Re: The Reds arent the same to all fans
I am also 20 and I feel as though I wrote that post myself. You did an excellent job of just taking a lot of the words out of my mouth and I wish I could write them down that well.
When I hear the Reds, the first thing that comes to mind is the tradition and then after that it's usually the embarrassment of the last decade. I was also born in 1985. I attended my first game on Aug 9, 1992 (Reds vs. Giants) with my dad and grandpa. In 1992 I also started collecting baseball cards and now I have over 35,000. I suppose I reall became a diehard fan in 1993 or so when I finally got to a couple more games and really collected more cards. The strike hit in 1994 and I was devastated but unlike older fans, I didn't need to be called back to the game, I was there waiting.
I think 1995 was probably my second favorite season to be a Reds fan. The Reds were unbelievable that year and surprisingly I can still remember a lot of it being only 10 at the time. I remember Bret Boone hitting a homer to take down the Cubs in the 11th at a game I went to early in the year. I remember being so devastated when my favorite pitcher Jose Rijo went down. I also remember the winning and how good it felt to have the MVP at shortstop.
The years of 1996-1997 were dull and boring. I really have no major memories. I think I became more of a baseball fan and less of a Reds fan. There was Larkin going for 30/30 but not much else. 1998 was one of my favorite years to be a baseball fan. The homerun chase captivated me and I think I still have all of the newspaper clipping from the McGwire/Sosa race down in my basement.
My favorite year to be a Reds fan was 1999. That team was amazing and I was finally to the age where I could follow it, relate to the game, and appreciate the way that team played it. I was in middle school then and I can remember how excited I was to be able to stay up late for the one game playoff. It was heartbreaking in the end but a great ride while it lasted. The next best Reds memory I have was seeing Jr. come to town in 2000. I still remember how awesome it felt to wear that red #30 jersey to school the first day after spring break that year.
Since 2001, I have really fallen out of touch with the Reds and baseball. I have followed the game passionately for the first half of every year but by August I am glad for college football season to finally roll around. I rarely have been significantly interested in any of the post season games. The funny thing is I have gotten my driver's license and have been going to more games than ever. My junior and senior years in high school I went to 15-20 games each year, almost all walkup $5 tickets with friends. I have really stopped collecting cards in favor of just collecting autographs.
This past year has been even more of the same. I am in Columbus now. I am excited as ever for baseball season to start and especially excited for the new ownership. I will probably be passionate about the team at least for the first half of the season but I think I will again fall into the midseason slump if the Reds aren't in contention. I just can't justify spending what little money I have to go down to a game in August when I could use for a Buckeyes game in September. This year was the first year ever that I went to more games in other stadiums than in Cincinnati. I went to Clippers games, a Pirates games, several Indians games in September/Oct, and a few Dragons games. I went to 6 Reds games last year and 3 were on free tickets. It's not that I can blame going to school on it as I usually went to most of my games in the summer months. I just don't have the tradition aspect to fall back on in my support of the Reds. I see the here and now and personally the here and now doesn't deserve money from me. Don't get me wrong, I still watch a lot of games but why pay when I can tune in at home and just turn the TV off after.
I guess this turned out to be more of a vent but I agree with Shak. I don't recall the old glory days - I hear stories from my dad and read books, but they are little more than fictional tales. The Reds baseball I know is a team that starts out in contention but by the all star game they are fighting in the cellar. I really hope the new ownership brings winning baseball back. I think the next couple years are a real make or break time for me in my life with the Reds. I will always be a baseball fan and the Reds will always be my favorite team. If the Reds don't get better I think I will continue to go to games but they will more and more be roadtrips with college friends to see other teams and other parks.