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Examiner
  • Jeff Fox: Enjoy the game for what it is

  • It’s the idle fantasies – some day I’m taking that cruise to Cozumel – that get us through the dreary and brutal days, which is most of them.

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  • It’s the idle fantasies – some day I’m taking that cruise to Cozumel – that get us through the dreary and brutal days, which is most of them.
    One of mine has always been that some day I’m going to have and thoroughly enjoy Royals season tickets, but I need to let go of that. It’ll never happen – life is too busy – and really it shouldn’t happen.
    My nerves can’t take it.
    It’s not the team. They are young and very promising. I haven’t believed the front office any of the half dozen times over the last 20 years that it has said, OK guys, really, we’re serious this time, and we think we can win. Now, however, there is actual evidence the team could and should learn to win.
    No, the problem is the fan experience itself. Every sport has a certain pace and rhythm, but no stadium or arena in the country feels it has the latitude to respect that any longer. It is part of America’s need to be in a state of constant overstimulation.
    During the brief moments between innings, the volume goes up exponentially as Kauffman blares all of the entertainment between the entertainment. The kiss cam is cute, but it is not the game we paid good money to see. And, folks, if the cheering for the ketchup-mustard-relish race is twice as loud as the cheering for anything in the game – this actually happened last weekend – then something is messed up.
    There also used to be a basic understanding that you went for a hot dog and a beer between innings and, within reason, you tried to slip back into your seat between innings. It’s common courtesy. Some of us are trying to watch the game.
    Well, good luck with that these days. I cannot help but think the fluff between innings has something to do with that.
    The team is promising and fun, so I suggest both team and fans step it up a little:
    • No more yelling “drop it” to a major league outfielder standing under a routine fly ball. He’s not going to drop it. Save that stuff for Little League games, although it’s a little cruel, whereas at a major league game it’s silly and bush league.
    • Garth Brooks released “Friends in Low Places” 23 years ago, and the Royals still blast it out at every single game. It’s a cliché. They used to flog us into singing John Denver’s “Thank God I’m a Country Boy.” No one misses it. Garth is fine, but the song needs a rest.
    • Royals, if you ask us to sing the national anthem – good idea – then the celebrity leading us cannot be improvising the melody or “making it her own.” I’m a strict constructionist on this point, but it’s also just rude to change the tune and tempo if thousands of people are trying to sing along. It’s not about you, Miss Celebrity for a Moment, it’s about America.
    Page 2 of 2 - The between-the-innings nonsense will never go away, but it’s what’s on the field that matters. So, fans, let’s focus. What’s on the field has been dreadful for decades, so we get ice-cream-eating contests flashed up on the scoreboard as a diversion.
    The team has finally put its money where it matters – guys with gloves and bats and arms – so let’s turn our attention back to that while we have the chance. It’s a shame to waste good baseball.
    Follow Jeff Fox on Twitter @FoxEJC.
     
     
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