I’ve been concerned for a while that the Reds, while in the midst of a 17th losing season in 22 years, have lost an entire generation of fans. I tried to put that into words in my latest column for Cincinnati Magazine:
You have to go back five full years since the Reds last played meaningful baseball in September. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hard to remember now, since itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been so long ago, but at this point in 2013 Cincinnati was 80-62 and 2 games back. They ended up flaming out in the Wild Card game, but, hey, they were in the mix. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all I ask.
But: Five. Full. Years.
I have spent five full years of my life watching a team thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been nowhere in the vicinity of competitive baseball. Five years of writing about the Reds and thinking about the Reds and watching the Reds and spending money on the Reds and (ahem) publishing a book about the Reds. Five years of my life that IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll never get back.
There are 30-year-olds who donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t remember the last time the Reds won a playoff series. To the average twentysomething wearing blue and orange, singing and tossing smoke bombs in The Bailey at FC Cincinnati games, the wire-to-wire 1990 Reds are ancient history. The Big Red Machine is something Grandpa rambles on about during holiday dinners. For the younger fans baseball needs to engage in order to grow, the Reds are just that team down by the river thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s suffered through losing seasons in 17 of the last 22 years.
Please read the entire thing and let me know where I missed the mark.