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The WE Debate
I have been a Giants fan my whole life, and the particular passion I feel about them is unlike my love for anything else on this planet. So much a fabric of my daily existence, and so able to control the flow of my day, that I can't help but use the "we" reference when speaking of them.
"How are the Giants gonna do this year?"
"Well," I answer, "we had a good year last year, but now we need someone to come in with some timely hitting." We had a good year last year. Inevitably I run into someone who just has to be the wise guy. "Did you say 'we'? Hey last time I checked you ain't running the field or making plays." Of course they are technically right, but I will defend to the end the passionate fans' right to refer to their favorite team as we. As a fan of your favorite team you have assumed ownership, and with that goes some priveledges, including, I feel, the ability to feel connected with your favorite distraction.
It's an old debate, and they bring it up on sports shows often. The last time I saw it being discussed was on an episode of Pardon the Interruption, where Michael Wilbon basically laughed at fans who do so. Sportswriters are there own special breed of pretentious. They see themselves as a liason between us the fan and the ballplayers, but it is obvious that they think they speak from the other side, even though they have more in common with us, the fan. Thus, any normal means of fandom is seen as below them. They commonly make fun of the average fan, and let us know they are superior by talking about their free tickets, and who they would "pay to see." Well, it's nice that you can have that debate, but for those of us in the real world we have to pay to see them all. In that way I guess I would pay to see Doug Davis or Juan Pierre, not exciting names, but just as much a part of the cost of admission. In that way I think sportswriters have lost their passion. There's something about not having a lot of money and still spending it to go to a game. It doesn't bother you because it was what you were holding onto the money for in the first place. You can sit in the ballyard, relax and realize that this is why you work, this is why you want money, so you can be here amongst your bretherin.
Over the years, if you're like me, you've gone to countless hundreds of games. You've bought every imaginable article of Giants clothing available, and I mean no article spared. I have bought shirts, sweats, jackets, hats, socks, boxers, sweatshirts, spent countless amounts at the concessions, and donated wholeheartedly my undying loyalty. My loyalty has stuck, too, through some abysmal seasons where I watched game 162, despite the season having been all but technically over for a month and a half. In that way I feel I paid my portion, albeit small, of all the contracts that have been signed over the years, the improvements made to the facilities, and the ability to see the games I don't attend on tv. So on a technical level I see myself as an investor, and thus have every right to refer to myself and said sports entity together as we.
However, there is more to it. There is an emotional investment that also must be made. There are definitely fans who have not earned the we priveledge and use it anyway. Think of the annoying kid you grew up with, or maybe even a guy you currently work with who all of a sudden this year is a huge Saints fan. He comes back from the weekend and tells you about how they, he and the Saints, pulled out another win this weekend. "Excuse me," you think to yourself, "but wasn't this guy a COWBOY fan just last year?" Now here is a guy who has no right to say we. This is a fair weather fan, and he probably actually enjoys watching the Yankees win the world series, as its another oppurtunity for him to bask in unearned glory.
When the Giants lose it sadly kills me a little inside. This is not healthy by any stretch of the imagination, and is not an emotional investment I highly recommend, but I know I'm not the only investor. When the Giants win it truly feels good, like I accomplished something. They can affect my day like none other. When they feel the pain of a tough loss, I feel it too. I rarely get seething mad at individual players for bonehead plays, or causing losses because I feel connected to them like brothers, and for the most part I defend everyone on the team. Hey, I figure, if you're on my team, I have to support you. I can honestly say I have booed no one other than Zito in quite a few years, and Zito, again, I feel I have the right to boo, as that was some of my money put into his pocket. Maybe not directly, but through my aforementioned investments over the years. That being said, I still didn't boo him once last year.
I guess in a way I am saying there is a separation between regular fan, and the person who has the ability to say we when referring to a team. Who knows? Maybe you thought you qualified before reading this, and now have doubts, but those who do have the right know who they are. You have to ride the emotional rollercoaster with your team, and be willing to spend hard earned money. Remember these teams would be nothing without our monetary contributions. They exist to serve the fan, and if you want part ownership in that ideal then that my friends is your absolute right. So the next time someone tries to trip you up by saying, "we?" when you are talking about your favorite ballcub, look 'em dead in the eye, and say, "yeah, we."
Still wondering if you fit? Well let me give you an example. I know game 6 of the 2002 World Series is a painful memory, but I will bring it up anyway. I was watching that game in Yerba Buena Park, on three big projection screens with a group of about 5000. We were some rabid fans, and the collective buzz when we had the 5-0 lead was so electric you could have ran your house on it for a year. Likewise, the collective stomach punch every last one of us took when the Angels made their comeback was unreal. Everyone there had a pained face, and you could just see that we were all TRULY suffering. When the game was over no one wanted to talk to anybody. Every single last one of our days had been absolutely ruined, OVER A BASEBALL GAME! Now if that is not a gathering of people who deserve to say "we", then I don't know what is.
Quick Hits:
-Can somebody please start a petition to the MLB Network to get them to air a classic game involving the Giants where they win? As if that wasn't bad enough it's the aforementioned Game 6 that's driving me the most insane, they seem to almost have the game on loop.
-Of all the free agents the Giants have been rumored to be talking with I was most pleased to see Nick Johnson not get signed. I realize that he's patient, but patience is but one of the elements we need, we also need some pop. That's why I am fully aboard the Mark De Rosa train. I realize it's an overused term, but the man is a professional hitter, and his versatility when working in conjunction with the versatility of Juan Uribe, who looks to be coming back, could add a general consistency to the Giants lineup, even if they play different positions everyday.
(The Realistic Giants Fan appears every Monday and Friday. Please feel free to email me at realisticgiantsfan@yahoo.com)


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