If you’ve been to Kauffman Stadium, you’ve possibly seen one of their superfans. Troy Olsen has been KC Royalman for three years now, donning a cape, boots and superhero uniform at Royals home games.
Now, he’s retiring the superfan persona. This is his statement as to why:
So here we are. Early October in KC. Of course the Royals are no longer playing baseball and the Chiefs are quickly dropping out of the race. For me October means a long deserved break, sort of. October means no baseball, no Roller Derby and normally is my vacation from life. Not so much this year but that’s a story for another article.
For me this October means putting away for the last time something I have become for three years. This October means putting away KCRoyalman one last time. I have been asked why, so many times since I made the announcement on Twitter recently and on Facebook shortly after. The reasons why it’s over will take far more than 140 characters to explain. That is why I am writing this.
I love baseball. I love it more than any other sport other than roller derby. I call Opening Day the best day of the year but this year it stopped being fun. The Royals Organization does not care about the fans. They hide behind rules supposedly made by MLB but yet I never see the ‘rules’ at any other stadium. They treat their fan facing employees badly and make them fear firing, preventing them from giving the best experience to the fan. They make up what they are going to enforce as they go. For 2 ½ years I stood in the same spot as Royalman. I was told many times it was fine as long as I ‘stayed behind the black line’ and out of the walkway. All of a sudden this year, standing room was foul pole to foul pole. Yes, it’s in writing that way but for 2 ½ years, that didn’t matter.
They have stripped numerous season ticket holder benefits because they could, because we were stuck if we wanted All Star Tickets. They didn’t give them back for 2013 either. What they did do for 2013 is raise prices on season ticket holders. Oh and remember how it was too difficult to give us a Royals Fan Fest in January because of the Fan Fest for the All Star Game in the middle of summer? If you buy that I have ocean front property in Nebraska for you.
Another part of why I am hanging up the suit is cost. The real me went to college on student loans which have come due. That book learnin’ isn’t cheap! Add that to the desire to buy a house and take care of other debt and it only makes sense to spend less on tickets.
Adding to the cost is the lack of time. There are 81 home games in a Royals Season and even making 60 of those is very daunting at times. How Superfan Chris has made every game for over 5 years is beyond me. I have other interests, other than baseball. Hard to believe I know, but it is true. I have been a Roller Derby Announcer for Dead Girl Derby in Riverside and Black Snake Roller Girls in St Joe since they began and that has opened doors for me to call events as large as the World Championship in Toronto so I find myself missing games in the heart of summer for that. I am also the online voice for Park University Men’s and Women’s Volleyball and one of the voices of iBN Sports High School Football. On top of that things come up (Like FIVE funerals this last summer in Nebraska). Frankly I don’t think it’s fair to claim to be a Superfan and go to half of the ball games.
Finally I need to refocus on my health. Before you all knew me I weighed over 300 lbs. I did all the right things and got down under 225lbs. Well as you can tell, I am back to the 280+ range. Its hard finding time to exercise while attending so many games and the other time issues I mentioned above. Maybe I will return as a slim trim Royalman.
So that’s the why. Now let me say, the last three years have been some of the most amazing of my life! I have met some of the most amazing people and had so much fun. Some people find it hard to believe but I never did this for attention. I did this for fun and it was. I stopped once it wasn’t. I have lived some of my dreams because of this. I have had my own radio show and have a very successful podcast because of this. I leave it behind with no regrets. I will stay on Twitter as @KCRoyalman because like @PCBearcat said the night I announced I was hanging up the costume, ‘KCRoyalman is more than just the costume.’ It’s in my heart and will always be part of me.
I am going to thank some people and I am not going to mention some of you but that doesn’t mean I am not thankful for your contributions to the last three years of my life.
I was at the K one day thinking how the Chiefs have superfans and the Royals should too. The next year both Royalman and Superfan Chris were born at separate locations and the Royals had something special, even if they didn’t want it. I have been so grateful for all the amazing folks who have come along for this crazy ride.
Thank you to Shan Sheriff who was the first to put me on the air on 610 Radio out at the K.
To Nick Wright (@GetNickWright) for always supporting me and my work. He was one of the first ones to have backed this crazy idea and even said once I deserve a press pass. I am pretty sure this letter will not help my cause towards getting one of those.
To Jay Binkley and the guys of the original @3GuysInaGarage. Jay made me part of their show on 1510 and is a major reason why I started doing the Royalman Report (Now the Kansas City Baseball Vault). Jay has become a real friend. One of the best people on the planet.
To Ty and Jay from Soundtrack of the Week (@SOTWPodcast) you guys are the best. A little crazy, very weird, but when it came to me you were always legit. You guys are great friends.
To Bob Fescoe, Josh Klingler, Danny Parkins, Cdot Harrison and anyone from 610 I haven’t named. They have all been so supportive of me.
To the Big Dumb Fun Show. www.BigDumbFunShow.Com for promoting me and caring about me as a friend. Also for letting us use their studio very inexpensively. To Aaron Gnirk for hours of guidance and direction with the Royalman Report.
To Greg Schaum for always supporting Royalman and my show. He sent out a call to arms the night I had my car accident and was in the hospital. I received so many tweets because of him and that made my recovery much better. This is just the surface of the many great things Greg has done.
To @PSAPrez who made my awesome KCRoyalman hat while I was in the hospital. This guy has also made the KC Baseball Vault and EKOH Website logos. Use him when you need Graphic design and shirts printed. My hat will be retired with the rest of the outfit.
To Superfan Chris for just being freaking awesome and becoming a great friend. Carry on strong my friend.
To @KCYeti, Brian McGannon, @BHIndepmo and all the folks that have been in since the beginning of Royalman. Especially Yeti who has become a good friend and ran the original server for the Royalman Report.
To Chris Kamler and Jeff Herr for their work on the show. To Chris for the home for the show for months and of course the great Kelly’s Westport Inn commercials. To both of them and all of the EKOH Network guys for being great friends. (The show will continue with Jeff, I and Mike as always)
To Michael Engel who has embraced doing a podcast with a crazy, tights -wearing superfan for two seasons now and has become someone I truly consider a friend. The show will continue as long as we can keep it going and I have big plans for it.
To my girlfriend who has dated a man in tights for over a year and never complained. Heck she bought me a personalized bat that reads “KCRoyalman: Three years in tights for the love of the Royals.” Never had any idea it would end at the end of the year when she had the bat made.
To Matt from KCTV5 thanks for the awesome stories you did on me.
To the 2500+ of you on twitter who have supported me you have no idea how special you all are to me and how awesome it makes me feel to know how many people care.
To the haters out there. Screw you. I had fun. You made no difference to me.
Man it was fun. Thank you all so much. It was always for you, about you, the average fan. It’s not the end of an era but a changing of times.
The Kansas City Baseball Vault is a live podcast every Saturday at 12 p.m. that covers the Royals, their minor league affiliates and other aspects of baseball in Kansas City.
You can catch up on old episodes of the Kansas City Baseball Vault here on Kings of Kauffman. Episodes of the Royalman Report are available on the site as well.