Giants continue to pilfer bandwagon fans.

“We tend to think of true fandom as a virtue and of bandwagon jumping as a vice. But why? What’s so great about parking suckspulling for a team even when it does poorly? And what’s so bad about pulling for a team even when it does well? Humans rightly value loyalty. Being a loyal friend means being a friend even in bad times. Fair-weathered fans are like fair-weathered friends. They display a culpable lack of fidelity. Conversely, one who exhibits genuine fan-hood displays the same exact virtue of a good friend. For the good friend has a reasonable hope and expectation that the friend to whom he/she is being faithful to in the tough times would do the same for them.”–Thomas D. Senor

I despise the Giants. It isn’t the panda hats and the Disney-fication of baseball. It isn’t the fact that their two biggest stars, Willie Mays and Barry Bonds are self entitled assholes that simply played a boy’s game well. It isn’t even the obnoxious, loudmouthed selfie-taking “fans” who couldn’t tell you why you would want to hit a ball to the right side of the infield with a man on second if their lives depended on it.

These same fans use the Giants World Series victories as a sort of personal bourgeois self-vindication. (“We live in San Francisco, a world-class city…Oakland sucks,” whether they be educated and wealthy or not–a typical, though not uniquely American way of using group-thought as a facade of wealth.) This self-vindication has led these rubes to some serious deep-rooted racist and classism issues–seeing Dodger Stadium or the Coliseum as “dangerous” and “full of gangsters” read: blacks and Latinos, while ignoring the multiple murders and beat downs that have happened outside of Pac Bell, which are strangely swept under the rug. Baseball is a business, but it’s one made possible by the illusion that each of us has a personal connection to their team and its place. Apparently, this “illusion” has made some fans blind…and, according to the photo above, much more poverty-stricken as well.

20 Comments

Excellent hate! I am a transplanted New Yorker who has lived in the Bay Area for the past 5 years. The year I moved the Giants won the Series and I was actually happy for them — it was hard not to like that team of gamers with its colorful characters. But then…the fans: Those arrogant, smug, johnny come lately, mean spirited, techie slime. Each year my Giants hatred grows a little more, like a tumor, until at this point I root for them to lose every game and am upset when they win. I still don’t hate them as much as the Yankees but it’s getting close. Needless to say my nightmare Series is Giants/Crankees. I don’t know who I would root for.

Neither. I wouldn’t watch!

Well, you’ve put your finger directly on the point of cognitive dissonance that plagues so many of us who remain baseball fans- and, more to the point, Giants fans: How do you continue to care about a baseball team who’s management obviously cares more about maximizing profit, than it does about making the experience of watching a game available to the maximum number of people?
There’s no question but what the whole “Give us a new stadium or we’re out of here”, thing has resulted in transforming baseball from a great blue-collar, “take the afternoon off an go to a game” thing, to a “Maybe I can afford to go to a couple a games, this season” thing, and the Giants are in the forefront of that movement.
It is, as I say, lamentable, and it simply reflects the polarization of our society into the Upper and Lower Classes. For those of us in the latter group, live baseball (or, for that matter, watching the game on television, since it is no longer free) has become something near prohibitive in cost; a good seat in AT&T Park costs the same as a week’s groceries- and that’s when the Dodgers are not in town. Thank God for KNBR, on which I listen to the game, most days.
I might mention, in passing, that if Lew Wolff has his way, Oakland fans will be going through the same experience- assuming, of course, that the A’s stay in Oakland, at all. I bailed on the A’s when Wolff tarped over my favorite, eight dollar, seats, in the upper deck, and that’s when I found the Giants, another scrappy, struggling team, right across the bay. I came to care about that post-Bonds team, some of who’s players are still with the club, and I’m likely to stay a fan for as long as I have the wit to care. I try, now and then, to pay attention to what is, after all, my “Home Team”, but I guess I just lack the band width; I can only follow the ups and downs of so many guys in a season.
So, as I say, I get that it is downright foolish for me, and for anybody who is not pulling down six figures, to care about baseball, but I’m not sure I have any choice. I’ve gotta love baseball, and I’ve gotta choose a team to care about, and right now I’m sticking with the Giants, as I have since Bonds left the team in disgrace. Life is (presumably) long, and that may change, but that’s where I’m at, right now.

Well said John. I have no problem with long time fans…and I’m sure you know who Brett Butler and Will Clark were. I have nothing but respect for the fans who have suffered through long nights at Candlestick and many losing seasons.

I think this is describing the overall problem with sports as a status symbol. At work, I got routinely chided for being a Phillies fan by all the Yankees fans. My fanhood in Philadelphia sports is an identification with the city and the surrounding area. In fact, I appreciate the fact that our teams aren’t expected to win every years. It makes the eventual win all the sweeter. Life is about moments. Every Phillies fan remembers watching the final pitch of the 2008 World Series. There I was, 26 years old and never knew what it was to have a winning team. Years of Joe Carter, Steve Yzerman, Tom Brady and Shaq and Kobe bursting my bubble. It was torture. But 2008 was an incredible moment that I will cherish forever. I doubt front runners will ever feel that true joy I felt. It was incredible. When somebody hops on the bandwagon, I don’t really mind because I know that deep down inside of them, they will never get the pay off I got because they never invested from the beginning.

