No politics or anything overly serious today.
As I’ve commiserated with some of my friends who can relate, this is going to be one of those weeks when it would have been nice to be home.
Monday night, Chiefs at Arrowhead. Tuesday night, Royals hosting a playoff game.
In the words of the great Shannon Sharpe, ‘utterly ridiculous.’
In my lifetime (and quite possibly, maybe never) have the Chiefs and the Royals been in the postseason in the same calendar year.
We’re not talking about championships now; just being in the dance to fight for the title.
(taking a moment for my sports fan friends to shake their heads in pity…)
So yeah, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Minnesota get their well deserved ‘doomed sports city’ props, but being a Kansas City native is rarely peaches and cream, let me tell you.
The 1985 World Series, if I’m being honest, is definitely a memory, but one of those cloudy ones that’s more useful to me to haze my St. Louis friends than to reflect on in great detail.
I spent my fair share of nights in Kauffman/Royals Stadium growing up. I’m not even sure why it’s here in California, but I have in front of me the picture of when my name was put on the Royals Jumbotron in middle school for making the honor roll. (And that’s definitely a Kansas City type of thing; I’m willing to take the odds that the New Yorks and the L.A.s just have way too many kids to do that specific type of hands on, community building stunts.)
I’ve referenced on how my love for wrestling was in part built on watching the Nature Boy Ric Flair with my grandfather down South as a child. You know what else Superstation TBS showed all the time during the summer? That’s right, Atlanta Braves baseball games. My grandfather loved baseball. I was too young to figure out why; it was just one of those things that I knew. And the only time I know of that he came to Kansas City to visit, guess what was the highlight of the trip? That’s right, the whole clan going to Kauffman to watch a game. My grandfather wasn’t a natural smiler (remind you of anyone?), but my memory of that night was of him enjoying himself. And I appreciated it at the time, don’t get me wrong, but now that I’m firmly in the middle generation of the family tree (and he and some of my aunts and uncles are no longer with us), that memory is really, really special and vivid now. More so than any World Series if I’m being completely honest.
So while the Dodgers are my National League team (and Dodger Stadium is obviously really historical and a special experience of its own), my attachment to my hometown team and stadium is quite strong. Now let’s hope it’s not another 30 years before we can take some kind of pride in them.
I believe the current marketing slogans respectively are: Be Royal. Chiefs Kingdom.
Should be a fun week.