You fear it yet?
Expect a healthy dose of torture tonight.
After last night’s offensive firestorm, where the San Francisco Giants ran up a week’s worth of runs in one game, tonight should be a nice reversion to the tense, nail-biting and familiar mean.
Cue “The Machine” and bring on the thumbscrews.
The ability of the Giants to persevere in ridiculously tight matchups, has generated a fan base mirroring the same attributes. Fans who can maintain a pure hope for success during a one-run lead and cheer for their team just as vociferously during a two-run deficit.
This purity within the San Francisco Giants fan base is one that I hope will be maintained and one which other notable fan bases have, unfortunately, replaced with complaining, excuses and an air of expectation.
When I read the East Coast press endlessly describing the “luck” that went into the ascension of the “misfit” San Francisco Giants to the 2010 World Series, the more I just see a sniffling bully off in the corner, trying to explain his black eyes.
Sometimes luck has nothing to do with it and you actually lose because the other guy was just more talented. Not because he had a “good day” or had a bunch of “retreads” or because you “choked” or because you “lost” the series, but just because he beat you four times before you could do it to him.
The stories portending a “ratings implosion” and “unwatchable World Series”, ring more of pure jealousy than of any kind of objective journalism.
Did last night's game strike anyone as unwatchable?
And to further suggest that just because many sulking East Coast fans will not be tuning into the World Series, and that fact somehow lessens the achievement, is just sour grapes at it's highest level.
Nothing has come easy for the San Francisco Giants or their fans. We've had line drives, earthquakes and a manager who liked to give out early souvenir balls. As such, loyal Giants supporters are the furthest thing from an expectant fan base, and ones who will hopefully maintain that attribute if continued success chooses to shine on this team. Fans who will be living every game like a gift versus an assumption.
If you have ever followed the San Francisco 49ers, you are aware of the dangers that routine success can breed.
Fighting that birthright urge to place your beloved team above all others, solely on their previous, historic successes is difficult. It remains an intense struggle to keep your objectivity and fight that temptation, even in the face of blatant empirical evidence. It becomes very easy to close your eyes to reality and delude yourself into thinking that that your champions “just got unlucky” again.
To stubbornly refuse to give credit to the teams that beat yours is just petty. Especially, when all objective reason, in the form of mounting losses and aged stars, points clearly to the fact that the current team you worship only shares the same uniform colors as the one that wrote the legend.
Fighting this is not as easy as wearing a fake beard to a game and cheering on Steve Perry in the Club Level as he leads “Don’t Stop Believin’” (which was awesome) or making a few “Ross Boss” signs. The haze of endless winning seasons, multiple playoff appearances and championships, is where the real danger of becoming a pouting supporter lurks.
Sometimes, you just get beaten up by the unassuming drama geek with a dynamite right-right-left-left pitching combination. You can get watery eyes and bellyache when that happens or you can give credit where credit is due.
Granted, maybe you didn’t see the punch coming in your cocoon of perceived dominance, but that happens in life—and it just happened to your team.