San Francisco and New York are cities that attract all sorts from all over the country. There is economic opportunity there but, my God, are they overrated. I went to San Francisco recently, purely to go see the Giants and to go over to Oakland to see the A’s. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t incredibly impressed with San Francisco. They sell themselves as the font of Liberalism in America and the place is every bit as dumpy as any other large city is. I’ve never ever in my life living on the East Coast seen a city with such a homeless problem like I saw there. Going up to Oregon and Seattle didn’t help my impression of West Coast cities either. Only in SF did I see a man drop his pants and take a dump right on the pavement. Apparently from discussion with locals about this, it wasn’t a one-off exclusive event. World-class city… Give me a city that accepts its grime and character over a bunch of yuppies and hipsters masquerading as refined and classy.

Wow. Great comment. And you’re right, the city smells like a urinal. 🙂

Great post Gary. Reminds me of the hate/hate relationship most Baltimore fans have towards the NY Yankees’ fans. I kind of liked the SF Giants before reading this – they are orange and black like my Os and I had kind of a thing for nutty people like Jake Peavy. But having read this I am glad that for my West Coast trip this summer I chose – Dodger Stadium! “Dangerous” and “full of gangsters”? – just a typical day in Baltimore. 🙂

Haha…Dodger Stadium is a great place to take the family and they also embrace their history. It is charming and the fans are very relaxed. Don’t believe what you read. 😉

The one instance was a fluke. Some drunk Giants fan started a fight with two “cholos.” As far as I’m concerned you’ll get your ass kicked anywhere for doing that.

True (and possibly with good reason). I need your advice – I like to represent my O’s on the road wearing the full on orange and black – my husband and my son said someone will kick your ass if you do that in LA (plus both of them have man crushes on Kershaw so they have tons of Dodgers hats and shirts). As a Californian, what is your professional recommendation? Represent – or blend in with the Dodgers fans? 🙂

Dodger fans are generally confused by anything American League oriented. You should be fine. Haha. Like I said….it is mostly families. I wear my A’s crap all the time and have never heard a thing.

Being a Dodgers fan, it’s never too late to hear a screed against the Giants. Carry on.
v

The Dodgers don’t have “fans”, they have co-conspirators.

I moved to Emeryville from Chicago for a year back in 2005 and quickly gravitated towards the A’s over the Giants. The air of scumbag entitlement in SF was palpable back then so I can only image what it’s like now after 3 titles.

By the way, thanks for following Major League Assholes. I like your style and appreciate the support.

Thanks for stopping by Ryan; and thanks for the compliment.

$120 to park! I think that’s what severed my connection to baseball.

Yeah, That’s what I’m talking about. The club owners- many of them, anyway- have chosen to give the stiff finger to their traditional fan base, in hope that they will become “hip” to a younger market, with more discretionary income. The deed is done, here in SF, but I admire other teams, like the Red Socks, who have remained more true to baseball’s roots.

What a Shame to pay this much JUST to park your car. When I went to the A’s games in the mid 80’s, we paid 3.00 to park & 4.00 for bleacher seats. The good seats were like 16.00. HOW can a normal family afford to go to ANY games these days. Just to watch those Over paid spoiled brats that make millions of dollars to hit a Dam ball. How Pathetic is that, when our Veterans are being homeless & can’t ev r n afford to eat…. What an American tragedy on America’s Best pastime sport. BABE ruth & the boys would die if they seen how things turned out. Owners are Totally money driven.. I wish EVERY ONE would Boycott ALL sports & until they get back to Reality… HAlf these players then cry & go bankrupt cuz their to stupid to Save & invest in Life for the Long Haul… Sports are pretty much for Corporate Big shots these days. Flaunting their COURTSIDE SEATS FOR 2000.00 ,WHILE THE rest of the Real sports fans are sitting at home watching or listening to it on the radio…
That’s a Real American Tragedy. !!!! Enjoy it all you Snobby ( wanna be ) Bigshots…. I’m done…. Go A’s

Great blog. I am a SF Giants fan and have been for 20 years now. I became one because of Will Clark. Being from Southern California I followed the 1984 Olympic Team which he was part of. After learning he was drafted by the Giants in 1985, I became a fan of the team and in 1986 started collecting his baseball cards and they have been my favorite team since then. Unfortunately when a team wins championships you will get bandwagon fans, just a nature of the beast that happens in every sport. Keep up the good work and GO GIANTS! LOL

Jason
http://www.jasonscustomtradingcards.wordpress.com

And if, when, the A’s get good again you’ll see the same thing happen with them. Bay Area born and raised and I’ve seen every local team at some point have their fair share of douchebaggery. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the greatest Athletic of all time, Mr. October, who is rarely identified as an Athletic even though his greatest years were in Green and Gold.

Gary, maybe you met Willie Mays and you know more than I do from personal experience. That’s exactly the reason that I chose not to interview Ed Kranepool and Joel Youngblood at the Dairylea Skim Milk/New York Mets Junior Press Conference at Shea Stadium in 1979. I was representing my journalism class, and I interviewed Bob Murphy, one of the Mets announcers, and he was GREAT, but I decided to stop there, because I was afraid to interview Kranepool and Youngblood because they were my favorite Met players at the time and I didn’t want to be disappointed and heartbroken by finding out that they weren’t all that nice. So I chose to not take any chances, so that Kranepool and Youngblood would continue to be my heroes. Maybe they would have been real nice guys, but at a time in my life when I actually CARED about the Mets and was into hero worship, I chose not to be heartbroken.

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