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I have a confession to make.

I’m not a Giants fan.

I have nothing against them, mind you.  I just don’t watch or follow them.  So now that they’re World Series champions, I can’t suddenly claim a loyalty I never had just to share in the excitement of my town.

Sad, because I remember the first year I was here, when the Oakland Raiders won the Super Bowl.  With my friends, I watched the game and then we all spilled out into the streets, joining our neighbors, and headed over to Jack London Square, where I’d never been despite living not far away in South Berkeley.  It was a great party.

I see my coworkers in their orange and black, brandishing Giants banners and huge smiles.  I see my neighbors standing on trucks and screaming in joy.

"We Won!" they say.

"Who is we?" I respond in my head.  I had nothing to do with it.  They would have won with or without me.  The last time I bought a ticket was around eight years ago when my nephew came to visit.  The only time I was at the ballpark this season was to protest the Arizona Diamondbacks over SB1070.

They won because a bunch of guys not from San Francisco, hired and coached by guys not from San Francisco (though to be fair, CEO Bill Newkom did grow up nearby) got paid a lot of money to throw and hit well and they did it.

So what does San Francisco get out of it?  Does a kid from San Francisco have a better chance of becoming a Giant than a kid from Georgia or Colombia?  Clearly not.  Will being the home of the World Series Champions put a dent in San Francisco’s chronic homelessness epidemic?  Obviously not.  Will San Francisco voters carry their good mood into the voting booths and defeat the initiative to punish people for being homeless by making it a crime to sit or lie down on the sidewalk?  I can cherish that faint hope, but I wouldn’t take it to the bank (or the polls).

Did they even build their own stadium?  Of course not.  They extorted it from us by threatening to leave.  Good role models for building long-term friendships.

Yet none of this changes the fact that local sports teams fulfill people’s deep desire to belong, to have in Carson McCullers’ immortal words, "the we of me."  That desire to belong, to be one with the people around us, is something I share, and something to be cherished.  It’s what at times makes people engage in those random acts of kindness and generosity that make me slightly believe in the goodness of human nature.  I just wish we could find it in something more real and less fleeting than a sports championship we did nothing to earn.

Originally posted to KatRap on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 01:41 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Weird... (10+ / 0-)

    ... I brought my umbrella for the parade. But now there's a rather unpleasant urine smell coming from somewhere.

  •  We get to stick it tp Texas and Bush ! (10+ / 0-)

    And that's enough for me.

  •  Oh go get a life or something.... (6+ / 0-)

    Winning the World Series vs some idiots getting Pro L on the ballot are not the same, by any wild ass stretch of the imagination.

    The only thing you get from sitting on the fence is splinters in your ass. My Granddaddy!

    by SallyCat on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 01:52:28 PM PDT

  •  Only two of of the Giants are Californians (3+ / 0-)

    And the Rangers?  Four.

    "We" indeed.  At least the owner of the Giants is a rare non-wingnut team owner.

    You're entitled to your own opinions. You're not entitled to your own facts.

    by sproingie on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 01:57:14 PM PDT

  •  the giants were just fantastic (11+ / 0-)

    I am a White Sox fan who loved this Giants run to the title. I am happy for the city, the fans, the players, everyone. I'm glad to see Juan Uribe and Aaron Rowand get another ring. Yes it is "just sports" but who cares, it was fun to watch. As someone stuck in Indiana who dreams of far off places like this "San Francisco", I enjoyed seeing it featured on tv and am happy for its citizens; I wish I was among them.

    "We must move forward, not backward. Upward, not forward. And always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!"

    by Purdue219 on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 01:58:35 PM PDT

  •  Now, now, I'm not a sports fan, either ... (10+ / 0-)

    and I moved to San Francisco about the same time you did (1980), so I remember the Raiders victory and several 49-er's victories too.

    But the abundance of civic good feeling is for everyone to share and it doesn't make life any better for the underprivileged by saying:

    Bah! Humbug!

    And BTW, I expect the sidewalk measure to fail.

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 01:58:58 PM PDT

  •  Yay Let's have a world where (14+ / 0-)

    there is no fun and everything is political - Sounds like just a little bit of heaven. </snark>

    For this Bay Area Giants fan.. it was awesome to see our guys win the World Series.

    LET'S GO GIANTS!!

