, and why the manager wears a jersey.

The sunshine-pumpers:  This person supports just about every move the team makes—sometimes out of ignorance and sometimes out of arrogance.  Some feel that if the GM or owner makes a decision, it must have been the right one because they’re in charge (ignorance).  Or they justify every decision made because then it makes them feel like they would have done the same thing (arrogance).  The one thing you can’t question is their loyalty.  Unfortunately, they often tout themselves as “real fans” or “true fans”.  This person likely has a Royals bumper sticker or logo on their personal vehicle, and watches the complete 1985 World Series from beginning to end each year before spring training.  This person attends at least five games a year, and undoubtedly owns at least one authentic Royals jersey.  Feel free to enjoy a beer with this fan.  They’re a delightful group, and can at least momentarily talk you off the ledge when you feel your Royals fanhood is waning.

The arm-chair General Manager:  This person has all the answers.  You ask them who the Royals should sign/draft/trade for, and they’ll have a list of no fewer than eight names ready to barrage you with.  This person will either be over-supportive or over-critical of every move the team makes.  Not only that, but they’ll be able to provide at least three reasons why it was the best or dumbest move in the team’s history.  Their knowledge of the game is immense, no doubt.  Potentially a blogger, probably a stat-geek, and likely concerns themselves infinitely more on roster construction than how the game is played on the field.  This person undoubtedly plays MLB video games or computer games, except they don’t actually play the baseball games.  Rather, they cast themselves as the GM, and simply use the game for roster construction purposes.  Beware: The administrative decisions they make in their video games often blurs their sense of reality.  You guys, the Royals should trade scrub A, B and C for Ryan Braun.  This person probably attends close to ten games a year, if not more.  Drinking a beer with this fan is highly recommended.  They’ll either open your eyes to new possibilities, or you can poke fun at their stupid trade ideas.

The Debbie-downers:  Or the “Randy Quaid”, if you will.  If you’ve seen the movie Major League 2, you know what I’m talking about.  If you haven’t, don’t as it is an awful movie.  Just know that Quaid’s character is a depiction of a fan of a notoriously bad team, yet he continues to monitor them closely for no other reason than to bitch.  This person hates every move the team makes.  They hate every player transaction, they hate every in-game managerial decision that was made, and they really hate your trade ideas.  Oh, and they’re going to let you know about it too.  Did you know your team has a 92% chance of losing if they bunt in the first three innings of a day game in April?  They may be a blogger, but they certainly post on Royals message boards, and likely contribute to some sort of in-game message board thread.  They are armed and ready with overreactions, firing demands, trade demands, release demands, etc.  This person either attends a lot of games or does not attend any games because they aren’t going to spend another dime on this team until they commit to making better decisions, and field a better product.  This person likely has a deep understanding of the game, but lives in a constant cloud of negativity.  They are likely well-versed in baseball analytics.  In that vein, they likely share many of the same traits as the arm-chair GM’s.  The tell-tale sign of a Debbie-downer is if you find yourself questioning whether or not they even want the Royals to succeed (they do, trust me).  Do not—I repeat, DO NOT—drink a beer with this fan.  If you do, you will likely keep drinking, find your way to depression, and be found face-down in ditch muttering about sacrifice bunts and Wil Myers.

The Golden Boys:  Passionate, attentive, realistic, and hopeful would be the best way to describe this fan.  They set realistic expectations of the team, and hope the team somehow exceeds those expectations.   They live and die a little with each game, but re-charge the batteries and come back for more the next night.  This fan will laugh at you when you suggest the Royals sign Josh Hamilton.  They’ll also laugh at you when you suggest the Royals could win 100+ games.  On the flip side, they love engaging in Royals banter, and love entertaining realistic options for their beloved Royals. Oddly enough, this type of fan is a bit of a hodge-podge of all the aforementioned types.  The other fan types are often drawn to the Golden Boys.   Absolutely take the opportunity to have a beer with this fan.

Whether you like it or not, these are your fellow Royals fans wherever you may fall on the spectrum.  Get to know them, or learn to avoid them.  Identifying them can be tricky, because memberships to their respective genres are non-exclusive.  They may be an arm-chair GM one night, and a Debbie-downer the next.

Here are some helpful hints.  Sunshine-pumpers and Debbie-downers generally have a strong disdain for each other.  Arm-chair GM’s and casual fans usually have a tough time talking baseball.  The casual fan generally likes talking to the arm-chair GM’s because they can learn a thing or two, but the arm-chair GM’s typically have little or no use for the casual fan (unless they just want to feel smarter).  The Golden Boy types typically seek out their own type to associate with.  They’re equally uncomfortable around the sunshine-pumpers as they are the Debbie-downers.  They’re probably more tolerant of the casual fan than the other types, but would likely prefer the company of an arm-chair GM if they had to associate cross-genre.

I hope this has been helpful.  It was done in fun, but there is a great deal of truth to it.  Keep in mind, regardless of fan type, all are rooting for the good of the cause.  All are dreaming of brighter days for the Royals, and all desperately want to be there when the Royals are once again on top of the baseball world.  Go Royals!

About The Author

Thanks to Greg and the rest of the Pinetarpress.com crew for welcoming and allowing me to contribute to their stellar site. I jumped at the opportunity to become a contributor. Baseball, and more specifically, Kansas City Royals baseball is a deep rooted passion for me, and I look forward to being able to write about various Royals topics.When reading my material, keep in mind that I’m just a fan. I’m no insider, and I’m no seam-head. I appreciate advanced statistics, but don’t necessarily buy into all of them. I’m still “old school” in that I think you can still get a good evaluation through watching a player and whatever is offered on the back of his baseball card.I played small time college baseball in Kansas, and coached at the high school level. That is the extent of my baseball experience, but more appropriately those are the eyes through which I watch the game of baseball.I’m a KCK resident—a Dotte, if you will. I’m married and have a son who is itching to begin tee work, soft-toss, and a long-toss program (he’s 10 months old at the time of this writing).I’m active on Twitter. Follow me at @pyork_10.Go Royals!

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