San Francisco Giants: The Perils of "your" Franchise

Jason HooverCorrespondent IDecember 29, 2011

Giants fan for sale (beard not included)
Giants fan for sale (beard not included)Tony Medina/Getty Images

The commercials run non-stop during the season. Buses are plastered with ads. Promotional emails are sent to season-ticket holders. And the phrase is repeated each time. 

"Together we are Giant"

But are we really "together" at all? With the exception of the Green Bay Packers, no fanbase has any say or control over their team's future. Yet without hesitation a vast number of fans will drop the infamous "Our franchise" line.    

The connection between a sports team and its fanbase is a unique one. Nothing has the ability to make a person as irrationally angry, as the failure of their favorite sports franchise. Disagreements over a players' performance or acquisition is tantamount to the worst family Christmas dinner table fight. Nevertheless, in some sort of masochistic stupor, fans return each year to the cathedral like stadiums and dingy TV illuminated bars to bicker and squabble. All in the name of defending/supporting "Our franchise."

When the Giants franchise left New York for San Francisco in 1957, it can be surmised that a large number of fans no longer felt the franchise represented them. Those who stuck with the team were rewarded with an epic World Series drought and a team that threatened to once again pull up stakes and move to Florida. If it's your franchise, shouldn't you have a say in something like that? 

No, you shouldn't. Because it's not our franchise. It is simply a team that you root for. No matter how deeply or passionately a fanbase supports a team there is always the threat of relocation or worse yet, contraction. The 37 A's fans that exist are amongst the most passionate drum-beating fans there are. Ask them about team loyalty. Or a Cleveland Browns fan. Or an Indianapolis Cots fan. They'll all tell you who can accurately claim the phrase, "Our Franchise."     

So root passionately and proud. But before you decide to dive headlong into that Giants tattoo, keep in mind that "your franchise" doesn't even know your name.