    I'm not a little giant... I'm a freakin' leprechaun

    by volleyboy1 on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 01:59:57 PM PDT

  •  I get your point, but... (17+ / 0-)

    Something magical happened this year, and it happened in San Francisco. It didn't happen in New York, or Philly, where teams are constructed on spreadsheets. It happened in San Francisco, where a team came together of the most unlikely cast-offs and managed to go all the way to the top. I am overjoyed that my nine-year-old son, who is passionate about baseball and plays his heart out in little league, will remember as one of the defining moments of a childhood cheering on his team, not the legacy of Barry Bonds, a one-man grandstanding show overshadowed by steroids, and will instead remember a team with extraordinary heart, an iron-willed determination to beat the odds, and to do it first and foremost by working together for the whole team. If you watched any of the interviews after the game, no player took credit themselves--everyone took pains to hold up their teammates as their inspiration. I saw this all through the eyes of my nine-year-old son, and it is one of the most inspiring moments of humanity I've seen in the midst of such a tragedy of corrosive media. Sure, it's only sports if you want to be cynical. But it's a moment of shared experience that crosses all cultural, economic and generational divides, and judging by the 80-year-olds dancing in the street for their first World Series trophy, it's not nearly as fleeting as you think.

    •  That's what made this win (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nellcote, wblynch, lineatus

      so spectacular and deeply felt.

      As a genetically "pre-destined" Giants fan -- born and raised in Northern Ca, child of new immigrant parents, our family, new to America, "took in" America through baseball. As kids, we learned how to sing the national anthem, and to stand when it played. My uncles learned English listening to Giants games.

      There is a deep-down connection to this sport baseball, which, even if you are not allowed any other access in to mainstream America -- sharing a love of baseball gets you in the door. I believe the Giants were also the first inegrated major league team in California with black, white and Latino players playing together, which heartened my family, and thousands of other new immigrants who yearned to belong here.

      Yes, its a simple game. But at least in our house, having the Giants baseball game on was like the background music of American life playing in your own home, with its different languages and customs--definitely not Mom and apple pie. More like lumpia, adobo and lechon. But that's how we got our slice of America, one pitch at a time.

      Don't let yourself be limited by your prior concept of what is possible.

      by Fe Bongolan on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 03:21:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My whole life I've realized sports and (12+ / 0-)

    entertainment are frivolous and not important in the overall scheme of things - but I still enjoy them.

    I voted early. I voted after studying the issues. I totally realize how important the last two election cycles, this election cycle, and the next election cycles are for the future of the US (and the world consequently). I understand the economic issues, the climate change issues, endless war, warrantless wiretapping, terrorism, GLBT rights, civil rights, etc are all more important issues.

    But I'm still happy that the Giants won the World Series.

    And thou shalt not harsh my buzz.

    "If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers." - Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

    by Uwaine on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 02:01:10 PM PDT

  •  Yeah, because they've only been in SF (11+ / 0-)

    for longer than almost half of the current MLB franchises have existed.

    And while no MLB team drafts only from local kids any more, the entire post-season rotation, the closer and the best position player (Posey) were all drafted by the Giants.

    Let the people bask.

  •  Tipped for (5+ / 0-)

    creating a lively (and lighthearted) discussion.

    BTW, no REAL baseball team would accept a World Series Championship.  It is a World Championship.  

    Take the World Baseball Classic and shove it.

    The Giants (and I am a Phillies fan) are the best baseball team in the world.

    They are the World Champions.

    In a binary political system, it is sufficient for the triumph of evil that good do just a little bit less.

    by penguins4peace on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 02:04:31 PM PDT

  •  "We" as relates to sports. (4+ / 0-)

    "We" and sports fandom are intimately entwined. It's broader than just the players on the team, people feel a very strong connection with their teams, they aren't just observers. For a lot of people, their team is their tribe. The ancient Olympics weren't just games, they were religious activities. You see someone wearing the same colors, you instantly have some connection with them. It's a limited connection, sure, best to keep on the subject of the team. Some people make the mistake of thinking because you have one thing in common, that you must have other things in common.
    Conversely, you have interactions with people wearing the other team's colors, these interactions can range from friendly rivalry to hostility is one or both choose to be belligerent.

    Nietzsche divided religion into Apollonian and Dionysaic: cool and intellectual versus driven by giving in to ecstasy. It's imperfect of course, but baseball is more Apollonian and football is more Dionysaic. Then of course there is George Carlin who said "baseball is pastoral, football is technological."

    The same impulses are there in sports (more in football than baseball, that's where the Dionysaic aspect comes in) that were in the Roman gladiator arenas. It's just more controlled, we may cheer the big hits, but we don't actually want to see anyone seriously harmed.

