Sure the Los Angeles Lakers may have Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Denzel Washington, but where’s the fun in that? Comedic actors seem to prefer Midwestern baseball. In the last few weeks, Paul Rudd, Eric Stonestreet, Jason Sudeikis and Rob Riggle have all publicly thrown their support behind the baseball team from Missouri that is not the St. Loius Cardinals. Yes, the Royals are enjoying some celebrity guests at their official World Series coming out party.
Besides just about everyone falling in love with the underdog story of that is the Royals, these four actors all have Kansas City connections. Stonestreet, who’s most famous for his Emmy-winning role on the sitcom “Modern Family,” is from Kansas City, as is Rudd, Sudeikis, Rudd and Riggle, all three of whom also went to college nearby.
Stonestreet is actually a pretty avid Dodgers fan these days, which actually may be giving his Royals fandom extra oomph during this World Series against the Giants. Let us not forget the power of rooting against a rival (the Giants in this case) that in 2011 even turned famous Cardinals fan Jon Hamm into a Royals lover for a day. Here’s Hamm with his buddies Rudd and Riggle, all decked out in Royals gear save for the hat, attending the Royals game to “essentially root against the Cubs,” as he put it.
But simple allegiance to the basic bylaws of baseball fandom — that you cheer for the home team and/or the team that’s against the team you hate the most — might not just be what’s going on here.
The Royals dugout has become a destination for fun. Look here, in 2010, when Will Ferrell joined Rudd, Riggle, Sudeikis to cut it up at the game.
Now, let’s look at famous Royals hater’s Rob Lowe‘s experience as a Los Angeles Dodgers fan. MLB.com has never ever documented Lowe cracking jokes in the dugout with his friends.
Or when’s the last time you saw Ben Affleck sharing a belly laugh with Matt Damon in the Boston Red Sox dugout?
Does John McCain giggle with his friends at Arizona Diamondbacks games?
Call it quirky Midwestern charm, but the Royals have long-offered something different than exists in other parts of the country. It’s even different than other Midwestern teams. It’s a je ne sais quoi that attracts fans, or at least a fan, from more than 6,500 miles away for no specific reason other than that Royals baseball is fun — especially off the field.
Correction: This article originally misidentified Eric Stonestreet as a Cardinals fan. The Dodgers are his adopted team, but he has been a Royals fan all his life.