Originally Posted by Shaknb8k
When you say Cincinnati Reds most people think of a baseball team that is based upon winning. The older generation then might think of the days of Robinson, Kluszewski, and Nuxhall as well as all the other things I will mention. The next generation will probably think about the Big Red Machine with Pete, Tony, Johnny, Concepcion, and Morgan only to list a few. As soon as they think of the Big Red Machine they think of utter dominance of a decade of baseball. The next generation thinks about the 1990 team of Rijo, Larkin, Dibble and Browning that defied all odds. They defeated the reigning world champions when no one gave them a chance. This group of people make up probably close to 99% of the Reds fan base. For that 99% of the fans the words Cincinnati Reds are synonyms for winning baseball. I want to inform you about how that small 1% remembers the Cincinnati Reds.
I am part of a new generation of fans that when I think of Cincinnati Reds and donít hardly think about winning. I would have to think that I am a rare breed of Reds fan because of this. My grandpa was a Reds fan, my dad is a Reds fan so thats how I became a Reds fan. I am 20 years old meaning in just the past few years I have became a REAL diehard fan that my grandpa and dad are. I now live and breathe Cincinnati Reds Baseball. It wasnt till a few years ago that I became the type of fan that many of you are. Ive always been a fan but now I guess I'm a fanatic.
I was born 1985 and I can hardly remember the 1990 World Series that was the last great Cincinnati Reds moment. I was 5 years old and all I remember of that was that they won and Chris Sabo wore these big olí goggles. I donít remember one pitch of the entire series. Most people my age are not going to follow a team that doesnít win. Thatís just how they are. But I love the Reds. Win or lose, I will always be a Reds fan no matter what part of the country I end up in. So that is why I believe I am part of a very small group of people who are my age.
From the day I was born, the Reds are 1673-1655 through 21 seasons. That is a winning percentage of .503 and only 18 games above .500. I have lived through 10 winning seasons and 10 losing seasons (1 .500 season). The Reds have been to the playoffs only 2 times and won the World Series a mere 1 time. I have lived through 10 managers. A better way of putting that is that the Reds have averaged a different manager a little over every 2 seasons since I was born. That hardly sounds like the same team that many Reds fans from the other generations think of. If I want to see the Reds dominate I have to read a book or article or watch a clip. I canít just sit down and remember the winning times because they donít exists since I have been alive. There have been single seasons that were pretty good but no GREAT season or even a streak of good seasons. The great Reds moments I think of is Larkin winning the MVP and the Reds trading for the best player in baseball at the time, Ken Griffey Jr. I donít think of winning times.
Usually wisdom comes from old men talking to young lads. But I would like to reverse the roles a little bit. I would like to tell the generations before me not to take those winning years for granite. I am not going to lie; I am flat out jealous of the people who can talk about the days when the Cincinnati Reds were at the top. I do feel cheated in a way when compared to other generations of Reds fans. But for some it is easy to complain a lot about the Reds new losing ways when you have seen the other side. But I havenít seen that side. The losing way or the average way is all I know from the Reds.
You might think this is a pretty deep for a post on a message board and your probably right. But I really love the Reds and I am looking forward to this season and what seems to be a small step in the right direction with this ownership. But what I wanted to do with this post is show that the Reds arenít the same to everyone. All I have to be proud about is the history and nothing from my lifetime. But years down the road when this ship is turned around and my generation can talk to the past generations about winning there is one thing that my generation wont ever be questioned aboutÖand that is Loyalty.
This is one of the better posts I've read in a long time around here. I think I have an even greater appriciation for your post because I too was born in 1985 and have been contemplating writing a similar post for weeks. I kept putting it off because I couldn't put my love for the Reds into words and now I don't have to because you have hit on every aspect already.
I was a late bloomer to the full-blown Reds passion. I have always followed the team and always pulled for them, but at the start of the 1998 season something happened and they tugged on my heart and have never let go. I can't pinpoint the moment I became a diehard, it just seemed to happen. I went to my first game in June of 1998 on a Friday night against the Houston Astros. Even though it's been 8 years I will remember it forever. Dad and I came around the corner and Cinergy Field came into my view and my feet haven't touched the ground since. I remember being on the concourse level waiting to go into the stadium....I remember how from the gates you could see the green seats and a few advertising signs. I was in heaven right there because I could see the actual seats. I remember hearing John Walton over the PA system outside the park saying "Hello! Wecome to Cinergy Field, home of the Cincinnati Reds, and the Cincinnati Bengals. Have fun, be safe and curtious and enjoy the game."
We finally got into the stadium and found our seats. It was a Friday night during the 1998 NBA Finals. The crowd was alittle sparce because the Chicago Bulls were up 3 games to 2 over the Jazz and that night could have been Michael Jordan's last pro game. The whole field looked so prestine to me, even though as I got older I realized how crappy it really was but it will always have a special place in my heart.
Finally the game began. Craig Biggio hit a leadoff homer for the Astros and that was the only run they would score that night. Barry Larkin tied the game up in the bottom of the first with a shot of his own. The Reds offense really clicked that night, putting up 8 runs. Mike Remlinger went 8 innings to get the win and Danny Graves pitched the 9th to close it out.
Me (along with the others in this thread), being 20 years old, it's been very hard to be a fan of the Reds through the years. I take alot of flack for being a Reds fan from friends and neighbors. It's not cool to be a Reds fan right now. People ask me how I can be so passionate about a team that loses so much. My answer is always the same....If you and your mom or dad had a fight and had some rough times, would you quit loving them? Once you're in love, you're in love....through the good times and bad.
It's not all been bad over the past 10 years or so that we of this age group have been fans. 1999 was a special year. February 10, 2000 was a day I will remember until I die. The closing of Cinergy Field and the opening of Great American Ball Park. The return of Jose Rijo. Junior's chase for 500. Even though the wins haven't been there, there will always be some fond memories of the past few years for me.
Fair weather fans drive me crazy. I can't tell you how many "fans" of the White Sox showed up in my town this past October who claimed to be diehards. 90% couldn't name that first White Sox player. I will never be that type of fan and when I get married and have kids I will preach to them to not be that kind of fan or person. If me kids decide to root for another team than the Reds, so be it but I will try to instill in them not to root for a team just because they are popular at the time. Don't have 9 favorite teams in 10 years.
I could care less if every other team in baseball wins 3 World Series rings before the Reds even appear in the playoffs. The Cincinnati Reds are my passion and my love. They have been for 8 years and they will be for hopefully another 80 years. They could go 0-162 but I can promise you I would be counting down the days til Opening Day of the next season, hoping for 162-0. Nothing that the Reds could ever contemplate doing would ever even make me think of falling in love with another baseball team.
As somebody said earlier, I bleed Cincinnati Red and I don't give a damn who knows it.