The local teams were off Monday but we got a Monday Night Football doubleheader instead. And tonight we get to see if the Royals can make it seven wins in a row in Detroit.
Welcome to today’s Dr. Feelgood!
THE LEAD – FANS CAN ONLY TAKE SO MUCH
Be patient. Trust the process. It takes time. Those are the kinds of things Royals fans were told for so long after entering a dry spell for many years after winning the 1985 World Series.
Royals fans were patient even though that’s not the role of the fan. Fans want their teams to win. Nobody in their right mind is ok with the teams they love to be bad all of the time. Winning a championship buys most teams time before they have to be a champion again. Sure the fans want a repeat, but they are generally happy for a few years regardless of what happens.
Royals fans were patient while the franchise tried to win after 1985. I say they tried to win. I’m not sure they were always trying but we will give them the benefit of the doubt.
General Manager John Schuerholz left in 1990 to be the GM of the Atlanta Braves. Herk Robinson took over in 1990 and Royals fans were told to be patient. Building a winning franchise, especially in a small market like Kansas City, takes time. So, Royals fans waited.
When things did not work out for the Royals under Herk Robinson, he was out and Allard Baird took over as GM in 2000. Baird told Royals fans to be patient. It takes time to build a winner, especially in a small market like Kansas City.
In 2006, David Glass decided that Baird wasn’t working and Glass fired him and brought in Dayton Moore. Moore arrived in Kansas City and said that he wanted to build a winner in Kansas City. Unfortunately, fans needed to be patient because building a franchise takes time, especially in a small market like Kansas City.
And through 2013, Royals fans were not rewarded for being patient. Now, fans weren’t patient the entire time. Many walked away from the team and said, “Call me when you are serious.” They wanted to love the team. They tried to love the team. The team didn’t love them back.
Kansas football was decent under Glen Mason from 1988-1996. When Mason was gone they brought in Terry Allen. He wanted to build a successful program but it takes time, especially at a basketball program like Kansas. When he wasn’t able to do it Kansas brought in Mark Mangino. Now he was successful. He won an Orange Bowl. But things went south after that and Kansas wanted him fired. They found a reason to let him go and then they did.
So Turner Gill took over and told Kansas fans that he wanted to build a winning program at the school. However, it takes time to build a winner at a basketball school so fans were gong to need to be patient. It didn’t work out.
In 2012, Charlie Weis took over as the Kansas football coach. Weis was going to return the Jayhawks to their winning ways. He just had to get his guys in the program so, yo know, fans needed to be patient. After all, it takes time to build a program, especially at a basketball school like Kansas. Weis didn’t last long at all. Kansas realized that he was just collecting a paycheck so they had to let him go and find someone to build a winner for them.
David Beaty was the choice in 2015 to take over the program. His goal from day one was to build a winning program at Kansas. The roster was pretty bare so he was going to need a little time. It’s difficult to build a program at a school as down as Kansas was at that time. So just be patient for a few years. Well, we know that ended badly as well.
So in 2019, Kansas hired former LSU national championship winning coach Les Miles. He had a ring. He would build a winner at Kansas. He had the resume to do it. Kansas fans just needed to give him time to build a roster that did not even have all of its scholarships filled. So Miles was gong to need time we were told. You can’t just build a winner overnight.
Do you see a pattern? Can you see how Royals fans, who ultimately got their trip to the World Series in 2014 and a World Series championship in 2015 can feel the pain of Kansas football fans? It’s not that both fan bases went without a championship for many years. It’s that they were both trying to support teams that were miserable. They were both among the worst in their sport. Kansas still is.
Every new regime for each team had a legitimate point. They did need time. It was/is difficult to build a winner for each of these teams. And unfortunately for them, each new regime was another regime away from the last time the team had success. It wasn’t each regime’s fault that they were taking over for a regime that failed. They all certainly wanted to build a winner. They all needed time to build a winning team. It’s all completely understandable.
