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We’re alive! – Thoughts on the bandwagon

March 13, 2011

(Its been a few days, hasn’t it? Sorry about that. Finals and school and all. Anyways…)

I don’t think its unfair to say that there’s a little bit of elitist in every Giants fan. While a good number of teams are coming up on their 50th birthdays, we’re counting up to 130. We’re one half of one of the oldest and most intense rivalries in sports. We have more players and managers in the Hall of Fame than the Yankees (or anyone else, for that matter). We’re tied with “that blue team” (© Thomas Neal) for most pennants and World Series titles in the National League.

We’re a bit…defensive too, you could say. 56 years of “almost”, when you’re watching players like Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal, Willie Mays, Gaylord Perry, Bobby Bonds, Will Clark, Matt Williams, Jeff Kent, and Barry Bonds is enough to give anyone a complex.

So the elitism, the defensiveness…its all there and there are grounds for it. We laugh at the Diamondbacks, we don’t take Colorado’s or San Diego’s claim of a rivalry seriously, and if the guy over there in the Mariners hat wants to brag about Edgar Martinez and Ken Griffey Jr. then I’m perfectly happy to dust off passed down stories about Mel Ott and Carl Hubbell.

I figure there’s nothing really wrong with this. We have a culture and a community and a history and heck, at least we aren’t Yankees fans.

But now…now that we’ve won the World Series (Seriously. We did. It wasn’t a dream.), we’ve circled the wagons, dug out a moat, and filled it with sharks. “There were too many people at Fan Fest.” “Tickets are too expensive.” “I met this guy in a Giants hat the other day and he didn’t know who Dan Runzler was! OMG!” Bandwagon this. Bandwagon that. Blah, blah, blah.

I’m not ragging on anyone in particular here. Everyone from myself to the beat writers have made their share of complaints and snide comments.

But its getting old, and it should stop. Sure, it’d be nice if tickets were cheaper and people weren’t being turned away from Fan Fest five minutes after it started, but at there are a bunch of extra people around to spend money. Maybe I’m just less irritated with all the newbies than most folks because I don’t have to deal with it much in Seattle, but who cares if someone doesn’t understand all the intricacies of Spring Training or 2nd year player contract negotiations? Who cares if someone doesn’t know the formula for WAR or the probable Flying Squirrels roster for 2011? What’s wrong with being a little excited about Pablo Sandoval?

A professional sports franchise won a championship. There is a bandwagon. So what?

Watch the game. Talk about the game. Enjoy the game. Let others do the same. There’s completly new people and people coming out of the woodworks and people who’s enthusiasm has been renewed. Those who really don’t care at all, who just wear orange because its currently in fashion, will be gone as soon as Tim Lincecum loses his first start and Cody Ross fails to hit a home run every game.

The trade-off is returning to the likes of 2008, and I don’t think anyone wants to do that. We’ve got magical pitching, a semi-legitimate offense, and hopes for another Rookie of the Year. We’re optimistic, we aren’t cursing Sabean with every other breath, and we get to spend an entire season hearing our boys being announced as the World Champion San Francisco Giants.

Its time to just enjoy the ride. It won’t last forever.

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