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SF Giants Parade: Celebration Cements San Francisco as Fantastic Sports Town

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 31: Pitcher Sergio Romo #54 of the San Francisco Giants runs along the parade route during the San Francisco Giants World Series victory parade on October 31, 2012 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants beat the Detroit Tigers to win the 2012 World Series. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 31, 2012

Downtown San Francisco is going to ground to a halt for the Giants' World Series victory parade.

Some might argue that the parade is a bit anticlimactic after the riots that occurred in the immediate aftermath of Game 4. Watching a float travel down a street doesn't have the same kind of effect as watching fires rage in the middle of the street.

This is not to glorify what San Franciscans did to celebrate the Giants' second World Series in three years. Rioting from fans has no place in sports, no matter what the reason. However, between that and the championship parade, you have to admit that San Francisco has some great sports fans.

In the buildup to the World Series, many criticized Jeff Seidel's editorial in the Detroit Free Press, in which he argued that it didn't feel right because of the food served in AT&T Park and the different quirks it has. Somehow having a slide over a carousel makes it far inferior to a "real" ballpark like Comerica Park.

While he may have written that article satirically, there are more than a few sportswriters and fans who feel that exact same way. It's the kind of criticisms that you can't help but wonder are laced with latent homophobia and cultural prejudice.

Let's face it. San Francisco is just a different city. Its cultural diversity is what makes San Fran one of the most unique cities in the United States.

Just because its citizens don't worship at the altar of sports 24/7 doesn't mean its fans are any less devoted when they need to be.

Unlike someplace like Cleveland, which labors so heavily under its championship burden, people who live in the Bay Area don't have to worry about others identifying and judging their home simply by the successes of its sports teams.

You could probably walk through downtown San Francisco without seeing a single piece of Giants or 49ers apparel. That speaks more to the fact that the city itself has much more going for it than a sporting identity.

It's not as if people in San Francisco don't care about sports, though.

In five of the last six years, the Giants have ranked in the top 10 in average attendance. The 49ers have also been able to average around 70,000 a game over the last few years as well. It doesn't put the team near the top, but it's quite surprising when you consider how decrepit Candlestick Park is.

And they can be extremely loyal. In no baseball city but San Francisco would Barry Bonds actually be cheered.

This is to take nothing away from Detroit, but it's cities like San Francisco that make sports fun.

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