Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Forever Royal

Wow... as I sit here almost 3 days after the final out, I still can't even come to reality with the fact that the Kansas City Royals are World Series Champions. Seriously, let that sink in. It's something that I've been waiting my entire life for but at points, never thought I'd see.

Last year we came close enough to taste it; this year, we're living it.

Right now, I'm feeling so many different emotions. The sting of the heartbreak from losing in Game 7 last year is finally going away.

The ride we've been on with this team is absolutely unbelievable...I can't even put it into words.
From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, we've seen it all from our Boys in Blue.

As I look back a few years, I can't remember how many times I would watch a game and think "Do they even care?" or "Why are they just quitting? Can't they do more?" I would pout in frustration because all I wanted them to do was care just a little more. I had hope, why didn't they? We'd get down a few runs and just quit. There was no fight.

Now, during the last two years, I've watched this team transform into a magical team. They NEVER give up, they NEVER stop fighting. They find a way to win when winning looks impossible.

There have been so many magical moments during the last two years; three of the best games I can ever remember in any sport in my entire life.
  • 2014 AL Wildcard Game
  • 2015 ALDS Game 4
  • 2015 World Series
Don't ask me to rank them because we all know that the World Series is the most important. 

I've been a Royals fan for as long as I can remember. I've never been a part of a world championship for any team that I've been a fan of. I guess when I was little I decided that I'd pick the underdog in every sport that I love. But guess what!! The Kansas City Royals are no longer the underdog, they're WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS! 

It's been 30 years. I've been alive for 26. I don't want to wait another 30 years for a championship but the feeling I have right now could probably never be replicated. I'm a complete bag of emotions; it's almost overwhelming. It might seem silly but you put your heart into what you love. I love the Kansas City Royals. They're my team, win or lose.

I'll always be Forever Royal.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Royals Magic

What a game! This Royals team continues to impress me night after night. Is it magic? I'm not sure but whatever it is, I'll take more!

Every time I start to get the slightest feeling that the Royals are going to go through a slump or that they have no chance of winning, they do something incredible!

Tonight was no different. It was a rough first inning for Chris Medlen. On the first pitch, Manny Machado drills one to deep right center. At first, it looks like Lorenzo Cain makes an incredible grab but the ball bounces off the wall and Machado lands the double.

Two batters later, Adam Jones blasts a two run homer to left to give the Orioles an early 2-0 lead.

Fortunately, Medlen was able to settle in after the first to finish with 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 6 K's.

The 6th inning is the real story of the night. Lorenzo Cain grounds out to third, but don't worry, it doesn't matter. Hosmer comes in a drives a double to deep left. Next up is Morales, he grounds out to second but advances Hosmer to third.

Here's where the frenzy begins. Moose is up-- he drills a home run to right, tying the game at 3-3. Salvy comes in, hits a single. Next, Rios dobules to deep left, advancing Salvy to third.

Here's where it gets really crazy! Infante hits a triple to deep center, scoring Salvy and Rios. Schoop overthrows to 3rd and Infante scores on the error, getting the non-traditional, in-the-park home run.
Now the Royals lead 6-3.

The 2-out rally isn't over here. Escy singles to right and Jimenez is done for the night. Zobrist comes in,  singles to left and Escy moves to 3rd. Cain comes in, hits a single and both Zobrist and Escy score.

The Royals plate 7 runs in the 6th to take an 8-3 lead. That was all they needed.

The Boys in Blue are now 28 games above .500, they have a 13 game lead in the AL Central, they have a 7 game lead on New York/Toronto. With 38 games left, the need just 24 more to finish with 100 wins.

There's only one word I can find to describe this season right now, INSANE! I could've never dreamed a season like this for the Royals. After so many bad years, things are finally looking up. It feels amazing. Don't get me wrong, last year was amazing. I kept waiting for the collapse but it never happened. This year, I'm just enjoying the ride. This team is incredible! There's nothing better than being a Royals fan!

It will be another 7:10 start tomorrow night. Danny Duffy will be on the mound. Hopefully Rios and Infante can keep rolling! If so, this team is truly unstoppable.

Forever Royal.

Friday, September 26, 2014

October, Here We Come!

By: Dara Bitler

I have been a Royals fan for as long as I can remember. I've seen the good, the bad, and certainly, the ugly. Tonight, I got to witness one of the most amazing scenes I've ever seen; the Royals clinch their first playoff berth since 1985. I've never seen anything like what I saw tonight.

I'm speechless...words can't begin to describe how happy and excited I am.

