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Collective will

July 5, 2011

If you don’t believe that the collective will and sheer desire of 42,000 beard fearing, panda hat wearing, long hair sporting, rally thong waving fans can change the course of history, then you’ve never been there.

I hate crowds.  I avoid opening weekend at the movies, I never shop on Black Friday, and I hate theme parks in the summer.  Crowds and I just don’t mix.

That is, unless it’s a crowd of 40,000 or so Giants fans.  Then, well, it’s different.  Then it’s not about what I want or what the guy next to me wants, because we want the same thing.  At base, we want to see our team play well, and that’s all that matters.  There is something unbelievably cathartic and primal about a crowd of that magnitude standing up unbidden to watch a ball hurl its way into McCovey Cove or cheer at a spectacular catch.  Walking down Embarcadero yesterday with crowds of people after the game, knowing that it’s a march of people who just experienced the same thing you did was not the same as making that same walk at any other time.

I know this all sounds obvious, but having been away from it for a few years, the sense of home is all the more acute being back.  I saw Giants bubblebath/shampoo on sale at Target this weekend and wanted to cry I was so happy to be back.  I don’t feel like I need to justify every time I want to pull a Giants shirt out of my closet.  I can sit here watching highlights of a game that I was at, not that I watched on TV, and it didn’t need to be a special occasion to go.  I flip on the TV and there’s CSN, like magic.  All of this, it’s home and it’s so much of why I’m a Giants fan.

It’s about collective will.  It’s about the feeling that there’s an entire community there experiencing what you are and wanting the same thing and making up the 26th man on the roster thousands upon thousands of times over.  Hell, sometimes it’s about making fun of Aaron Rowand’s batting stance or boggling at Bochy’s bullpen management.  It’s about community, pure and simple, and that is something I feel outstandingly lucky to have back in my life outside of the confines of the internet, as amazing as that has been.

So even though we lost, thank you, Giants, for the welcome home.

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