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Fortunate to be Cardinal fans

Posted Saturday, October 13, 2012, at 2:24 AM

I tend to tweet a lot during important moments in important sporting events.

This is not news to anyone who follows me @semoball and probably doesn't mean much to those of you who don't, but I tweeted something just after the Cardinals' game ended Friday night that is without question the most popular of my 4,000+ tweets to date.

I wrote this:

"This is as cheesy as cheesy gets, but I mean it: I am so lucky to have been born a Cardinals' fan."

And am I ever.

I'm guessing a lot of you feel this way, too. That's why so many retweeted the comment and replied to me throughout Friday night's game.

I suppose for non-Cardinal fans this is just another annoying reminder of how us Cards fans think we're great and our team's great and our stadium's great and everything else is associated with the Cardinals is great, too.

But I think it would be sad to not stop and be thankful on nights like tonight for the experiences we've had because of the Cardinals. It would be a shame to not appreciate the joy of watching them win year after year and the fortune of getting to cheer for athletes we can respect.

It would be downright wrong to not acknowledge the general awesomeness of baseball. And sports. And being a fan.

You'll probably never hear me laud someone for trying hard or not giving up. To me those are reasonable and basic expectations for any athlete (or human for that matter), let alone those that are paid hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.

So while it's great that the Cardinals didn't give up after falling behind 6-0 to Washington in Game 5, I hardly think they deserve pats of the back for continuing to try to win the game.

After all, that's their job.

What they should be complimented on is how well they did their job even under the most difficult of circumstances.

Anyone who does their job as well as many of the Cards did tonight deserves high praise, whether it was Yadier Molina and David Freese patiently accepting walks in the ninth or Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma collecting big hits.

I like to think of people like rookie Joe Kelly, too. He was fantastic out of the bullpen and settled the Cards after Wainwright's rough start. Or how about Carlos Beltran just having a Carlos Beltran-type postseason game and going 3 for 3 and reaching base five times. I could go on. You probably could as well.

This, more than anything else, is why I feel lucky.

We're in a golden age of Cardinal baseball. The Cards have won more in the last 10-12 years than almost any time in their history. And we all get to watch.

There are sports fans that will go a lifetime without getting to experience the thrills Cardinals fans have in the last two seasons, forget the last decade. No joke. No hyperbole.

So, yes, I'm feeling lucky and all warm and fuzzy on the inside and sitting up late writing a cheesy blog post wishing that I could say how I felt a little better.

This is the best I can do for now, but I trust that many of you are feeling the same way.

Leave me a comment below if you feel lucky as well and why. Or maybe there's a better word to describe it or maybe I'm just wrong? I'd love to hear what you're thinking before the NLCS starts up on Sunday.

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Well said. And of course there are other great fan bases out there with fans just as passionate as "baseball's best fans" (as annoying and arrogant as it sounds, I still think it's true!). Of course they also have their own special connection to their teams...which almost always connects to memories with family, friends, etc. But wherever I've lived and have run across a Cards fan, as cheesy as it sounds, there's often this immediate connection that is quite comforting, especially when you're 2500 miles away from home and you both know who Jack Buck or Mike Shannon is as well as the players. Another great aspect of the Cardinals organization is how many of their players are "home grown" and come up through the farm system. Check out the current roster...it's pretty impressive in that regard!

-- Posted by Grussman on Sat, Oct 13, 2012, at 7:10 PM

Thanks for taking the time to reply, Grussman!

Great point about meeting Cardinal fans away from home. It's always great and I know what you mean when you say there is a connection. My guess is that it's probably like that with other fan bases (although it may not be as easy for some to find other fans far from home), so I think I'll mark that down as another thing that is awesome about sports in general. :)

-- Posted by Rachel Crader on Sat, Oct 13, 2012, at 8:43 PM

Rachel, after having spent the last couple days reading the Cincinnati Reds forum pages at RedZone, I can you I am equally grateful to have been born a Cardinals fan. Although the 90s were not a good decade, especially 1996, the 2000s have been awesome. 7 NLCS appearances and 3 WS appearances with 2 wins. The Reds fans are extremely bitter right now, and having went to college to an area that was heavily influenced with Cardinals, Cubs, and Reds, I have several friends who are having a hard time excepting how good the Cardinals are. It just makes me all the more grateful how good I have had it as a baseball fan.

-- Posted by exzalmanian on Mon, Oct 15, 2012, at 12:03 AM

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Rachel Crader is the editor of semoball.com. She graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in May of 2009 before spending the summer covering the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

Highlights from Rachel's days in college include having a class down the hall from Chase Daniel and having NCAA wrestling champion Ben Askren hold the door open for her at Brady Commons, Mizzou's student center. She spent time covering Mizzou basketball, softball and baseball while working for the Columbia Missourian and is excited to return home to Southeast Missouri to cover local sports for semoball.com.

Rachel has covered three Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournaments for the Southeast Missourian and semoball.com, and she'll see you courtside again this year.