Sunday, November 1, 2015

Why I am Gearing up for a Royal Celebration: an Open Letter to Mets Fans

Dear Met fans everywhere,
      A lot of my thousands upon thousands of readers across the vast expanse of the planet have been asking me, somewhat upset, why it is I am so avidly rooting on the Kansas City Royals this World Series. I have spent many years in New York, and many people I greatly admire are die hard Mets fans. Additionally, inasmuch as the same folks rooting on the Royals also root for the hated Kansas City Cheifs, it is a fair question. 
      Let me begin by acknowledging that I admire you Mets fans to no end. As a life long fan of the most disgraceful franchise in sports, the Colorado Rockies, I can relate to what you have gone through the last 20 years: year after year watching a pathetic team finish close to last place. But my admiration for you goes deeper than that. You could have just as easily jumped on the Yankee band wagon all those years. But you didn't. You remained loyal to your lousy Mets. Loyalty is a huge thing. And I appreciate it; I really do. In fact, if the Mets were playing the Yankees, I would root hard for the Mets. If they played the Rangers, the Angels, or the White Sox, I would take the Mets. There is one team from the American League, and one team only, that I would root for to beat the Mets; and that is the Kansas City Royals.
      Last night, as I left synagogue, I heard one person say, "I don't care who wins; I can guarantee you they don't care about me; why should I care about them?" I have heard this refrain from people who don't care for sports on more than one occasion. And I hear it. Why do so many millions of us allow our moods and happiness level be determined by a group of talented dudes who don't give a darn about is? How does that make any sense?
     The thing is, dear Peyton, and you Mets fans everywhere, when it comes to the Royals, this logic simply doesn't apply. Because they do care about me. When my family moved from New York to Denver, my then six month old daughter got very sick on the road. We had to stop for a scary, long, ten day stay at the hospital in downtown Kansas City. (For more on this read
And on the fifth day we were there, as I was leaving to drive to Denver to take care of my other three children, I saw the Kansas City Royals posing for pictures at the front of the hospital. About 15 minutes later my wife called, and said, The Royals are here visiting, should I have them come see our baby? "OF COURSE YOU SHOULD YOU SILLY GOOSE" was my immediate reply.  I was so touched by them taking the time to visit my daughter, fulfilling a very special mitzvah we call bikur cholim, visiting the sick, that I stopped at the first gas station I found and spent ten dollars on a Royals hat. My wife called me a few hours later and told me two fellows named Mike Moustakis and Jason Vargas came by, and they left a signed hat for my daughter, who despite being only 9 months old, and despite living in Denver now, is also an avid Royals fan.
      In yesterday's Torah reading we read how G-d paid Abraham a little visit while Abraham was recovering from the exceedingly painful circumcision. We see from here that visiting the sick is not just a good thing to do: It is emulating G-d Himself. Those who visit the sick are G-d like. 
Additionally, in Hebrew, the word for "Jews" is Yehudim. It means "grateful ones." We believe that we are required to show hakaras hatov, or recognition of good (ie gratitude) for every good deed performed for us. It is not just a nice thing to do, it is our duty. Conversely, when someone does something good for us, and we don't acknowledge the favor, that is a bad thing. When G-d created Eve for Adam as a life partner with whom to share his life, and to perpetuate humanity, G-d performed for him an enormous kindness. And yet when G-d asked Adam why he ate from the fruit that he was not allowed to eat in the Garden of Eden, Adam blamed his wife, Eve, saying, "it was the woman you gave to me who made me eat it." This was the first example in history of a person being an ingrate, and Adam is ultimately punished for it.
       To put it very simply, when someone showers us with a kind act, we are obligated to be grateful. Therefore, it is not my choice whether or not to root for the Royals; it is my duty. Tonight, when they win the Series in 5 games I, along with my 9 month old daughter will be engaging in a Royal Celebration.

Forever yours,
Danny Wolfe

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