And the fans of these teams were patient. They really had no choice. They could stop being a fan and cheer for another team but that’s not what you do if you love a team. You rarely leave a team you truly love. Fans of both teams did what most fan bases do. They just stopped watching. You can only be miserable for so long.
And every fan has his or her breaking point. They reach a point where they cannot take the losing any longer. It doesn’t mean they don’t love the team. They do. If they didn’t love the team they would have left quietly long ago. But they tried to make it work. They tried to be positive. They defended the team when their friends made fun of them. But eventually, every fan reaches a point where they don’t care to hear the reasons why their team is struggling and the current regime just has to understand and wear it.
So now we get to this past Saturday and Lawrence After Dark. Nothing went right. The Jayhawks could not have overlooked Coastal Carolina. They lost to the same team last year in Lawrence. Kansas needed to get off to a good start this year. With just one non-conference game, the Jayhawks had to win this game. Fans were excited for a full season of a Brent Dearmon offense. They expected a high-flying offense that this year would run over Coastal Carolina. After all, last year when they saw Coastal Carolina, the run game was the choice of attack for Kansas. This year was going to be different.
Then Kansas fans find out the team doesn’t have a quarterback. They are going to play two guys at that position. So, they know their team doesn’t have one quarterback. And the fans aren’t happy.
There are times when only the result matters. The fans don’t want to hear why things are bad any longer.
Kansas is trying to find their quarterback? The fans don’t care. The defense has lost most of its players from last season? They don’t care. Oh, a fumble. It wasn’t intentional. They don’t care.
You might be worn out from a long day of work and when you go out to eat your server is rude because of something that happened to them earlier in they day? You don’t care. Of course, you care about your fellow humans, but at certain times you just want results. We are all human. We all need that from time to time. Someone brings you your dinner but it’s wrong because the server wouldn’t write down your order and thought they would remember your order and that of the other six people at dinner. You don’t care. You are just upset.
You go to a football game after a long week of work and you just want to watch a football game. The players decide they want to make a statement and you don’t care. Just play the damn game.
You go on vacation after finishing a tough project at work for which you put in a ton of hours and they lose your rental car reservation because of computer problems. You don’t care. You just want the damn car.
So that’s where Royals fans were until they reached the World Series in 2014. And that’s where many Kansas fans are right now.
It’s not the fault of the current players or coaching staff. It really wasn’t the problem of previous players or coaching staffs. It’s just the failure of the program year after year that causes it. The current regime might not like it but they have to own it and wear it. Embrace it and keep working. It can be done. It has been done before. Earlier this century the Jayhawks won an Orange Bowl. Although Kansas fans don’t care why things aren’t working right now, they will be there to give their support when things turn around. It’s not that they don’t care or that they aren’t good fans. It’s that they can only take so much. Bring them a competitive team, not even an Orange Bowl winner, and you will win back generations of fans.
And when fans can attend games again, don’t tell fans that you need them at the game to help the team. The fans owe you nothing. Most have given the university a lot of money during their college years. No, the school is selling the product. The football program owes the fans. They have to earn the money of the fans.
It’s all there to be had. Now it’s up to Les Miles and his staff to make it happen. Kansas fans are with you even if they aren’t at the stadium. They just can’t do it any more. But trust me, they will all be there to support you when you earn their time and money once again. It doesn’t make them fair weather fans. It makes them human.
No Local Games
6:10pm – MLB – FSKC – Royals (Danny Duffy, 3-3, 4.24) at Tigers (Matthew Boyd, 1-6, 7.63)
ROUND AND ROUND
– The Big 12 football schedule for September 26 was released on Monday. Kansas State will play at Oklahoma at 11:00am on FOX. Kansas goes to Baylor for a 6:30pm kickoff on ESPNU.
– The Wilpon and Katz families reached an agreement with Steve Cohen on a sale of the New York Mets. The deal is for around $2.475 million and is pending approval by Major League Baseball. Cohen needs approval from 23 teams. Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez have been trying to make a last-minute deal for the team.
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Thanks for reading…