• Chris Lollis

Cardinals Nation: Fans Really Do ‘Go Crazy’, Folks!

It’s common knowledge for St. Louis Cardinals fans, that one of the most memorable calls from the broadcast booth, was the late Jack Buck’s “Go crazy, folks! Go crazy!” after Ozzie Smith’s NLCS Game 5 winning home run on October 14, 1985.

There has been a number of ‘crazy’ things that we as Cardinals fans have seen since that time. The reality is, Jack’s call was i’m sure intended in the sense that crazy be of excitement and not pure ludicrousness.

Fans today, are as passionate as ever. They also have much more of a platform in today’s world with internet/social media than they did in that time. In some ways it is a great thing, bringing fans together that allow them to share their fandom with one another, but it also allows the fans the same ability to voice frustrations (and rightly so), but in a way that seems much more loud than the ones who praise their team.

Many of you reading this are probably in fan groups on Facebook or follow #stlcards posts on Twitter, and see the good, the bad & the ugly when it comes to the voices of Cardinals Nation. Some rational, some irrational, and some going above & beyond being ‘crazy’.

The reality is, that much like the real world, there are people who act, behave & voice differently. And while at times things can be everything from constructive criticism to cheering blindly, there’s a plethora of social media posts that can be summed up simply as an eyesore.

I get some backlash occasionally or called the ‘fan police’ for trying to be rational. Not to change the ways certain fans act, and certainly not because my way of thinking is better than or more correct than theirs, but just to put a perspective out there that I believe is reasonable & respectful.

It is easy for fans to play ‘armchair GM’ and believe that certain moves that they suggest, are both attainable & one hundred percent the best thing for the franchise. While questioning and not being satisfied are definitely a part of being a fan, it’s again ‘crazy’ to think that most of us could do a better job than our front office.

Yet we hear from so many fans, how poorly of a job DeWitt & Mozeliak do, how cheap they are not throwing the bank at every big name player and much like Mike Matheny’s career win-loss record, that some successes shouldn’t be recognized amidst recent underperformance.

Am I happy with missing the playoff three seasons in a row? Absolutely not! Do I believe that John Mozeliak/Michael Girsch are even remotely close to the worst in their respective roles? Of course not! Am I a Matheny apologist suggesting he should still be the Cardinals manager? Nope! But do I completely ignore all that he did on/off the field for the Cardinals organization and feel the need to call him worthless? Not at all.

Much like when certain players struggle while in a Cardinals uniform, or suddenly thrive in a new environment. I often use Brett Cecil as an example. Stating that I totally agree he has pitched poorly for us, but I can’t get behind calling him or any other underperforming player ‘garbage’ or ‘trash’ knowing that they are out there trying to do well. Does that mean I’m not ready to see the Cards move on from him? Trust me, I’m ready.

Another example would be the abundance of Luke Voit posts by people, that our front office was ‘crazy’ to trade him to the Yankees (where he is now raking at the plate) for 2 pitchers. I liked Voit, but I also know that with Matt Carpenter & Jose Martinez occupying first base, that Luke was essentially blocked from a spot. His numbers didn’t suggest that he deserved to have had a spot over either of them either.

How about how the Cardinals front office is ‘crazy’ for trading for Marcell Ozuna and not Christian Yelich? Never mind the fact that not only were the Marlins not as open to trading Yelich until after both Giancarlo Stanton and Ozuna were moved, but that the Brewers traded some very high prospects to attain him. Prospects that had St. Louis actually parted with to acquire him, that those same fans would’ve complained about that too.

But the ‘craziness’ of some of our own fans doesn’t stop with it just being towards our team.

Let me start by saying, I was definitely one of most Cardinals fans who was actively cheering the Rockies on when they took on the Cubs in the wildcard game. I cheered almost as hard for Colorado in that game as I would have for St. Louis just to see Chicago not advance and furthering their bragging rights.

The Rockies didn’t disappoint, and it was quite a consolation prize for Cardinals fans to see their rival team fall. Again, I was happy to see it, but then I got online and had I not known any better, I would’ve thought it was the Cards who beat out the Cubs.

Instead of just seeing posts about being happy that the Cubs lost (which definitely made sense), some of the things shared to social media made me shake my head. I saw fans finding humor in things like selfies of themselves in plain white t-shirts claiming it was the Cubs 2018 World Series shirts. To which I responded, “it looks identical to ours.” I saw memes posted of a postseason participation trophy poking fun at Chicago, while the reality was our team wouldn’t even have earned that.

It was one thing to see our fans poking fun at the rival team’s fans, but to see it done in a way as if our team had a better season, was baffling. I made the comment that throwing shade from third place, wasn’t a good look for Cardinals Nation and was told by some fans to “quit trying to take away our moment.” What moment was that again? It was more like I said a consolation prize than any kind of big moment.

Some fans even bragging about how it was the Cardinals who helped knock the Cubs out by beating them one out of the final three games. If that’s the case, we should take more credit for getting swept by the Brewers in our own house, allowing them to overtake Chicago. At this point, I knew a lot of our fans were taking their fandom to the extreme, where any kind of ration was thrown out the window.

Overall, it’s not my place or anyone else’s to tell ppl how to fan. The comments I made on a few posts, weren’t to suggest not being happy the Cubs lost, or to take some sort of relief in it. It was merely to say that throwing too much shade from a third place division finish, wasn’t a great look for Cardinals fans.

Some agreed. Some disagreed. With each side of the argument being called ‘crazy” by the other.

Does that fall on the front office? The players? Jack Buck for telling us to “go crazy, folks” years ago?

... at the end of the day, it falls on us. Cardinals Nation. I guess we are all a little ‘crazy’. But I’m sure we’ve all been called worse.

Thanks for reading.

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