As someone fascinated by fan culture, I have always found sports fans to be a very specific breed of enthusiast — one that’s alien to me.
I mean, I get watching a season of television in one day; I get replaying the same video game, just to see what happens when you make different decisions; I even get learning fictional alien languages. But for some reason, the dedication it takes to follow just ONE sports team blows me away.
Watching multiple TV shows is easy: You set the DVR, you sit down for 23 minutes or 45 minutes, maybe you read an AV Club review or two. Even when I care an awful awful lot about a show, it’s a relatively low time commitment.
But sports! I know not everyone watches all the games, but there are over A HUNDRED GAMES in a baseball season. That’s probably a thousand hours every YEAR! Just watching one thing! And then there’s Sportscenter and fantasy baseball and geez louise, people, sports can be, like, your JOB. (I’ve seen The League. I know what I’m talking about.)
So it’s true that I haven’t invested much time in Giants baseball this season. I never have. This year, I’ve been vaguely aware that the team was doing well, thanks to family and friends and social media. But this is the second time in three years where I’ve only gotten engaged after the Giants made it to the playoffs.
It’s correct to say, therefore, that I’m what’s known as a fair-weather fan, who starts watching the movie just in time for the climax. A fan who, it could be said, doesn’t really DESERVE to participate in the excitement of making it to the World Series.
But the thing is, I grew up in three different states and I’ve lived in Los Angeles since 1999. But when people ask me where I’m “from,” I tell them “up north, near San Francisco.”
My formative years were spent in the heart of Silicon Valley, and when I was 8, my dad took me to my first baseball game (he and my brother would eventually become baseball besties, but Eric’s four years younger and I suppose a man can only wait so long before he needs to share the joy of sports with his offspring).
In proud Giants baseball tradition, it was technically summer, but I was still glad I wore my bright orange rain jacket, damp with fog, and the sun peaked out… Oh, at least once. Maybe.
However, the cold and the drizzling rain didn’t stop me from enjoying my first Carnation malted, or the thrill of seeing baseball live, hearing first-hand the TOCK of the bat, the roar of the crowd. It didn’t keep me from becoming a Giants fan for life.
Baseball isn’t my favorite sport to watch, to be honest — I prefer the constant action of soccer or hockey or basketball. But there is something about how something as simple as a man pitching a ball can, in seconds, become operatic drama. Baseball does narrative tension like no other sport, building as it does: Inning by inning, strike after strike, out after out.
And even if I never live there again, the San Francisco Bay Area is my home, the Giants are my team — I am a fairweather fan of a team where the weather is rarely fair. I’m not necessarily proud of this. But I am proud of these men I’m currently watching keep Detroit scoreless. I do enjoy the opportunity, to watch the home team win.
- rebeccalando likes this
- sophiahelix said: Heh. Well, you’ve seen me go through the mill of Giants obsession this year — and it is freaking TIME consuming to watch that much of anything, let alone read articles/watch interviews. Don’t know if I’ll have the energy next year but it’s been as fun as any TV show.
- lizlet posted this