I am all for new experiences: visiting that one haunted-looking house at the end of the street, riding on a novel roller-coaster, or watching the Mariners win six in a row. So when I bought a King's Court ticket to watch Felix take on the Angels on a beautiful Saturday night, I was more than excited.
The experience did not disappoint. From the moment I entered the gate, I noticed that the atmosphere was a bit different than typical Mariners games. Seeing crowds of people with matching yellow King shirts, it was hard not to get pumped. My friends and I promptly retrieved our shirts and K-cards and found our seats. The shirt matched my skin color pretty well, so that was cool.
As the game started, I wasn't sure what to expect from the King's Court. I remembered seeing fans on TV waving their K-cards around, but that was about it. I soon discovered that being a part of the King's Court had a psychological effect - we were no longer just fans, we were Felix's personal fan boys. This created a seemingly "intimate" relationship where we were directly invested in the game, and not simply a spectator watching from a distance. We were a part of the team and we were going to try and make an impact on the game.
When Felix got to his first two-strike count, the King's Court rose in unison and started to chant "K!" repeatedly in an effort to will Felix into a strikeout. This was something that I did not previously hear while watching the Mariners on TV or listening on the radio. It was exciting and almost scary at the same time - it reminded me of being at a Sounders game. When you can replicate the feeling of a Sounders game, then you know you're doing something right.
My black friend, who wasn't much of a baseball fan, asked why they kept on saying "KKK." He has much to learn.
My favorite memory from the King's Court was when Jered Weaver was pulled from the game - the entire section started waving "bye bye" to him. Think Richard Sherman and the Redskins playoff game. I loved it.
The one and only downside for me was that people would hold their K-cards up really high, right in your face. This is one of the few many times that I wished I was taller than 5' 7''. However, even that couldn't ruin the experience, and at some point you just have to sit back and laugh.
In the end, the Mariners emerged victorious and I left satisfied. I have gone to dozens of games, but this was by far my favorite experience. The King's Court was a brilliant addition by the Mariners marketing team. The cost of t-shirts and K-cards are comparable to some of the other promotions they have, but the effect it has on the fans is unrivaled. For once, I truly felt as if I was a part of the team, and it felt damn good. I recommend that if you haven't yet, please go and experience this yourself. My non-baseball-fan friend even felt that the experience was better than OK -K! -K! -K! -K!