Opinion

The Loyalty of Reds Fans

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There aren’t many things that are more stressful than sitting through year after year of “almost had it” situations. Cincinnati sports has sadly developed the reputation of blowing it in the end. They have definitely lived up to this too. For a reds fan, this reality is all too real. Getting hopes up just to be crushed when all is said and done. The crushed feeling of realizing the team almost had it won but then “choked” and lost. 

In the midst of this, you may wonder, why be a reds fan? What makes someone want to root for a team that has a history of losing when it matters most but winning up until then to get your hopes up? The answer is location.

Cincinnati has that small town feel. It is a decent sized metro area by population, but it is mostly suburbs. People that are from here and live here have strong ties to the city, therefore having a lot of pride in Cincinnati. This translates to the reds.

For someone my age in particular (20), the success of the reds is more of a legend and a story that was told to me, not seen for myself. This is how a lot of reds fans within my general age group see the team. However, the diehard fandom for the big red machine, regarded as one of the greatest baseball teams ever, had built a love for the team that would carry through generations. Families bonded over love for the reds. This is why a lot of people carry so much love for the team even when they play bad. It isn’t just a team they root for, it is the representation of their hometown and it represents a lot of childhood memories for a lot of people.

With the reds having recent success, the fans are showing they are still around. The noise for the team may be quiet at times, but do to the deep personal ties a lot of people have when it comes to reds fandom, when the team gets good, people will come out and show the support. As stated earlier, people from Cincinnati have a lot of pride in the city, and coupled with having connections to loved ones and going to games with parents and grandparents, the fandom is something that continues for life. The reds making the playoffs this year has created some buzz around the team. Expect to see more fans in the stands when the stadiums re-open for next season.

The online community for the reds fan base also stays strong. The discourse is very active during the baseball season on Twitter. Many discuss the team’s recent moves and talk about players and games. It keeps the fans engaged with each other and keeps that strong fandom of the reds alive in a lot of fans. Having the platform to connect with each other gives the fan base a way to still keep up and support the team like they always have. Some interesting things you might hear would be the very attentive look at the history of the franchise. Reds fans know their history. Some notable phrases are “this one belongs to the reds” – popular phrase that hall of fame radio broadcaster Marty Brennaman would say after every reds win. Reds fans also really know their baseball. The online community hasn’t had a lot of bad ideas when it comes to highlighting up and coming prospects. They don’t usually get it wrong when they say a guy has a lot of talent. Hardcore reds fans are among the most attentive and smart fans when it comes to following the game.

When all is said and done, the Cincinnati Reds have a loyal fan base because of deep personal ties that have been around for years. It’s a pretty unique thing across sports. To have a team perform badly for years and still carry a loyal crowd says a lot to the history of the franchise and the city. The Reds will always have a strong fanbase, even if it appears casual on the outside.

By Jake Otten, Activist Staff

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