    I remember, many, many years ago, a football player saying "What do you mean 'we'?" in response to a question from a fan. Poor response, telling people that they are not part of "we" breaks the illusion, it's just a game then. Their livelihoods depend on people feeling a close bond with the team, a bond that can only be described as "we".

    The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

    by A Citizen on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 02:07:03 PM PDT

    •  Not to mention that the 'we' pays for tickets (4+ / 0-)

      which in turn pays ginormous salaries. That makes a very big bond (with or without steroids!).

      The only thing you get from sitting on the fence is splinters in your ass. My Granddaddy!

      by SallyCat on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 02:17:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We in sports (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SallyCat, FrugalGranny

        We pay for tickets, but that's not what drives this bond. People feel just as bonded with college sports, where they pay much less. I'm a football fan, but I went to a college volleyball game. It's more than just entertainment, thousands of people cheering is something that people want to be part of. There's a real energy in a sports stadium. The same number of people can have a totally different feel depending on the size of the stadium.

        The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

        by A Citizen on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 02:23:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's intangible, but "we" contribute. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nellcote, lineatus

      Every time I say "throw strikes,  Timothy Leroy" ... he settles down and gets out of the jam.  Clearly I am essential to his success ;)

      Still working on what to call Jonathan Sanchez that keeps away the evil psycho twin.

      Seriously ... I think a fan base that sticks with you, even when you stink, helps you get better.

      Just because you're not a drummer doesn't mean that you don't have to keep time. -- T. Monk

      by susanala on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 03:23:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm working out my theory of sports fandom. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lineatus

        I have this idea that the actual sport itself doesn't matter: if you come, we will build it, so to speak. What draws people is a packed crowd, losing themselves in cheering, all experiencing the same thing. If you can get a packed stadium, that energy gets built up, and people are drawn to that.

        I haven't worked out all the details yet.

        The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

        by A Citizen on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 03:40:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  High on a hill.... (6+ / 0-)

    Tony Bennett was born in Queens, NY but I still love this song.....

    The loveliness of Paris
    Seems somehow sadly gay
    The glory that was Rome
    Is of another day
    I've been terribly alone
    And forgotten in Manhattan
    I'm going home to my city by the bay.

    I left my heart in San Francisco
    High on a hill, it calls to me.
    To be where little cable cars
    Climb halfway to the stars!
    The morning fog may chill the air
    I don't care!
    My love waits there in San Francisco
    Above the blue and windy sea
    When I come home to you, San Francisco,
    Your golden sun will shine for me!

    "Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why." - Kurt Vonnegut

    by Wayneman on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 02:12:15 PM PDT

  •  Winning pitcher, pot smoking Eurasian guy=SF (9+ / 0-)

    Sometimes the team does reflect the culture of the city it is playing in.

    That the franchise pitcher for the San Francisco Giants is a long haired, Pacific NW born and bred Eurasion guy best known for being baseball's best pitcher for the last three years and for smoking pot with a huge fan following with the motto "Let Timmy Smoke" is perfect synchronicity.

    Personally, I think the motto should be "Smok'em Timmy".

    Baseball, like all team sports, is about working together for common good which is the essence of good government.

    GOP hates good government because it interferes with individuals doing well at the expense of the common good.

  •  Seriously Do you Have a Clue? (9+ / 0-)

    The team is not measured by the birthplaces of its' roster but by its' connections to its' fans. The players on this team have over and over again remarked how they couldn't do it without the fans and how inspired they were by the fans' devotion.
    This was a team to love, not chock full of over payed superstars but a combination of wily vets, misfits, throwaways, and spectacular pitching phenoms that won the hearts of the fans through their pure determination and heart wrenching victories against favored opponents. This was one of the most glorious runs of all time and I was a Met fan in '69, '73, and '86 (10 years by the Bay now)
    For you in might be 'meh, but clearly you don't get it and if I ever found myself next to you on a barstool watching a game, I'd have to move.

    •  My first baseball team (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lineatus

      was the 1969 Miracle Mets, thanks to my 5th grade teacher who packed up his wife, his cat, his worldly possessions and his love for the Mets in the back of a VW Beetle and drove across country the summer of '69 to teach in suburban California. We actually watched the games during classtime (yes, baseball during daytime!) when he got a TV from the AV department and hooked up a set of rabbit ears.

      "When it gets harder to love, love harder" -- Van Jones, NN10, 7/23/10

      by Cali Scribe on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 03:31:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Say heh! (0+ / 0-)

    You want to trade for the Cubs?

    and I wait for them to interrupt my drinking from this broken cup

    by le sequoit on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 02:57:53 PM PDT

  •  I feel you on the plight of the homeless (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nellcote, FrugalGranny

    but talk about taking a real issue and obsfucicating it with an utterly ridiculous slant.