After watching almost every game this season I feel like I can finally least a little. Season after season of missed opportunity finally came to a close tonight.

There is nothing harder than watching a team you love knowing that they've got no shot at a postseason-- which is what I've seen the majority of my life, give or take a couple seasons where the Royals came close to getting to the postseason.

The drought is over, Kansas City!

We are not done yet! We still have a chance to clinch the division title and why not dream big, lets go get a World Series Championship!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Why We Believe

Everyone has something they believe in. As a member of the K-State family, I believe in K-State.

With the 2014 football season approaching, our belief in Bill Snyder is at an all time high. If someone were to ask me why I believe in Bill Snyder, it would be an easy explanation.

Bill Snyder is one of the greatest coaches in the history of college football. He gives the K-State fan base something to believe in. He has proven time and time again that he take can a program that is in shambles and turn it into something magical.

Bill Snyder would be my definition of a legend. He has dedicated his entire life to better our university and football team. He has not only touched the lives of his players and staff, but also the lives of the students on campus and K-State fans around the world.

Unselfish, genuine, and determined are just a few words that I would use to describe Bill Snyder. He carries the entire K-State family on his back and never takes credit for any of the success. Bill Snyder is truly amazing.

The way Bill Snyder lives his life is easily reflected in the 16 Goals he instills in his football players.

  1. Commitment
  2. Unselfishness
  3. Unity
  4. Improve
  5. Be Tough
  6. Self-Discipline
  7. Great Effort
  8. Enthusiasm
  9. Eliminate Mistakes
  10. Never Give Up
  11. Don’t Accept Losing
  12. No Self Limitations
  13. Expect to Win
  14. Consistency
  15. Leadership
  16. Responsibility

Just imagine how successful we’d all be if we chose to follow this list of goals.

When I look back to my freshman year at K-State, I could never forget what it was like to attend a football game when Ron Prince was the head coach. I’m certainly glad that it was the only year I had to witness that type of football.  I remember going to a few game where I couldn’t even stand to be there for more than a quarter of football. During most games the stands would be nearly empty following halftime. The tension on campus was so thick you could cut it with a knife. We had nothing to believe in.

When Bill Snyder returned to K-State, he gave us all something to believe in. We’d seen him rebuild a team before and we all knew that he could do it again. It hasn’t taken long for us to witness the power 
of Bill Snyder.

From a Big 12 Championship to winning the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl 31-14 against Michigan, we’ve watched Bill Snyder put the pieces back together for K-State Football.

I have no reason to believe this season is going to be any different, I believe this season is going to be special. I believe in Bill Snyder.


Be sure to check out my weekly colum, The Wabash Line, on The Salute

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Being A Wildcat

I’m a Wildcat. It’s something I don’t have to think about, I just know it. My blood is purple, my passion, endless.
Those that know me could never imagine that I grew up as anything other than a Wildcat. I spent the majority of my younger years in a community in Missouri where being anything other than a Tiger fan would make you an outcast. While that still rings true for the majority of my family, I’m now considered the outcast.
It all started during my junior year of high school. I moved to Kansas but never really knew much about Kansas schools. I went on a visit to K-State and from that day forward, I became a Wildcat.
Attending K-State was the best experience of my life. There’s no feeling more powerful than walking into a packed parking lot, filled with your entire K-State family at the Bill on a Saturday afternoon. Hearing Crazytrain blasting through the speakers gives me chills. There’s so much tradition, from the clanking of keys at the start of a game to singing the Alma Mater song at the end of the game. I think I only knew “Hail, Hail, Hail, Alma Mater” for the first 4 years I sang it. There was always a chance I stood behind someone wearing the shirt with the words on the back of it and then, of course, I belted out the entire song. The Sandstorm in Bramlage during a close game is an experience that is hard to top. Just imagine a roaring crowd of thousands of students, jumping up and down, screaming “KSU, KSU, KSU” as they pound their fists in the air. It’s awesome!
On the days I’m not working, my choice of clothing isn’t decided like most girls, I have to choose which K-State T-Shirt I will wear. On game days that I’m not attending, you will find me head-to-toe in K-State gear. My personal favorite is my K-State snuggie. I was once on a K-State commercial doing the Wabash in my snuggie in the front row of a K-State men’s basketball game.
If you see a girl frantically waving at you while you’re driving down the road, it’s probably because I saw a powercat on your car or a K-State license plate. It’s amazing how many people you can meet anywhere in the United States that are K-State fans!
Being a fan is a way of life. The entire K-State nation is my family. Therefore, I will cheer when they cheer. I will grieve when they grieve. I will hope when they’re hopeful (even when they’re not, I’ll still hope). Win or lose, I’m a Wildcat.
There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about Kansas State University. I love my school and I love the Wildcat way of life.
It’s almost football time! BRING ON THE CATS!
Be sure to check out my weekly column, The Wabash Line on The Salute

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Kansas City Chiefs 2014 Season Predictions

By: Dara Bitler @SportsWithDara

After a remarkable, unexpected 11-5 finish last season, the Chiefs path to success will be a much more challenging feat this season.

