Attention Houston Astros fans. Do you want to prove your loyalty to your team for all-time? Do you want to show everyone, including Yankees, Red Sox and Cubs fans that your devotion to your team is second to no one?
Essentially, do you want to lay a claim to being as passionate a fan as anyone in all of baseball?
The solution is quite simple. Go to a game at Minute Maid Park in September of 2012.
And time is running out. Tomorrow is the second to last home game for the Astros. Wednesday is the finale.
Go to that game. There are undoubtedly good tickets available. The last few games in Houston had more empty seats than Clint Eastwood could ever speak to.
Memorize the lineup. There are only nine names to remember. And keep the ticket stub in your wallet. And remember what happened in the game. A few specific details would go a long way.
Then keep those memories of the lineup, the game and the results ready to be recited at a moment's notice.
Eventually the Astros will be good again. Someday Minute Maid Park will be full and rocking. And you can look at the fair weather fans and ask them if they are real Astros fans.
And you will be able to say "I was there in 2012. I was an Astros fan when they were still in the National League. That was the year they were the worst Astros team of all time. I was there after they traded away all of their big leaguers and were just starting farmhands."
Nobody would be able to question your loyalty when you say "They were starting Scott Moore and Fernando Martinez, Brett Wallace and Marwin Gonzalez." And they will be even more impressed that you know it was "Marwin" and not "Marvin."
Rattle off the lineup and what happened in the game and produce the ticket stub. You will impress the most passionate Red Sox, Yankee, Cubs and Cardinals fan with that loyalty.
It is a lifetime credential of being able to trump anyone's devotion to a team.
It just takes a trip to the park either today or tomorrow and memorizing nine names and three plays. It is worth doing, Astros fans. Do it before the bandwagon gets crowded.