On Saturday, Dave and I took Mom and Dad Steele to the San Francisco Giants/LA Dodgers game.  For the last three months, Dave has been warning me that this is the end-all, be-all rivalry to end all rivalries.  And I’ve known a rivalry or two – UCLA vs. USC for sure – so I was prepared to see a knock-down, beat up, teeth-baring showdown between fans of the orange and the blue.

photo_050106_0011.jpg

The game itself was quite interesting.  By the middle of the 2nd inning, the Giants were BEHIND BY 10 POINTS!  Yes folks, I said BEHIND BY TEN POINTS!  Eventually, the Giants lost, 14-7.

At one point a very obnoxious man and his friends sat down in front of us, and as they were perplexed as to the turn in events, attempted to rally the crowd, much like cheerleaders and yell-leaders do.  They went back to the 80’s rally cry that excites all of the players on the field, the wave.  The conversation went:

OG (Obnoxious Guy): “Hey guys, let’s do the wave!”

OGG (Obnoxious Guy’s Girlfriend): “Everybody, we’re going tooooooo doooooo theeeeeee waaaaaaavvvvvveeeeeee.” (She had a very large mouth. Not large as in loud, but physically large. Like you could fit a grapefruit in there with no problem whatsoever.)

[Nobody does the wave.]

OG: “Man, you guys suck.  I said we’re going to do the wave!  Come on everyone!”

OGG: “Everybody, we’re going tooooooo doooooo theeeeeee waaaaaaavvvvvveeeeeee.”  (Apparently, she thought this line of encouragement would actually energize the crowd.)

OLIBS,NPOTG (Obnoxious Lady in Blue Shirt, Not Part of their Group): “Hey, how about you get those guys going and I’ll try to get this side going.”

(Apparently they thought they were going to be successful.)

[This time, maybe five people do the wave.  They worked on this the rest of the time they were at the game, but I think that the man behind me said it best when he said,]

FGBM (Funny Guy Behind Me): “We’re from San Francisco. We don’t do the wave.”

Enough Said.

I’ve been to a few San Francisco sporting events in the Bay Area, both for San Francisco and non-SF teams, as well as sporting events for other teams in the country, and it’s amazing how reserved San Francisco fans are.  Now, I don’t expect everyone to be as crazy as, say, Raider fans, where the very act of attending a game may place your life in jeopardy, but a little whoop here and a cheer there would definitely be in order. 

[Note: There were, of course, a few exceptions.  Such as the lovely man sitting 5 rows ahead of us screaming “What’s the matter with Ethier (left field)?”  To which the crowd responded, “He’s a bum!” Such ugliness!]

Being from San Diego, we love our sports teams through good times and bad.  When the Chargers played the 49’ers in the Superbowl back in 1994 and LOST, I was one lone Charger fan in a sea of northern California UCLA students.  I cheered for my Chargers like you wouldn’t believe, and had my team served to me on a plate (49-26 – OUCH!), but the point was that I cheered.  I whooped.  I yelled.  I was totally bummed when they lost. 

I’ve also been to a 49’er game (where they hosted the Seahawks), and it was one of the most subdued experiences of my life.  Sure, there was cheering, but I got no sense of passion from the crowd.  I’ve also been to other baseball games  (Padres, Orioles, Dodgers, Pirates, etc.) in their home towns, and the level of excitement between fans of any of those cities and San Francisco is absolutely astonishing. 

It’s as if San Franciscans have bought so into their hipster-cool image that actually exhibiting passion and excitement would be a cardinal sin.  For heaven’s sake, there is WIFI available at PacBell/SBC/AT&T/whatever-it’s-called-now Park!  Why in the world would you be using your computer when you’re supposed to be eating hot dogs, drinking beer, and enjoying an afternoon baseball game?

Perhaps I expect too much of sports fans.  I assume that if you’re going to pay all of that money to buy a ticket to actually watch the game, that you’ve got to be pretty jazzed about the team itself to devote 5-6 hours at that single event.

So, much to the chagrin of my dear David, I joined OG and OGG everytime they did their wave.  I jumped.  I flayed my arms.  I waved.  Because I believe in their cause.  And dang it, I live in the Bay Area now and any day we Beat LA is a good day for me.

Advertisements