It feels like I just woke up from a coma.
Alex Gordon's picture is on the front page of the Omaha World Herald this morning for something he did in a Royals uniform in the postseason.
A friend who doesn't normally follow the Royals sent me a text Friday night, wondering if we should head to Kansas City for the ALCS next week. I told him I heard ticket prices were averaging more than $600 apiece. We went to a game earlier this season for $20. We won't be making the trip, but it's a nice thought.
Another friend and his wife, both of whom are Braves fans, have asked me out to dinner twice in the past week to watch Kansas City's miraculous playoff run. When we walked into the restaurant for Game 1 of the ALCS, 80% of the wait staff was decked out in Royals gear. I never thought I would live long enough to see something like that in Omaha.
Still another friend has been texting me, talking about how close and dramatic the games have been. He doesn't like baseball and doesn't follow it, at all, but even he is aware of what the Royals are doing.
And people in Omaha are taking to Twitter, looking for baseball community to share the experience:
@Royals looking for an ALCS watch party in Omaha. Can I get a RT for help?— Quinten Lyon (@qlyon28) October 11, 2014
Does Omaha have a Royals bar?— Michael McNeil Jr. (@michaelkmcneil) October 10, 2014
It all seems so surreal after all the 100-loss seasons, and the jokes. But maybe it shouldn't, given that the farm system has been winning championships for years now. In fact, the Omaha Storm Chasers (Kansas City's Triple-A affiliate) have won three Pacific Coast League titles in the past four seasons.
During that run, fans have seen and interacted with Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Salvador Perez, Jarrod Dyson, Lorenzo Cain, Christian Colon, Danny Duffy, Yordano Ventura, Greg Holland, Tim Collins and Kelvin Herrera. And of course, Alex Gordon was born just down the road, in Lincoln. Now all of these players are wearing Royal blue and they are just one series win from the World Series.
As the shock over such a run wears off, glee is taking its place. If you happen to be at Kauffman Stadium next week and you hear an eruption in the distance, just smile and know that Omaha is cheering with you from two hundred miles away.