#RaisedRoyal and #RaisingRoyal

#RaisedRoyal and #RaisingRoyal

How I was Raised Royal and will be Raising Royal.

I absolutely love the slogan for the 2017 Kansas City Royals season.

#RaisedRoyal pays tribute to those of us that have been there through it all. Those of us who grew up absolutely despising talk radio, except for the man himself, Denny Matthews. (Seriously, his voice is like being wrapped in a warm towel coming straight out of the dryer. He is the Vin Scully of the Midwest)

For the games we couldn't attend, we would tune in to listen to Denny Matthews paint us a picture of the game so vivid it felt like you were there.

#RaisedRoyal pays tribute to those of us that remember when the local radio stations used to play their own remix of Bad Day by Daniel Powter.

Instead of 'So you had a bad day' it was,

'So you had a bad game..'

Yes. We were that bad.

I used to spend my days leading up to summer anxiously awaiting our annual 'family trips to the K'. Longing to hear the rip of the bat against the ball as cheers echo throughout the, mostly filled stadiums.

(There were some tough years in the past, HyVee tickets used to be practically free just trying to bring people in.)

As it got closer and closer to baseball season you could almost taste the frozen lemonade and hear the lemonade guy in your head.. You know who I'm talking about.


I miss him.

No matter how bad we were during our off years, the games were always still so fun. Listening to Denny Matthews on the radio made you wish you were there. Our boys in blue still found ways to make the games exciting. There is never a boring moment in Kauffman stadium. Surrounded by our boys in blue, fans screaming till their faces turn blue, all this excitement happening in a sea so beautifully blue the ocean would be jealous.

As a new mom making her way through her twenties, I think I finally understand just how important the Royals have been throughout my life.

So many memories throughout my childhood years, my awkward years, my teenage years and my first adult years have to do with cheering the Royals on to victory or sulking in the sadness and anger of a tough loss. (Yes, I still hate the Giants. No I'm not over game 7.)

My first athlete crushes were on Mike Sweeney and Joe Randa. But then Hosmer came along and stole my heart. I'm sorry, but he's quite the catch. LOL. (No seriously Eric, my dugout or yours?)

My family both immediate and extended, would try to make it to as many games as we could. My Grandpa and Grammy even made it to a few games and what a blessing that was. In fact, my Grandpa was the one who told me,

"There is nothing better than cold beer and baseball."

And every game we made it to, I would beg my mom for cotton candy; and 90% of the time she said no.

My closet has always been 80% Royals gear.

Our Summer's always revolved around the Royals, and I'd love nothing more than to share those same experiences with my son and for him to create his own memories.

So he can be #RaisedRoyal just as I was.

So he can be shown on the jumbotron as many times as I have.

Seriously, my cousin and I have made it on the jumbotron dancing like fools more times than I can accurately remember. But being their surrounded by great family, fans and even better music... (Friends in Low Places, anyone?) made those moments some of the happiest moments of my life so far.

As Kansas Citians I think there for a while we were all kind of bracing ourselves to be the next Chicago Cubs and go 108 years without a World Series win. Which would've meant most of us would've gone our whole lives without seeing a post season.

But our boys in blue put in the blood, sweat and tears to give us two post seasons back to back.

Two World Series back to back. We made it to game 7 in 2014 and then went on to WIN the 2015 World Series?! Sometimes it still feels like a dream.

When I went to Game 4 of the Royals vs Orioles American League Championship, that definitely felt like a dream. To be there with my Papa, the one who taught me the beauty of baseball, and see our boys clinch the World Series; it still feels unreal.

The 2014 and 2015 Royals brought a whole new magic to KC. They brought us the blue October KC had been longing for. They gave us memories we will never forget.

They brought us together as a community.

A community gathered to rally around our boys in blue as they went for the crown. There was a magic in the air throughout all of KC during the postseasons that were unforgettable.

We've lost a few of those key players to other teams, and we've lost our Ace to the big man upstairs, but for those of us #RaisedRoyal, they will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

I could write about the Royals and all of the emotions they've brought me throughout my life forever, but those reasons are just a few of many why I was #RaisedRoyal and why I will be raising my son Royal!

In other news.....

Is it Opening Day yet?!

Cover Image Credit: Meghan Harre

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When You Give A Girl A Pair Of Cleats

It's more than a pair of shoes.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her far more than a new pair of shoes. You are giving her new friends and new challenges and so many lessons and some of her best memories.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a team. You are giving her a group of girls that she might not have ever talked to if it wasn’t for these common cleats. A group of girls who will teach her how to be a teammate. A group of girls who will laugh with her and yell at her and train with her and win with her and lose with her. With a pair of cleats comes a group of mismatched people with a common goal who are learning from each other and working together.

