The (Not So) Tortured Giants Fan
If you’ve been a Giants fan for anywhere between two and sixty years, there’s a good chance that at some point this team has broken your heart. Maybe it was when Willie McCovey’s line drive wasn’t quite high enough in ‘62. Or it could have been the travesty that was the ‘02 World Series. The front office ceding their first round pick in favor of Michael Tucker in ‘04 may have been another one of these moments. Or maybe it was Brian Bocock being tagged as the Opening Day shortstop in ‘08. Big or small, this franchise has always seemed to have a way with pain and suffering.
Then a curious thing happened: they won the World Series. A team that had no business going anywhere near a title suddenly caught all the breaks (Rick Ankiel excepted). Confetti rained down on Market Street, the trophy went on tour, and Brian Wilson dressed up as a sailor on Lopez Tonight. All the decades of disappointment culminated in a single moment of pure joy and everyone lived happily ever after. Right?
The average Giants fan of today is now forced to reconcile some very conflicting emotions. The optimism that came with the 2010 postseason run was great. But what of the pessimism that came out of every season in San Francisco before that? ”The Giants won the World Series” has now become a punch line to every negative mention of the Giants.
“Remember when they were swept in 1989,” posits disgruntled Oakland fan?
“The Giants won the World Series,” explains morally-conflicted Giants fan.
“But Steve Finley hit a walk-off grand slam in 2004 to send the Giants packing,” mentions angry Dodger fan.
“Yes, but the Giants won the World Series.”
It’s an unbeatable comeback of epic proportions. There’s not a thing that can be said or done that will change this fact. The Giants won the World Series. Everything is amazing. Unicorns are galloping across the double rainbow over AT&T Park as we speak. Wood-elves dance in circles around the pitchers’ mound as a way of paying tribute to the solid gold statue of Brooks Conrad that was erected at second base.
How should a Giants fan feel about next season though? This feeling can’t hang around forever can it? It’s hard to decide whether we as fans should enter this season with our same old brand of bitterness. Sure the Giants won the World Series, but how long until the next one? Being a sports fan leaves one insatiable for more. You know what’s better than one World Series? Two World Series. This is a problem (albeit a pleasant one) that Giants fans haven’t had since Willie Mays patrolled the vast expanse of the Polo Grounds outfield.
On one hand, it’s hard not to hope that same fluky season happens again. And to be honest, there’s actually reason to hope. The Giants still have one of the best rotations in baseball, as well as Buster Posey behind the plate for years to come. For the most part, the team that won the World Series last season is still here with only a couple additions and subtractions here and there. But you’d be a dirty liar if you denied that even after last season there’s still a little voice gnawing at the back of your consciousness reminding you who this team really is.
I have no answer myself to this dilemma, and I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s parade down Market Street. I’m just as ecstatic about 2010 as the next rabid Giants fan, trust me. I want next season to be just as uplifting. But just because Lucy lets Charlie Brown kick the football once doesn’t mean she’ll let him do it again.