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World Series Royalty

I remember watching the 2008 World Series on my couch at home in Dallas. I sat there hoping that the team I was cheering for would win. And when they did win, I jumped on my couch, screamed like a crazy person and maybe even shed some tears. After all, before 2008 the last time the Philadelphia Phillies had won the World Series I wasn’t even born.

The year I was born, the Phillies made it to the World Series again, and lost to the Baltimore Orioles. It would take ten years for them to return and they would lose again. This time to the Toronto Blue Jays. I had gone my entire life without knowing what a World Series championship was like.

But in 2008 all of that changed. And I was watching it all unfold in Dallas. I was texting my family back home in Philadelphia and I was so incredibly jealous that I wasn’t there to take part in the massive celebrations that were happening.

Six years ago I moved to Kansas City. My husband grew up here and has played baseball his whole life. I’m pretty sure he was born with a bat in his hand; I’ll have to ask my mother-in-law about that. He loves baseball. And he was five when the Royals won the World Series in 1985. So he knew what a World Series championship felt like, even if he was just a little baseball player.

But unlike the Phillies, who returned to the Series twice before winning again, the Royals didn’t return. In fact, they didn’t even return to the playoffs for 29 years. Then, in 2014, something happened. A team of scrappy ball players, with a never-say-die attitude snuck into the Wild Card game. And won! In epic fashion.

Then they proceeded to sweep their path all the way to the World Series. The team that wasn’t even supposed to be there, was in the World Series. And it was a great series. It went to all seven games. And the Royals came within 90 feet of victory. But, they fell just short. They lost. And the feel good story about the team that wasn’t supposed to be there, went back to being the story about how much fun it was for Kansas City fans, but now the Royals would go back to obscurity (like they’re supposed to) and that would be that.

Nobody took them seriously. They called them a fluke. Told fans not to get their hopes up too high, because as fun as 2014 was, it wasn’t going to happen again. The Royals would slide backward, winning just over 70 games. That’s what experts, statisticians, baseball analysts said.

But Kansas City said, just you watch. This team is not a fluke. This team was supposed to be there. And they will be back in 2015.

And they were. My God, they were.

They came roaring through the regular season, blowing past 70 wins and finishing with 95; 12 games ahead of the second place team in the AL Central and two games ahead of the second place American League team.

Then they won the AL Division Series. And the AL Championship Series. And finally, winning it all by winning the World Series against the Mets. In dramatic, come-from-behind fashion. Again.

The team that wasn’t even supposed to be here, are world champions.


And I live here. I live in the city with the world champion. I got to enjoy all of the celebrations and fireworks and car horns honking. All the people pouring out of bars to hug and high five strangers. To scream and cheer on the sidewalks of their championship city.

Tomorrow, there will be a huge celebration downtown. A parade and a rally and a city starved for a championship coming together to celebrate and support a team that plays the game the right way. That plays it for the right reasons. And always, always, always thanks its fans for the support they bring.

I’ll be at that huge celebration. Screaming and cheering, high-fiving and hugging strangers, and probably shedding some tears.

But more than anything, I’ll be home.

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March Madness

The brackets have been set!

If you haven’t seen the brackets yet, let me tell you, the Midwest is by far the hardest, especially if you are Wichita State, the number 1 seed in that region. In order for them to reach the title game in North Texas they have to (potentially) take this path:

Cal Poly/Texas Southern

Kentucky(or Kansas State)

Louisville (unlikely that Louisville doesn’t make it past Manhattan and then St. Louis)

Duke

Arizona (the number 1 seed in the West Region) in the Final Four

Florida/Virginia in the title game

Good luck, Shockers.

Perhaps an even bigger story is the fact the SMU was left out of the tournament completely.

Cool little stat pack – all of Kansas’ Division 1 men’s teams are in the tournament; Kansas, Kansas State, and Wichita State. Second cool stat pack – 7 out of 10 Big 12 teams are in the tournament! Final cool thing – Danny Manning and the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes also made it.

Here’s a link to a printable bracket if you are into that sort of thing.

Good luck to all you bracket players, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

Rock Chalk!

March Madness

I promise I talk about things other than sports.  Really.  It’s just, I like sports!  Since the NCAA tournament is officially concluded, I thought I’d post some pictures of how my friends and I spent the final weekend.

Since KU made it to the Final Four, my boyfriend and I decided that we should go to Lawrence to watch the game.  A bunch of our friends had the same idea so we all met up at Granada Theatre to cheer for the Jayhawks.

Pre-partying before the game against Ohio State.

The game was as stressful as every other game throughout the tournament, but the Jayhawks managed to pull out the win.  I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

The crowd on Mass. Street after the win

Even Lawrence's finest got in on the high fives!

Thumbs up for the Jayhawks as they advance to the National Championship game!

Being the superstitious people that sports fans are, we all trekked out to Lawrence on Monday to cheer the Jayhawks on as they battled the Wildcats from Kentucky in the national title game.

GO JAYHAWKS!

Excited for the game to start!

After two very stressful and emotional hours, a winner emerged, and, unfortunately, it was not the Jayhawks.  But, the Wildcats played an outstanding game, and the Jayhawks had an incredible season.  Even though KU lost, I am still so proud of the team and all that they accomplished.  I can’t wait for next season!!!

A calm, cool and collect crowd after the Jayhawks loss to the Kentucky Wildcats in the National Championship game

Funny tidbits about pre and post game antics.  One of the bars refused to sell Kentucky Bourbon the night of the game.  And after the game, one fan took it upon himself to erase Kentucky Street from Lawrence.

One student scales a street pole to pull down the Kentucky Street sign in Lawrence, following the Jayhawks loss to the Wildcats. Photo courtesy of yahoo!.

 

Rock Chalk!