SEE ALSO: To The Coach That Took My Confidence Away

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a coach. This coach is going to play an instrumental role in her love or hate for the sport. This coach will work her hard. This coach will train her and teach her and encourage her and yell at her and make her cry and hug her and cheer her on. This coach wants to see her succeed. This coach knows what these cleats mean, what this sport means. And this coach will be someone that she will watch. She will watch the way that her coach talks to her and talks to her teammates and talks to the other team and she will see her coach’s responses to games that are won and games that are lost. This pair of cleats comes with a role model, for better or for worse.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her team practices. You are giving her practice that will instill discipline and dedication and commitment. You are teaching her that she is on a team and she is expected to put in time. You are teaching her that her presence is important and that people are relying on her. You are teaching her how to balance her time, because, now, she has school and practice and games and teammates and friends and family. And for the first time in her life, she has to establish priorities. With this practice time comes some of the hardest conditioning and training. With this practice time comes some of her favorite memories as she bonds with her teammates and laughs with them and works hard with them. This pair of cleats comes with quite the time commitment.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her game days. You are giving her bus rides and warm up playlists and team matching hair ribbons and orange slices at half-time and constantly looking for your water bottle on the sidelines. You are giving her a competitiveness that can only come out on the field. You are giving her the cheers from the sidelines and the screams of her coach and the exhaustion in her legs at the end of the game. You are giving her handshakes with opponents and a winning attitude even when she loses. With a pair of cleats comes pasta dinners and game days; These will become her favorite days.

SEE ALSO: My First Semester As A College Athlete

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a challenge. She is going to grow and learn, and she’s going to want to quit at times, but she is going to look down at her feet and remember why she’s doing this. She’s going to remember her teammates and her coaches and the amount of time she’s poured into this sport, and she’s going to realize that it’s worth it. She’s going to be covered in bruises and her socks are going to stink, and she’s always going to be looking for a sock or needing a hair elastic. She’s going to be tired, and she’s going to get hurt. But those cleats are going to establish lessons that she’s going to remember for the rest of her life, friends that she is going to learn to love, and discipline that she is going to be thankful for. If you’re the girl with the cleats, soak it in. Love the long practices and the exhaustion and the sound of the whistle that starts the game. If you’re the girl without the cleats, go get some. Try something new. Take the risk. Sign up for the team, the musical, the club. You will regret it if you don’t. Even if you fail, few things can teach you the lessons that those cleats will.


The Girl Who Hung Up Her Cleats

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Cook

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Lebron To The Celtics? Thanks, But I'll Pass (Literally)

The Celtics don't need him, so why entertain the rumors.


The NBA season came to an anticlimactic ending with the Golden State Warriors sweeping the Cleveland Cavaliers to collect their third NBA title in the last four years. The story around the NBA (and will surely be the nonstop story on ESPN until there is an answer) is where will Lebron James go in free agency.

Lebron holds all the cards here. He could go to Houston or Oklahoma City, who have a chance to down the Warriors with just one more superstar. He could go somewhere with young talent that needs a legend to lead them, like Philadelphia or LA. He could give it one last go around with the hometown Cavaliers, or he could even take a year off. He has plenty of money and nothing left to prove.

One rumor that has been swirling, the one that brings intrigue to the NBA landscape, is that the King opts out of his contract and takes his talents to Boston and pushes the Celtics over the top. On the surface, it does offer a good story: reunite Lebron and Kyrie Irving (even if Kyrie doesn't want it) and see the Celtics duke it out with the Warriors when it is questionable whether or not it is necessary to do that.

I'm sorry, but the Celtics should not go after Lebron. He is a great player, but the Celtics don't need him.

Let's take a look at how a Lebron to Boston deal would work. Let's go with the assumption that Lebron does opt into the final year of his contract with Cleveland. That carries a base of 35 million dollars for the season. The Cavs could trade him to the Celtics after that, but it would require the Celtics giving up either Kyrie, Gordon Hayward, or Al Horford along with another expiring contract (Terry Rozier or Marcus Morris, two players that held their own during the playoff push) AND at least one first-round pick in the upcoming drafts.

Horford is getting up there in age, and Kyrie is only under contract for one more year. That leaves Hayward as the most likely piece for the Cavaliers to get back in a trade involving Lebron.

This is a bad move for Boston to make for a couple reasons.

Hayward (28) is much younger than Lebron (34). His body is in a much better position to withstand the grind of the 82 game season now that he has had a year to rest and get stronger (albeit due to a gruesome injury). Lebron can train all he wants, but the fact of the matter is that his age and style of play are eventually going to catch up to him. Do the Celtics really want to experience that firsthand?

Second, Hayward already has a rapport with Celtics head coach Brad Stevens from when the two were at Butler back in 2010. Stevens has done a great job with this team since taking over for Doc Rivers in 2013. Lebron has a tendency to have head coaches fired, so what would happen if the C's let Stevens go?

More about Lebron, he would want to call the shots. When the Celtics traded for Kyrie in the first place, they gave up Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, and a first-round pick that ends up being the 8th overall pick in this year's draft. Only that pick remains because Lebron wanted both of them out of town.

Is Danny Ainge ready and willing to deal with a headache that Lebron meddling in front-office affairs would bring?

A healthy Kyrie, a healthy Hayward, and more experience for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are all the Celtics really need. They played great defense all year, and their offense can only get better now that their playmakers are coming back better than ever.

I honestly do hope that Lebron makes a decision soon and doesn't turn this into a circus-like he did when he left Cleveland the first time for Miami. I just hope that his decision doesn't lead him to Boston. But it is still early in the offseason, and Lebron hasn't even made his decision on staying or leaving, so let's cool it with the "Where in the world will Lebron James go next season?" chatter. Bonus points if you said that as if you were singing the theme song to "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?"

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