For Better or For Worse…In Wins and In Losses…I’m a Rangers Fan For Life
I’m not going to lie, it can be painful to sit and watch bad baseball. Unfortunately this season Rangers fans haven’t had a lot of great baseball to watch in Arlington (or on the road for that matter). Well, with the exception of the sweep of the Astros that I just watched while writing this article. To date, I have personally attended five Rangers games and only once have I left The Ballpark hearing Pat Green sing “I Like Texas”. I love my Rangers, but I’m accepting the fact that it could be one of THOSE years.
I know it’s difficult to watch bad baseball. It’s also difficult to make the decision to drive all the way out to the Ballpark to watch it in person (for me it’s a good 35-40 minute drive, depending on the flow of traffic on our lovely toll roads and highways). I know there are people out there with more “responsibilities” than me so they have legitimate reasons why they can’t make it out to The Ballpark as much. I get it. But still, the team needs our support and for fans to show up to the games, even though they are struggling. In fact, I believe they need our support even more since they are struggling. No player wants to play in front of an empty ballpark (just ask the Orioles).
Attendance for Opening Weekend this year wasn’t too bad (it was overall better than last season’s first three games combined), but by the fourth home game of this season, The Ballpark only had about 18,400 fans (that was how many tickets were sold. I don’t even think that many people were there). Last year at the fourth home game, there were almost twice as many fans in attendance. For the rest of the first homestand this season, The Ballpark wasn’t even half full after Opening Weekend. If you are a person who likes stats and numbers, check out the chart below to see a comparison of attendance at the home games of this season versus last season. (chart courtesy of The Sports Network)
It’s easy to vent and complain when your team is playing poorly (I’m not pointing any fingers because I’m just as guilty), but I don’t feel we have a right to totally desert the team either. Fair-weather fans annoy me. There, I said it. I moved to Dallas in 2004 and I would go to as many Rangers games as I could, despite the fact they were playing under .500 baseball, and that for the most part they would be out of playoff contingency by the All-Star Break. I would invite friends to go with me. A lot of people complained that the Rangers were terrible so they didn’t want to sit and watch them play (not all of them did this- I did have some friends who would attend games with me). It’s funny when the Rangers started doing well in 2010 and made the playoffs, those same people who never wanted to go to a game all of a sudden wanted to go to a playoff game with me. Yeah, it’s easy to be a fan of a team that is winning (see: bandwagon fan). BUT, what makes the best of times even sweeter is when you’ve suffered through the worst of times (my apologies to Mr. Dickens).
If you have only been a Rangers fan since 2010 (for the record, I’m not saying anything is wrong with that), then you haven’t experienced some of the rough seasons that long-time Rangers fans have suffered through. There were some seasons in the late 1980s and early 2000s where the Rangers lost at least 90 games. And in the first 22 seasons of me being a fan (1988-2009), the team only finished above .500 ten times.
I became a Rangers fan because my Bubba was a fan, and I was the annoying, yet adorable, little sister who had to like everything he liked when it came to sports. Yes, he is the brother responsible for my baseball obsession. You can either thank or blame him.
Being a baseball fan is like being in a relationship. There are going to be some great moments where everything is going right, and there are going to be rough patches that make you want to quit all together. But you don’t break up with someone over one little fight, do you? (If you do, then you might have issues that go beyond being a bandwagon fan). No relationship is perfect. There WILL be bad times. You just have to grin and bear it, so to speak. Things will get better, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually they will. In the meantime, I’ll see you at The Ballpark. Be sure to say hello. Go Rangers. Never Ever Quit.