At first glance, it would be easy to understand why one might place the Chiefs finishing with a record of 8-8. Generally, I'm overly optimistic, which is why I believe that this will be the season for the Chiefs to shock the world.

Week 1- Tennessee- Sept. 7- 12:00- HOME
The Chiefs will have no problem stopping the Titans in this home opener. The defense will be all over Jake Locker causing him to make numerous errors, like we've seen in the past.


Week 2- Denver- Sept. 14- 3:25
Obviously, I would love to see the Chiefs get this win. Unfortunately, I don't believe it's going to happen. Since 1994, the Chiefs are 6-20 when they play at Denver. If the Chiefs come out with a win here, they're truly going to have a special season.


Week 3- Miami- Sept. 21- 3:25
The Chiefs will bounce back against a winless Miami Dolphins team. Wins will be hard to come by for the Chiefs this season and this win will be one they take without a problem.


Week 4- New England- Sept. 29- 7:30- HOME
You're right, I'm absolutely nuts for picking the Chiefs to win this game. A Monday night, home game will be the perfect stage for the Chiefs to pick up this unexpected win. 


Week 5- San Francisco- Oct. 5- 3:25
 It's entirely possible that the 49ers will be 4-0 as they head into this game against the Chiefs. In my mind, they're a BIG favorite to win the Super Bowl. This game will be a battle to the end with the 49ers coming out on top. 


Week 6- BYE

Week 7- San Diego- Oct. 19- 3:05
The Chiefs will get their first win in San Diego in 7 years. This game will set the tone for the second half of the Chiefs season and propel them to finish strong. 


Week 8- St. Louis- Oct. 26- 12:00- HOME 
This game will be closer than it has in the past but the Chiefs will come out with a win. The Chiefs are the better team. Will Sam Bradford actually be playing by the time we reach week 8? 


Week 9- New York Jets- Nov. 2- 12:00- HOME
The Chiefs aren't going to have a problem against this struggling Jets team. Especially if Geno Smith gets the start. I wouldn't be surprised to see a record number of sacks in this game. 


Week 10- Buffalo- Nov. 8- 12:00
I've been on the fence about this game and I can't even completely understand why. Historically, the Chiefs haven't played well at Buffalo. Buffalo's defense may be able to shut down Alex Smith. This will be a really tough loss for the Chiefs. 


Week 11- Seattle- Nov. 16- 12:00- HOME
The Seahawks have a real shot at winning back-to-back Super Bowl titles. The Chiefs could get a big surprise win at home but realistically, that probably isn't going to happen. I hope I'm wrong.



Week 12- Oakland- Nov. 20- 7:25
After a 4-12 finish last season, I don't see them winning more than 6 games this season. They haven't made any major adjustments in the offseason that will cause a drastic difference this season. The Chiefs should dominate.


Week 13- Denver- Nov. 30- 7:30- HOME
I don't usually like to say that a game is bigger than any other game but this game is BIG. Simply stated, the Chiefs will win. 


Week 14- Arizona- Dec. 7- 3:05
This is another game I've been on the fence about. The Chiefs are going to be beat up after the big win against Denver. (Maybe they won't be). I will probably change my mind about this game 100 mores times before it gets here. For now, I believe that Arizona will get the win.


Week 15- Oakland- Dec. 14- 12:00- HOME
The Chiefs are going to pick up a double-digit win in this game. Call it a hunch. I shouldn't put my love for the Raiders in writing. 


Week 16- Pittsburgh- Dec. 21- 12:00
I believe that the Steelers are going to have a special season. After an 8-8 finish last year, I see them picking up 10 or more wins. Unfortunately, I just don't see the Chiefs getting this win. Maybe we'll see a snow game.


Week 17- San Diego- Dec. 28- 12:00- HOME
With the playoffs on the line, this will be a knock-down, drag-out fight for the Chiefs. They will get the win and move on.


Record: 10-6 

Will the Chiefs shock the world and win their first playoff game since 1993 this season? Will they have their first back-to-back, double-digit win season since the early 90's? I can't wait to find out!