One of the main reasons that fans of the Cubs and Brewers irritate me so much is because the ratio of their team's accomplishments to their shooting their mouths off is way out of proportion.
Cubs fans can bore you to death with their endless stories about how their team has been jinxed and gypped out of dozens of championships that rightly should have been theirs. But Brewers and especially Reds fans, I hate to say, are becoming worse. Their team teams haven't done much of ANYTHING during the lifetime of more than half of their fan base. Yet they still keep flapping their gums about how wonderful their clubs are -- and how terrible yours is.
The Brewers high water mark is getting beaten by the Cardinals in the World Series -- and even that was 29 years ago. They've made the playoffs a couple of times since then and have been relatively competitive for the last four or five years. But the Reds are really getting me torqued because, since winning a fluke World Series two decades ago when they still had a few players you've actually heard of, they've been a perennial sad sack bottom dweller.
I went to a game at the Great American Ballpark seven or eight years ago and I couldn't believe how meek their small crowd was. It was the only time I have ever worn a Cardinals jersey to a road game and not had a single person say a single discouraging word to me. Griffey Jr. had already proven to be a bust and every other decent player the Reds had was shipped out of town at the trade deadline.
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I really felt sorry for them. Now I feel sorry in an entirely different way. Reds rooters, nobody likes fair weather fans who come out of the woodwork when their team is playing well and act like jerks. Where were you in 2009?
In 2010 the Reds managed to win a sorry division with a very unimpressive 91 wins (seriously, you couldn't squeeze out a couple more victories from a schedule that was heavy with games against four sub-.500 teams including the 57-105 Pirates?) The Reds were exposed when they faced playoff quality competition (if they weren't exposed by the Cardinals winning 12 of the 18 games the teams played) by getting swept in the first round. Yet suddenly Cincinnati fans are trash talking the Cardinals?
You can't read a story on Yahoo about the Cardinals -- or the National League Central -- without the comments suddenly filling up with venomous Reds fans about how much they hate the Cardinals, St. Louis, the Arch and Toasted Ravioli. What gives?
It's not our fault that your team, besides winning last season by default, hasn't been a factor in the National League playoff race since 1995 when it was swept by the Braves. Beyond the 1990 win over the Athletics in the Fall Classic, you have to go back to 1979 to find the last time the Reds were even in the post season.
How can Reds fans knock the Cardinals when half of their team is made up of St. Louis castoffs from General manager Walt Jocketty to third baseman Scott Rolen all the way down to utility infielder Miguel Cairo? If they ask them really nice, maybe the former Redbirds will show Reds players or fans their 2006 World Series and 2004 National League championship rings.
Reds jerk/infielder Brandon Phillips has already tweeted about how sad he is to have to come to play in St. Louis tonight. What were your big plans if you would have stayed home, Brandon?
I understand it when New York or Los Angeles fans come to town and try to pick on St. Louis because it is comparatively small. But Cincinnati folks bashing St. Louis? Your town is the THIRD largest city in Ohio. Remember when Bengals coach Sam Wyche chided you for throwing snowballs with the remark "This isn't Cleveland?" Yeah. You WISH you were Cleveland.
We claim Chuck Berry, Miles Davis, John Goodman and Vincent Price as our own. You have Larry Flint and Jerry Springer. Our most famous ballplayer: Stan the Man Musial. Yours, Pete "the Convicted Felon" Rose.
St. Louis is the home of toasted ravioli, American style beer and the birthplace of the ice cream cone. You CLAIM to be the "chili capital of the world." And I think comedian Ron White said it best when he pointed out that the Cincinnati folks must not have told the Mexican boys there was going to be a competition.
I'd spend more time pointing out how boring Cincinnati is. But, truthfully, I don't really think I need to. I'm pretty sure everyone outside of southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky is already fully aware. All I can tell you is that I went there for one Cardinals road trip several years ago... And I have never had any desire to go back.
Bragging rights are earned on the field. Cardinals fans, who typically don't attack until they are fired upon, can claim 10 World Series, 17 National League pennants and the best record in the National League Central in the last 15 years. So, Reds fans, hold your bitter tongues until you have something relevant to say.
Let me just conclude that, judging by your attendance, Reds fans should be mindful that what they dish out on the way up is likely to be dealt back to them on their way down. And, since you still can't attract enough people to your games to sustain a decent payroll, you are soon going to watch Phillips, Joey Votto and your pitching staff leave just like Ken Griffey Jr., Eric Davis and Aaron Boone did before them.