They said it wouldn’t last. We were just too different. They said our relationship would crumble under the outside pressures of competing loyalties. We are, after all, descendants of tribal cultures who competed in a life-and-death struggle over scarce resources. But we were in love, determined to make it work in spite of our differences. So we defied the critics and naysayers (yes you, Mom), and built a reasonably successful union for the last twenty years.
But events of these past few weeks have placed a strain on our once-strong sense of unity. Where we used to speak openly on nearly every subject without hesitation, we’re now a little more reserved when it comes to you know what, for fear of hurt feelings.
I speak of course of the long overdue resurgence of the Kansas City Royals.
See my wife, Michelle, was born and raised in the Detroit area. She grew up an ardent Tigers fan, in a family of ardent Tigers fans, frequently attending games from an early age.
As luck would have it, the year we got married (1994) was also the same year MLB reorganized, creating a new AL Central Division, putting our hometown teams in more intense direct competition for post-season glory. Who knew that ’94 would also be just about the only season for the next two decades where the Royals were even remotely relevant to any playoff discussion? The Royals were lousy, year after endless year, and thus never stood between the Tigers and the pursuit of championships. There was marital harmony.
So you see, all the years of heartache, embarrassment, and self-loathing you endured as a fan of the lowly Royals wasn’t completely for naught. It actually made things easier for me on the homefront. Feel better?
But now that the Royals are finally winning and leading the division, at the direct expense of the mighty Tigers no less, things are different. Take this morning, for example. After checking the scores from the previous night’s games, I attempted to commiserate with my bride and console her on the abysmal performance of her team in their 20-6 epic buttkickin’ at the hands of the lowly Twins, only to have her rebuff my magnanimous gesture of goodwill and snap “don’t try to pretend you’re not happy about it.”
So that’s how it is, huh? After all these years of me pulling for the Tigers whenever they were competitive and we were doormats, now you have sour grapes because my team’s in first for a change? My, how things have changed since the worm has turned. I guess a Tiger can’t hide those stripes forever, after all.
In case you weren’t already aware, Royals fans, Tigers fans are greedy! Apparently, they expect to win the division every single year. And they get upset when things don’t go their way.
At least it’s finally all out in the open. She knows I want her team to fail miserably, and vice versa (which means the other way around). We can drop the charade. So much for Midwestern courtesy. And by the way, nobody else considers Michigan as Midwestern, Michiganders. C’mon. You’re more like Southern-Canadians than Midwesterners. Take it from someone who actually was born and raised near the middle of our great nation, ay?
Anything can happen in the next month. Royals fans know better than anyone how quickly it can all go bad. But for now, I’m going to enjoy my team’s good fortune, as well as my betrothed team’s misfortune. Hopefully, she won’t hold a grudge.