Saturday, October 23, 2010

On Hating Giants Fan

Something that I kept meaning to write, but have mostly whiffed on this week due to Fox and Cablevision conspiring to make me not care about baseball (Nice job, guys!)...

I realize that the national perspective of Philly Fan is one of the most negative in the country, and that we (they? It's not like I live there, really... aw, hell, we) frequently live down to it. But we aren't the worst fan base left standing. In fact, we're not even the worst fan base in the series. Yes, I'm looking at you, Giants Fan...

I know of which I speak here, people. I lived with Giant Fan from 2000 to 2006, in the height of the Bonds Era, perhaps the greatest feat of collective municipal myopia this side of Germany in the 30s and 40s. As things went from bad to worse to unspeakable, and gravitational wells developed around Barry's Enormous Head, Giants Fan just clasped him to their bosom all the more. As the team also went from a collection of mildly intriguing and clutch talent to a walk-free, flat-out terrible offense despite the Ruthian exploits of the centerpiece... well, Giant Fan just kept on coming to their sweet little jewel of theft and lies.

Meanwhile on my side of the Bay, the A's were almost always a better team, and received about as much attention as a minor league team. Even something as simple as getting a radio signal of the A's game was tricky, but you could hear the Giants stumble to their pointless pace from space.

And the attendance matched it as well. Going to Pac Bell? Never a problem to get someone to take the ticket and pay for the price. Going to Oakland, a much easier commute on the BART train, a much cheaper night in every way? Good freaking luck finding someone to go with you on that one. The A's were the team with championships in this lifetime, 90+ win clubs with adorable young players, a farm system that kept churning out A-level talent (pitching, at least), the annual playoff runs and 20-game winning streaks. The Giants had Bonds and their stadium, a 5 to 1 edge in attendance, and a 50-to-1 edge in media coverage.

It Rankled.

So did Giant Fan, to be honest. Before handheld phones were everywhere, Giant Fan was texting to the point of simmering rage, usually on dot-com money that made the whole Going To Pac Bell experience seem like some part of the amusement park that you weren't allowed it. Parking cost nearly as much as my entire evening in Oakland. And you got to also hear about how bad the Dodgers were, and how much Giant Fan hated the Dodgers, and Tommy Lasorda this and Tommy Lasorda that.

Basically, they are Red Sox Fan West, only not as dedicated. (Yes, I said that, Giant Fan. When your team loses, you go home to live in one of the most beautiful parts of America, where snow is simply an elevational phenomenon, the product is always organic and lush, the wine is almost as nice as you think it is, and the women are second only to SoCal in terms of per capita quality. When an East Coast team loses, their fans go home to stare at the walls for six months. It's not really the same.

So I honestly do hope the Phillies win the NLCS in seven, and that there are at least three to five (more) heart-breaking defensive failures and/or tragic moments for Giant Fan to endure. For Bonds, for the price, for their unconscious insufferability, and for embracing as much bad karma as any team ever (the whole stealing a team thing, Juan Maricahl nailing a guy with his bat, Humm Baby, Keith Mitchell, Will Clark, Dave Dravecky's crushing injury, Dusty Baker nearly getting his kid killed, Bonds and all the rest... you deserve pain. And lots of it.


The Truth said...

Man, how do you really feel? Hey, there are some kids on your lawn - better go yell at them.

As a former Giants season ticket holder, let add some additional perspective.

1. I agree with you on the Bonds thing. Unfortunately, you can paint the same comparison for almost any city/club that has a superstar of ill repute. As long as they wear your laundry, they can do no wrong. And as an A's fan yourself - were you booing Giambi while he was there juicing? It's not like everybody didn't know. Just like Big Mac and Sosa in 98.
2. I got to meet a lot of other season ticket holder that had held tickets for years and years. These are the Candlestick years - probably the worst location and park in the history of MLB. Cold, stadium not built for baseball (nice portable bleacher in the outfield), cold, located in a part of town that even scared the gangs, and did I mention cold? True fans to put up with that place for all those years.
3. The new stadium. For those of you that haven't been - GO. The best views and backdrop of any stadium out there. Yes, it's expensive. But guess how much taxpayer money went into building it? $10 million. That's it. The rest fell on the owners. I can't say that the Oakland ownership is offering to do the same. And I'm pretty sure the good people of Philadelphia were hit with a cool tab of $170 million for the Phillies new stadium.
4. You of course have the "wine and cheese" crowd at Giants games. These aren't fans, these are people out for a social occasion. Every team has these. The real fans are the ones that are there frequently, can tell you about each player and live and die with the team. Those are the fans that I hope get to see a World Series title.
5. By the way, who is Keith Mitchell?
6. I have some tickets for you - you'll get them this week.

DMtShooter said...

1) Giambi's head didn't grow 3X, and by the time the BALCO mess came to light, he was in NY. But point taken.

2) The Candlestick years were crowds of 10 to 15K people. IOW, the same number of people who came to A's games, really.

3) Yes, Pac Bell is lovely. It's still baseball. I'd rather watch the better team in the worse yard. I guess this makes me out of step.

5) Kevin Mitchell. The perils of working without an editor.

6) Outstanding and thanks...

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