Friday, October 28, 2011

The Best Fans In Baseball?

By Chad Selliers                         

   Considering the fact that I have a penis, albeit ludicrously small, I turn my TV onto ESPN at least once a day. Actually, ESPN accounts for about 75% of my non-Tivo’d viewing. Since today is like any other day, I turned on ESPN. More precisely, I turned it on FirstTake on ESPN2, as is my morning ritual. Simply expecting Skip Bayless to blow his load at the mere thought of Tim Tebow throwing an incomplete pass, I was subjected to something much, much more horrifying, something completely wrong in every sense of the word.

            I literally laid on my couch, in absolute astonishment, when Skip Bayless, Jay Crawford and the ever-so-thick *cough* chubby *cough* Dana Jacobsen proceeded to bash St. Louis Cardinals fans to the extent of Crawford stating, “I think the fans of St. Louis have lost their title as ‘Best Fans in Baseball’ after last night.” Skip Bayless, a self professed, “Die-hard Cardinals fan” as a youth agreed. Apparently, I’m saying apparently because I didn’t notice it but,‘drones’ of Cardinals fans headed to the exits like Nelson Cruz was Andrew Jackson and Cardinal Nation were headed down the trail of tears. After battling back from behind three times in one game, back to back home runs suddenly seemingly sealed (alliteration) the Cardinals fate in the seventh inning, jutting out to what appeared to be a robust lead on the heels of Rangers back-to-back home runs. Sure, it was late, it was cold and granted, all hope had appeared to be lost. Do I blame people for trying to catch the early, un-crowded, un-fullofhomelessblackpeople Metrolink back home? No.
                 Then, the cast of FirstTake went on to belittle St. Louis on the fact that there were “A bunch” (about 7% of the totality, according to my inside source, Wes Turner) of Rangers fans in attendance. Now, at any given home game, it’s impossible to completely sell out tickets exclusively to home fans. I’m no math genius, but we’ve sold out EVERY GAME, EVERY YEAR since I was born. That’s a shitload of tickets sold. About 3,000,000 per seasons worth, to be exact. And these cronies, these talking heads have the audacity to question OUR fanhood!? I've been sick with the flu for about a week, achy and groggy...But as soon as I heard that, the Irish blood in my body began boiling. I didn't feel sick in the tense of sickness, I felt sick after hearing what I heard. If I had been within a 30-mile radius of Bristol, CN, and had stumbled upon a stronghold of heavy artillery, it's needless to say what I would have done. 

                           There are a lot of front running Rangers fans with money. There are a lot of true Rangers fans with money. It’s a ten hour drive. I’m sure some people, hoping to see their favorite team win their first World Series in the history of forever, would certainly sacrifice a long drive and about $500 of their oil tycoon money to watch it in person. Personally, I saw only a sprinkling of blue in the entirety of a sea of red, which is a given in any World Series Game, regardless of the locale.
  Then, Skippy blamed the loss on Nelson Cruz’s unwillingness to charge through the cement wall in right field in order to save a game-tying triple in the 9th off the bat of local product, and the Cardinals relative yet stereotypical Mizzou-flunking Fratboy cokehead, David Freese, calling it a, "Buckner-esque mistake." (He seriously said that) I’d venture to guess that about 55% of major league right fielders would not have made that play either. Just because Cruz is possibly roided out of his mind doesn’t necessarily make him Iron Man. Fucking dick.

            This is all said on top of the Mike Napoli handjobs being given out by the “Worldwide Leader in Sports.” Is he having the series of his life? Yes. Does throwing out Allen Craig twice on failed hit-and-run attempts make him half the defensive player Yadi is? No. In fact, I’m just going to throw this out there: Not only does Napoli lose control of balls multiple times per game, he’s also had to switch to a bigger catcher’s mitt, Christina Aguilera size to be exact, in order to limit the numbers of passed balls he gives up. On top of that, let’s be real. Even Nolan Ryan’s old, wrinkly, arthritic and liver-spotted body could have thrown out Craig at second base. From his knees.

            If you can’t tell, I am a strong believer in St. Louis being the home of not only one of the best teams in all of baseball, but also the best fans in all of baseball. Just a quick study I’ve done by myself over the course of this postseason completely confirms my position. When the Cardinals went to Philadelphia and played at Citizens Bank Park, the fans booed Albert Pujols, the best player in the game. When Philly came to Busch, no one booed for Halladay, Howard, or Pence. When the Cardinals went to Milwaukee and played at Miller Park, the fans booed Albert Pujols. When Milwaukee left a stain on St. Louis with their piss-flavored water of a beer, no one booed anyone aside from prima-donna and literally split-personalitied Nyjer Morgan. When the Cardinals went to Texas and played at The Ballpark in Arlington (gay name) the fans booed Albert Pujols. When the Rangers came to Busch, no one booed Hamilton or Cruz or Beltre. Why do they boo him? Because he’s the best player of our generation? Because he’s never hurt anything or anyone aside from the opposing teams pitching? That’s how I know we’re the best fans in baseball. Aside from a few playful jeers here or there, we show the utmost respect for opposing players and teams 81+ games out of the season, and despite how we perform on the field, we can always pride ourselves on that. Today, I saw over three quarters of the students and faculty at my desolate community college in Southern Illinois wearing either red or some sort of Cardinals paraphernalia. I test you to show me the same thing happening under the same circumstances 30 miles away from any other Major League Baseball team.

            None of this bullshitery should take away anything from Game 6 of the 2011 World Series. In what was a game of supreme strategical wizardry by both managers, it shouldn’t be dulled by blame, insults or any of that shit. Although I was not sober from about the fourth inning on, I could tell you that that was the best game of baseball I’ve ever seen played. I think that it shows exactly the amount of resolve in the St. Louis Cardinals’ DNA, and is a true metaphor for the entire 2011 season.

            In a game that literally went from one of the sloppiest World Series Games ever played, to arguably the best World Series Game that was ever played, nothing should overshadow the brilliance that was last night. Nothing should overshadow what was the defining moment, given a win in Game 7, of any Cardinals fan that was born post 1982. And for the best fans in baseball, that’s really saying something.

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