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Houston Astros have fans who have trained their team to play with an advantage
Photo by Jack Gorman
Best Sports Fans: Houston Astros
The symbiosis between professional athletes and sports fans is not too complex. The people in the stands stand up for the home team and if they don’t win it’s a shame. If they win as often and spectacularly as the Houston Astros, they will become a source of pride for their enthusiasts. You win in the field and we reap a strange vicarious reward. That’s how it works. It’s a relationship that’s as clichéd as “taking one game at a time”.
That ho-hum communion was turned on its head when Houston’s World Series winners became the figureheads (some say “scapegoats”) for the MLB’s little problem of unfair odds. There may be no crying in baseball, but it seems a lot cheating, enough to run around in quick, frantic, elusive movements, like a baseball covered in spider tack. In the wake of the “fraud scandal”, the fans’ once mundane relationship turned them into armchair advisors. They heard the vitriol, worked on it together, talked it out, and came to terms with what happened in 2017.
Best of all, they moved on, which Astros rivals like the now mediocre New York Yankees and their fans just can’t. The Astros also made progress thanks to this coaching of the fans. The symbiosis came full circle when the team’s supporters cheekily stood up for them on Twitter, on sports talk radio and when they visited the stadium. It was strange but obvious like a 70 mph fastball: Astros fans battled the critics and the team let them guide them. They remembered how good they were at sports, played with an edge that haters shook off. It’s an approach that takes them back into the postseason of baseball, starting with the best sports fans in town.
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Minute Maid Park
501 Crawford, Houston