“I Still Believe”…The New Royal Anthem

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Over the past several weeks, The Kansas City Royals have been the hottest team in baseball. After taking 2 of 3 in Oakland, sweeping both The Diamondbacks and Giants and taking 3 of 4 in Kansas City against Oakland, The Royals arrived in Minneapolis with a record of 66-54-in first place in The American League Central.

On Friday, August 15, The Royals held on and beat the twins 6-5. Greg Holland made the ninth inning as challenging for himself as he possible could, but no matter, he hung of and collected another save-albeit gut wrenching. The Royals have been playing excellent baseball all season and have excelled since the All-Star Break. They have all the tools winning teams do; the starting pitching has been phenomenal, batting averages are up and defensively they are among the best in baseball. While all of this news is fantastic, there is something else going on in Kansas City, something that has everything to do with The Royals, something that hasn’t happened in almost two generations: belief.
Kansas City has had little to believe in since 1985. Sure, there have been brushes with almost greatness down the stretch, most notability; 1994 (strike), 2003 (faded in September) and 2013 (bounced in the last week) but nothing like this 2014 team.

With exactly 40 games remaining, The Kansas City Royals have an excellent chance of making a run at the playoffs as winners of The American League Central. The remaining teams The Royals face are mostly made up of teams that are last, or close to last, in their respective divisions. These teams have been devastated by either injury or by the trade deadline. Who The Royals play in the final six weeks has been gone over ad nauseam, but as I said before, the final six games against Detroit will determine the winner of the division. Baseball is strange, besides winning, there are other things that have to happen for a team to get into the play-offs (some call it luck).

One of those things that may benefit The Royals the most is the injuries that have befallen The Tigers starting rotation. That is not meant be malicious; injuries happen all the time in baseball, but it will definitely benefit The Royals. Of course other things will have to happen for The Royals to win the division; a bounce or call going their way, a random error etc. But overall, they have to keep the pressure on Detroit and keep winning. By doing this, people will believe.

Ask yourself this question: when was the last time, people from all over the county, were talking about The Royals in a positive way without grinning? When did you find yourself constantly checking the television or your phone for a score update? When were other teams afraid to play The Royals? When did it occur to you that The Royals were really contenders, not pretenders? The atmosphere in this city has changed. Usually by the middle of August, the funeral for The Royals has already taken place and football is on everyone’s mind. Not this year though. There is a crackle of electricity circulating in this city. People are discussing stats and chances. They are looking at The Royals opponent’s schedule, comparing our chances, strange days, indeed. This brings me to my final point (or plea).

On July 31, 1987, the film “The Lost Boys” and its soundtrack were released. “I Still Believe,” the eighth track on the soundtrack, was performed by Tim Cappello, a singer/saxophone player who toured with Tina Turner. Twenty one months prior, in October of 1985, The Kansas City Royals won The World Series. What do these two things have in common, well not much; I wanted to work the title into this piece and start a petition to get The Royals to play this song in the sixth inning of every remaining home game. This totally cheesy 80’s song represents everything great about the long suffering Royals fan. That was the last generation that knew really good baseball in Kansas City. It may finally be time for the lost generations of Royals fans, who have never known anything but disappointment, to see and feel what it’s like to have a winning team. I propose we adopt this as the official Royals theme song for the rest of the season, because it’s a great time to believe in The Kansas City Royals!

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Author: John Keeling

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