  •  please retitle diary: "I Want to Belong, but I (7+ / 0-)

    Don't Like Your Type of People"

    I've heard people complain about stupid shit before, but this is really awesome. The only person you give mild credit to gets his name misspelled (it's "Neukom"). And then a completely unrelated comment about the proposed sit/lie ordinance.

    I get that you feel left out, but you are really forcing the issue. Have a beer, watch a parade, and be happy for the people around you. Otherwise you are being self-centered, and a very large turd in an otherwise glorious punch bowl.

    Go Giants! Epic Season, Epic Playoffs, Well Deserved World Series Title. Can't wait for pitchers and catchers to report. For realz.

  •  Overanalysis... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slksfca, lineatus

    People just like to be fans of teams.  It makes us happy and gives us a little bit of joy.  So what?

  •  Sports brings a town, an area together (6+ / 0-)

    If you'd been here in 1989 when San Francisco burned, Candlestick swayed and the bridges and freeways crumbled, you'd get it. And the Giants ballpark (built with private money -- the City did help with some land acquisition and public works like improved transit, but the area was slated for redevelopment anyway) has revitalized an area that drastically needed it.

    What brings me hope is that the national sports media were for the most part completely wrong; none of them expected the Giants to make it past the vaunted Phillies, some even had them losing in the first round to the Braves. The fact that those writers and talking heads could see what was in front of them and yet get it completely wrong, gives me hope for a similar result from our nation's political punditry.

    "When it gets harder to love, love harder" -- Van Jones, NN10, 7/23/10

    by Cali Scribe on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 03:26:13 PM PDT

    •  Thanks... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      esquimaux, Fe Bongolan

      ...for putting into words what I was thinking. When the Giants won I remembered that October afternoon in 1989 when the Battle of the Bay turned to horror.

      And yes, it felt good to me, too to see the sports media establishment make such putzes of themselves.

      Nailed on both counts; or, a double play for you, Cali Scribe. :-)

      There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

      by slksfca on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 04:02:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  National sportscasters always snipe on SF teams (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, slksfca, lineatus

    The Giants & the 49ers - they say we are from "the land of Fruits & Nuts". Lots of disparaging words, even when our teams are winning.

    They will speak well of the Dallas Cowboys and the NY Jets even when they're at rock bottom.

    They tore into Barry Bonds, they tore into the Oakland A's. Even while the Giants were winning, the announcers kept saying "well the Giants were originally from New York!  (Wow about 50 years ago!)  

    And oh yes, lots of dollars are being spent in local taverns, restaurants, and also hotels because of them. So there is an upside.  Enjoy!

    So savor the brief moment - for just a few days we get to be WORLD CHAMPIONS!

    SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS ARE THE WORLD CHAMPIONS!

    Next time I tell you someone from Texas should NOT be president of the United States, please pay attention. In Memory of Molly Ivins, 1944-2007

    by truebeliever on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 03:50:30 PM PDT

  •  The things that bring us together (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, slksfca, Aves

    are greater than the things that pull us apart.

    What I got to be a part of last night in the Lower Haight will be something I will never forget.

    I'd guess there were about 800 of us who had spilled out of the surrounding bars joined together on Haight for high fives and hugs, Giants flags, a couple vuvuzels,  and an impromptu band.

    Almost everyone was in orange and black and high off our boys beating the Rangers!! And yes, they may not be from SF, but they are OUR BOYS!  Our dirty dozen.

    For those of us who love our team and how it brings us together whether we are brown, pink, black or yellow we couldn't be more overjoyed!  UUUUUUU Ribe! Los Gigantes! Parade on Wednesday!

    Now back to your regularly scheduled voting booth.

    •  Glad you enjoyed it... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ElektraN

      They can be truly euphoric moments.  For me (as a NYC boy) these three moments stand out as sheer unadulterated joy for me.  I still get chills:

      Some people may not get it, but the rest of us can enjoy the passion and joy of sports.  I'm glad I can.

  •  KatRap - we are part of it (0+ / 0-)

    First, we buy tickets which is an important revenue source for the Giants. Second, if you listened to the players last night they talked of the emotional lift they received from the fans. The long hair, beards,  panda hats, and orange Fridays, it all has an impact on the players.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 05:34:14 PM PDT

  •  Whether or not you like the Giants (0+ / 0-)

    you gotta Arlo Guthrie, that kid pitcher of theirs.

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