At this particular moment, on Friday, October 3, 2014, being a Royals fan is pretty great. Your team has won two postseason games this week, both in extra innings, and has at least as good a shot at winning the World Series as anyone. If you're a die-hard Royals fan, this is an awesome week. In fact, it's the best week you've had in 29 years, almost without question.
I probably had some awareness of MLB in 1985, but I was five years old in a household not obsessed with sports, so whatever awareness I had was pretty minimal. In 1986 I started play t-ball and collecting baseball cards. I became an Indians fan and remember watching parts of some playoff games. (The NLCS between the Mets and Astros is what stands out for me.) If that season I'd become a Royals fan instead, I might have been excited about the extra cards they had in that year's Topps set, but I still wouldn't have really gotten anything out of them having won the World Series the year before.
I often hear Tribe fan lamenting that the team hasn't won a World Series since 1948. If I were 70 years old, that might mean a lot to me, but frankly, all that really matters to me is that the Indians haven't won a World Series since 1986. I'm not longer suffering than a Pirates fan my age, just because they won a World Series 35 years more recently, because I wasn't suffering through any of those 35 years. By the same token, a Cubs fan my age isn't longer suffering than I am, for the same reasons.
I don't think there's anything controversial about that stance.
I'll go further than that though. Even if you remember the 1985 World Series and are old enough to have taken real satisfaction from it, the last 30 years have been better for Tribe fans than for Royals fans.
The rest of the 80s and the early 90s were respectable for Kansas City. Not inspiring or exciting, but respectable. In the last 20 years though, the Royals have finished with a winning record only 3 times, and only once until last season; they've finished closer than 13.5 games out of the division race only 3 times, and until this year they never went into the final week of the season with even a chance at winning the division. They were one of the five worst teams in baseball in 8 out of 10 years from 2002 to 2011, only once showing up as even vaguely in contention come September.
I'd rather have what the Indians have given me, than what the Royals have given their fans over the last three decades, even with that World Series win.
If you haven't been able to enjoy the last 20 years as a Tribe fan, you should get out of the baseball fan business. We've gotten to watch them reach the postseason 8 times. We've seen them win a postseason series 6 times and play in the World Series twice. Would it be nice to have been one of the ten teams that's actually won a World Series in that time? Sure. That's just a destination though; you've got to be able to enjoy the ride.