Thursday, October 30, 2014

being a fan shouldn't be a complex

Baseball season has come to an end and while my post-baseball depression has started to sink in, there’s one thing I’m not going to miss – my A’s friends posting hate on social media and throwing shade to my team. Sigh. It seems that this year has been worse than previous years. The hater side of me would say that this is because the A’s should have had a postseason and they’re subsequently just jealous. But, I really don’t want to assume that. I honestly don’t know why the hate was so much stronger this year. But, whatever the reason, Giants’ fans have come to expect the hate and we’ve taken it in stride.

I came across this article on Facebook that a few of my A’s fans have shared and I’ve read it a few times. This isn’t the first time I’ve read an article and had a some kind of response to it. But, this is the first time I’ve felt strongly enough to reply. Why? Because most of this article is simply whining and disappointment from an A’s fan. There’s absolutely nothing factual in this article; it’s a lot of generalizations, assumptions, and, no offense to the author, but a lot of sour grapes.

So, as not only a Giants’ fan, but a baseball fan, I’ve decided to respond to said article. (You can read the full article here.)

1. We all know them. Those fans that know nothing about the Giants pre-2010…we know much more about their team than they do.

Okay, first off, this is one of those “facts” that I’ve heard from so many people, and not just about baseball -- the fact that if you liked something after it was popular, you're automatically a "bandwagon fan". (Just in case you were wondering -- I exited the womb wearing orange and black.) Whether it’s about the A’s or about people who started liking the Backstreet Boys in 2006 when they've been popular since 1998 or about people who just started watching “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” (please don't do this) and claim to love Kim, but there are people who have been watching since they beginning, so they are the real fans. Etc, etc. So, the point here is because you have liked something longer, that makes you a “real” fan and anyone else who likes something after you – or after it’s become popular – isn’t? That’s like saying someone who just tasted a Hershey bar for the first time and loves it isn’t a real fan of Hershey bars because they haven’t loved it as long as someone else and can’t name the year it was first created or the name of the creator. What’s wrong with people liking something they haven't before or being introduced to something new? The Giants aren’t the only team to have new fans. Even your A's have their share of fans who only show up when they're doing well. I mean, look at the Yankees. I know so many people who like the Yankees simply because they are the Yankees. And WHO CARES? Let people like who and what they like. Judging the validity of someone’s fanaticism is as pointless as judging someone’s love of chocolate.

2. ‘Well we have the best park in Baseball.’ ‘At least we can fill our ball park.’ And this is what apparently makes them the best fans in baseball?

Actually, no, what makes us the “best fans in baseball” is the energy you feel at EVERY game in AT&T Park. Have you ever been there? I’ve been to games when the Giants were sucking and had no chance of a postseason and that park was just as energetic and buzzing and full of excitement as it was when they were winning. Even the talking heads on Fox said this about AT&T Park – and they hate the Giants and had nothing positive, besides this comment, to say about them. To us, our park IS the best because when you’re a Giants fan, there’s nothing better than going home to your team and being surrounded by thousands of other people that feel the same. Isn’t that what makes the Coliseum – I’m sorry, – the best park to you?

3. …I feel respect is due a fan of the opposing team who will represent in hostile territory. But you may want to think twice over at the fancy AT&T (or whatever it’s called). A lone female Royals fan was booed and cursed at, told to get the f…out…All I know is, that would not happen at the

Really? I’m pretty sure this happens at every Major League Baseball park. Your isn’t immune to this, just as AT&T (yes, it is called AT&T, by the way) isn’t. My parents have season tickets and their seats are in a section that’s known to house family, friends and fans of the opposing team. And never once have I been to a game and sat in those seats and witnessed anyone cursing at those fans, booing them, or telling them, to “get the f out”. Every team has stupid fans because stupid people exist. And, no team is immune from stupidity.

4. Then there are those fans that profess allegiance to the A’s, but if the A’s are out of the postseason, they will root for the Giants…You root for a team not a region! If you root for both teams then you are really not a fan at all.

First off, there’s a difference between rooting for a team and wanting to see a team do well. If the roles had been reversed, I wouldn’t have rooted FOR the A’s, but I sure would have loved to see them win. Why? Not because I’m not a “true fan” or because I’m a bandwagon A’s fan. But, if my team is done for the season, why wouldn’t I want to see a neighboring team do well and bring something positive into our community? Why wouldn’t I want Oakland to bring people together and to celebrate something good? Being a true fan doesn’t mean hating on a neighboring team, especially when they aren’t even our rivals. I can surely be a diehard fan and not wish ill on a team whose success has nothing to do with the success of my own team. I can love the Giants and want to also see Oakland be successful because I LIVE HERE TOO. And, it’s not up to you or anyone else to decide how true or untrue my fanaticism is.

5. I’m just slightly sick of seeing the same bay area team in the post season when the A’s have been fighting tooth and nail to no avail.

Firstly, and that’s the Giants’ fault? Again, the success of the A’s has nothing to do with the success of the Giants. And, sorry, but the A’s aren’t the only team in the MLB who has fought tooth and nail year after year. That’s the whole point of a baseball season; every team fights tooth and nail to get a postseason. It’s silly of you to make this statement as if the A’s are the only losing team who hasn't won in the past five years. Look at the Royals. They haven’t been in a postseason before this year in over 20 years. And, yet, here they are with a young team, new managers, and the same amount of fight as every other team, and they not only got their long-wished-for postseason, but they gave us a run for our money. And, I can bet you they didn’t hate on any other team when they were losing as a result.

I love my Giants. I love the players, I love their heart, I love their bond, their friendships, the respect they give their managers and coaches and owners, and the love they have for their fans and their community. But, my love of the Giants doesn’t turn to hate for anyone else when their season is over. I don’t hate someone else because of their shortcomings or complain when others do well instead. My love for my team turns into my love of the game and of the excitement it creates; the way it can bring a city together and create nothing but good news on the TV instead of bad. My love turns to the game, because isn’t that what baseball is all about, anyway?