from Â Schaum: For the record, I will no longer refer to Billy Butler on Twitter by anything other than #Countrybreakfast..I will not answer unless he is referred to on twitter as #Countrybreakfast….If we are going to get this nickname to stick we need to be as one on this (or as many of us as possible) one thing this article explains is that this is not a insulting nickname…far from it…It is a great and perfect nickname for the Royals DH
The Coors Light infused in my body told me to yell.
“Come on Country Breakfast. Let’s go!”
You can’t even recreate the awful tone and inflection of my voice that night as Billy Butler strolled to plate to the docid tones of that awful country song he uses as walkup music. I’m not exactly sure of the date or opponent.
I blame the Coors Light.
But during a 2008 game, I first began hollering Country Breakfast at Butler to amusement of those with me and likely the annoyance of those around us.
My friends and current wife understood the joke, but without context, the majority of those at Kauffman Stadium wouldn’t understand — at least until this week.
Who knew a moniker aimed at my own bemusement could become an internet meme?
Well, now it’s time to tell the story of exactly how this name exploded on Twitter as #CountryBreakfast this week, and as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, it involves a forgettable high school wreslter from Lee’s Summit, a message board poster known as Johnny Vance, my Royals fandom, Twitter, an FSKC switch to Street Ball during a Royals-Red Sox and plenty of Coors Light.
Let’s tell this story in VCR mode. I started in the middle, so let’s rewind then we’ll fast forward.
My lifelong aspiration was to be a sportswriter, and I achieved that goal in 2005 when the St. Joseph News-Press hired me into a full-time position. My employment started as a high school writer, and I took a keen interest to the state wrestling scene.
Missouriwrestling.com’s message board was a daily destination in season.
(This is where @fakenedyost makes a “you like boy-on-boy action” reference. Whatever.)
An intrepid poster to the site named JohnnyVance dubbed Kyle Campbell of Lee’s Summit “Country Breakfast” in a faceitious and humorous post declaring this kid the future Class 4 171-pound state champion in the year of lord, 2007.
JohnnyVance described him thusly: “Country Breakfast” is a southern kid raised with the farm boy work mentality. Due to endless hours working on the farm and eating a typical country protein rich diet.
This to me was hilarious.
Some time after while eating at a breakfast joint — I still swear it was Bob Evans — there was a “Country Breakfast” on the menu declaring it contained sausage, bacon and ham strips. I connected the two ideas in 2008 and would later apply them to Billy Butler, who fits both bills.
Butler looks “country strong” from the fact he’s not a typical muscular player, although being raised in Orange Park, Fla., isn’t a typical southern destination and likely didn’t include any farming. He also looks like the kind of guy that wouldn’t turn down an extra helping of breakfast meat.
Am I right?
This was the motivation, and as previously stated, the Coors Light helped fuel a chant that amused me and a select group of friends, including Andy Meyer (@andymeyer124), Clinton Thomas (@ClintT13), R.J. Cooper, Scott Pummell and my now wife Krystle.
The joke didn’t extend very far, but it became mainstream among those I attend Royals games with.
Fast forward to this past week: Royals at Boston, game delayed 2 1/2 hours, a tie game that goes into the wee hours of Monday night/Tuesday morning. During that game, Butler was thrown out at third on a horrible base-running gaffe.
My wife sees the replay and declares, “Oh, Country Breakfast.” I tweet out her assessment, declaring this is one reason our relationship works so well.
As the game progressed, a Fox Sports worker’s action changed the course of the Royals Twitterverse, if only for this brief period in time.
The Royals game switched off and a bizarre Streetball basketball league broadcast came on the TV. Royals nation, the portion this move affected, was up in arms. This prompted a discussion among fans about what the Streetball nicknames would be for Royals players.
Greg Schaum, fair host of this website, asked what Billy Butler’s Streetball nickname should be. I immediately sent in the following fateful tweet just after midnight, “@Greg_Schaum Country Breakfast”.
I didn’t think much of it, but Schaum dug the reference. Then so did others.
From there, Butler hit home runs in the next four games — five overall — and the name came back up in celebration of our portly hero’s hot bat. It caught fire Friday night after Butler hit two bombs in a 12-0 whipping of the Cleveland Indians that included Carlos Carrasco throwing at BB’s head.
From that point, s*** got weird for yours truly.
I received about 100 follows and 50-plus mentions in about a 4-hour span as word spread through our amazing Royals nation on Twitter. I don’t know what made this name resonate so much fans. I seriously don’t know.
I’m flattered by the attention, and it gave this mostly anonymous sports writer a moment to be known.
A phrase that started out as a humorous inside joke suddenly spread to a large portion of Kansas City fans. I was told to copyright the phrase. There is talks of T-shirts being designed and sold for charity. It’s just madness, madness I tell you.
But I’m happy to share this joke with all of you. For serious.
So there you have it. The true unedited version — to the best of my occasionally Coors Light blurred memory — on how this went down. I couldn’t make this up if I wanted to.
I never sought a spotlight for this, but the most innocuous intentions turned a thing — a real Twitter recognized movement — that we’ll always have. And maybe long after you guys forget about it, I’ll remember that brief spotlight, one of those fun moments that only Twitter can inspire.
And I thank everyone out there who enjoyed even a small part of this. Being a Royals fan does have its benefits.
Â Ross Martin is the sports editor at the St. Joseph News-Press. Follow him on Twitter @pcbearcat.