Ivy’s soccer team last year won every game. This year they moved up a division, from under-8 to under-10. But there were not enough all girls teams, so they combined the boys and girls league. There also weren’t enough rec teams, so they combined the rec and competitive leagues. Needless to say this has lead to a long season. Many atrocious defeats. Most recently the other team was up about 15-0 (I had stopped counting). Ivy’s team had not even gotten a shot on goal. I was seated among parents from the other team and toward the end of the game their cheers grew subdued. Then one of their parents began to cheer for our team. His wife nudged him, but he responded “those little girls are trying so hard.” Soon other parent’s joined him. When one of Ivy’s teammates got around a defender and got a shot off on goal all of the parents were cheering her…
I have to say, the nation’s reaction to the Royals feels much the same way. Losers for so long, no one hates the Royals. Many forgot the Royals existed. Even my family and “friends” who are Cardinal fans have been pulling for the Royals. Their enthusiasm for my team has pressured me to return the favor, (when the Cards were still playing). But everyone could tell it was forced – the Cardinals always win.
Cardinal Fan: “Hope your Royals win tonight.”
Me: “Uh, thanks, uh I hope the Car…(grimace)… your teams does okay too.”
(Beyond sports, a better version of myself would be able to celebrate others success without a grimace. But this is easier said than done when I am failing.)
Now that the Royals are in the World Series nearly the whole nation is pulling for our little team to slay the Giant (ESPN’s map just California behind San Francisco). As I longtime fan, this is a pretty great place to find myself. Still Loveable, but no longer the Loser. For this October we are the Loveable Winners. I am happy to cheer with the whole nation.
Maybe next year I will find out what it means to be the Hated Winners: “uh…I hope the Roy…(grimace)…uh your team does okay too.”
I might even like that more! But for today, get on your Crocs with Socks and cheer, “Go Royals!”