Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ich bin Ein Giants Fans

The rally at San Francisco's City Hall wasn't exactly the fall of the Berlin Wall, but there was no shortage of emotion. Thousands upon thousands of smiling faces, all there sharing a common thought. There was no talk of race or gender or religion. On this day, we were all Giants Fans.




And what a party it was. There was an excitement permeating the air -- along with enough of another substance to make me think Prop 19 had actually passed. Jeez, I hadn't been in a crowd like this since I went to see The Who.

After 40 years of personal torture, I had to see this for myself. There are certain marvels you simply have to observe with your own eyes -- the birth of your child, an eclipse, or Angelina Jolie.

Departing my Bakersfield home at 4 am, I made my way downtown just in time for the start of festivities thanks to the glorious wonder that is BART (by the way, if you were trying to get into town from the Pleasanton station, SUCKERS! Castro Valley made for a much better option).
The Ranter went to San Francisco, and all he got was
a lousy trophy!

I can't explain the need to travel 300-plus miles just to stand in a crowd any more than I can explain my rather insane craving for Twix bars. I do know it wasn't about basking in the reflected glory of a long-awaited victory. I think when you investigate the psychology of it, the answer was something much more simple.
 
Until I saw that trophy with my own eyes, it wasn't real.

I'm not sure words can do justice to the moment. I know what the Market Street is supposed to look like when you pop out of the Civic Center BART station, and I've been caught in the midst of a human throng before. But this? It was just a mass of happy people who picked today to get along.

On the BART I was visiting with some guys from Modesto who made the trip and a gentleman from Richmond also making the pilgramage. I'd spoke to a man who was bringing his 11-year-old to witness history (11? I had to wait 40 years for this and he sees it at age 11? Spoiled little brat!).

I'd never met any of them before and likely won't again, but on this day we were long lost buddies united in our love for the Giants and sharing the sheer amazement that the "torture" had come to a glorious end. Brothers in arms.

I figured "the moment" for me would come upon seeing the trophy, but my biggest reaction was brought about by stepping into Civic Center Plaza and seeing City Hall decked out in banners celebrating the World Series Champions. I'd seen banners like these before, but never in Giants colors. I paused and caught my breath, and it finally hit me.

The Giants are the champs. The event I'd awaited for 40 years had come, seemingly out of the blue. Screw you, George Bush. THIS is what I call "Mission Accomplished."


Channel 2 estimated one million fans in attendance. It seemed there were that many jammed into my BART car -- half of them teenage girls with signs indicating they wanted to "Get Cozy with Posey".  At the plaza there were easily 100,000. They went back beyond Larkin Street. They were in the trees, on top of buildings, climbing the statues (despite fencing intended to deter such an occurance), climbing street poles -- you name it. Two Jumbotrons were erected so those in the plaza could watch the parade drawing ever closer. And when the players arrived, the excitement was palpable.

By now anyone interested has seen video of the speeches -- and Aubrey Huff's pseudo strip (how sick is it that the biggest cheers were reserved for two inanimate objects: the trophy and the rally thong?). You can find clips everywhere (including below) so I won't waste time with a re-cap. I will say that the trip was worth it, the fitting culmination to a grand a glorious quest.

Now the real question: Can they do it again?





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