Let's be completely honest with one another: the Baltimore Orioles had 87 fans up until about a month ago. Those 87 fans included owner of all things awesome in Baltimore, Steve Geppi, and my psychologist, God bless him, who will not be named.
No one went to games, no one owned any non-giveaway Orioles clothing, and even fewer paid attention to the fact the team was clinging to a shot at the postseason.
Even the Orioles organization didn't expect this good of a season (as evidenced by the $8 field level tickets I bought from them to get into BOTH games of a double header last week).
That all changed about five weeks ago.
Now, all of Baltimore, even folks like myself half a country away, are paying attention to what this miraculous team is pulling off. The difference between them an me is that I will be the first to say that I had given up on them.
The first winning record in 15 years, an incredible number of wins in extra innings, and an exciting set of young players are really electrifying a sport that had nearly died in the city.
What was that? Name five of those electrifying players? Sure! There's Jones, Markakis (whom I just learned was injured), Machado, and... well, that's about all that a fair weather fan like myself can name.
The funny thing is, I think that's where a lot of the city finds itself... except of course when you see all of the critics online who are pointing fingers at others for their 'selling out,' or 'just now paying attention.'
There are memes and plenty of people out there who are willing to tear apart other Orioles fans for not being there in the past... and rightfully so, had those people had actually been Orioles fans themselves. In reality, this just seems to be a big case of 'you smelt it, you dwelt it.'
I can't deny that something special is happening with this Baltimore team, but I also can't deny that like every other fan of the Orioles a month ago, I was nowhere to be seen.
Now, I'm decked out in my Orioles colors (even if I was still kinda doubtful so I bought the authentic hat for 50% off on eBay) and I will wear them proudly as if I didn't ignore the club for the past decade.
What was that? Nate McClouth drove in a winning run? I thought he was on the Braves. Hmm.
Either way, it's good to see that America's pastime can come back to life in a city where it seemed to have been forgotten.
Now if someone wouldn't mind printing me up t-shirt that reads 'BandwagOn' with the orange cursive O in the middle like a scarlet letter, we'd be cooking with fire.