Alex Gordon made himself into a star for the Kansas City Royals. Now it is time for the Royals to find a proper sendoff for him.
Most fans of the Kansas City Royals are Chiefs fans, as well. So we all remember the Buffalo Bills of the 1990s as a juggernaut. It is hard to compare today’s NFL offenses with the offenses of the 1990s but those Bills are one of the few teams that would still fit right in. They absolutely dominated the AFC, winning the league 4 straight times. And as easily as they have been forgotten by most of today’s NFL fans, due to never winning the Super Bowl, their star players were adored during their run. In Buffalo men like Jim Kelly, and Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed were demigods.
Jim Kelly quit after the 1996 season and then the writing was on the wall. In 1999 it became known that Thurman Thomas would no longer be on the Bills once the season ended. So, Bills fans turned their last home game into a celebration of Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed. The odd aspect of this was Andre Reed kept insisting he was not retiring. And it seemed as though every time he would say something about coming back Bills fans would just roar “We love you, Andre! Thanks for the years!” even louder. I always thought that was a very classy way of moving on from an aging star to whom the fans owed so much.
Alex Gordon will always be a demigod to me. The Hercules of the Heartland. And I am confident the same is true for countless Royals fans. When he was drafted number 2 overall almost 15 years ago it felt like the Royals were beginning to breathe again. The Royals lost 106 games that year. And it was becoming very difficult to imagine Jimmy Gobble and Denny Bautista ever becoming good enough to round out a starting rotation with Zack Greinke anytime soon. Alex Gordon was hope.
For many of us, Alex was the second coming of George Brett. The first Royals game I ever attended was in 1979. I was two years old. Every early memory I have of baseball revolves around Brett. I always had his jersey as a kid. And, when my 6-year-old nephew asked me whose jersey he should wear I, of course, told him to get the jersey of this new Alex Gordon kid. I saw Gordon as a chance to rekindle some of those summer feelings from my childhood when being a Royals fan meant expecting to win. But here is the thing about Alex Gordon: he surpassed every hope for him I could have ever had. He did more for me as a Royals fan than I ever had any right to expect. And, he did it in a way no one could have possibly predicted.