OK, I’m starting to get a little tired of the premise that because I live in the Bay Area, because I largely grew up in the Bay Area, that I am a fan of a Bay Area team, I should root for the Giants to win the World Series.
Sure, San Francisco fans. A valid point. Also, should the Oakland Raiders be motivated by their recent thumping of
the Denver Broncos and go on some miracle run to the Super Bowl, I’ll be asking you 49er fans why your face isn’t painted silver and black every Sunday. It’s all Bay Area, right?
Giants fans may not see the A’s as your rival, but A’s fans do, in a weird “Oakland is the stepchild of San Francisco” way. Rooting for the Giants, especially now, is like selling out and jumping on a bandwagon. I don’t jump on bandwagons. As BANG columnist Tony Hicks mentions in his column, yeah, A’s fans are a bit jealous. We don’t do panda hats. We don’t care for giant Coke-bottle slides or bad facial hair. And really, we’re just as sick of the torture as you are.
We’ve been watching and perhaps even taking a silent interest in your playoff run. But your bandwagon is far too crowded. Maybe we don’t want your team to fall apart. But if two or three wheels came off the wagon while barreling down championship hill, dumping a few thousand people who wouldn’t know Orlando Cepeda from Orlando, Fla., onto their freshly painted orange heads, you’d see no tears over here.
Jealous? Hell yes, we’re jealous. And hell no, we won’t wear orange and black, even if it is Halloween.
But here’s the real torture for us. You have a future. We don’t. Not as the “Oakland” A’s.
A’s fans don’t want to celebrate what Giants fans have — a shiny new stadium, great attendance, a successful team that can poke out a run or two and an ownership that actually embraces the main fanbase. We want it to ourselves. A’s fans watched in the background as the Giants broke ground on Pac Bell SBC AT&T Park, made the World Series run in 2002 and as they cheered for every Barry Bonds blast that went kerplunk into McCovey Cove. We saw a Moneyball offense that was barely good enough for Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito to manage a few wins, a tight-fisted ownership in the early part of the decade that wouldn’t pay for budding stars, a handful of first-round playoff exits and later an owner who has not exactly been secret about his disdain for Oakland.
When it comes down it, really the only two things the A’s have over the Giants are the four championships and the fact that Brad Pitt will probably never play Brian Sabean in a movie. Tim Lincecum could walk any most any store in San Francisco and be mobbed. Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson and Gio Gonzalez? Maybe only some A’s fans could pick them out of a crowd.
There is a clear and distinct separation between San Francisco and Oakland (aside from, you know, the San Francisco Bay) that I view like Yankees/Mets, Dodgers/Angels and so on. Yeah, we’re all from the same area, but it’s different. I can’t be happy for the Giants, mainly because they’re not my team. This is how most A’s fans feel, although there are a few “Bay Area” fans. I can’t see it that way. Neither can a lot of Oakland fans.
So, yes, we’re jealous. Every time we see your big, stupid, beautifully perfect ballpark overlooking your big, stupid beautifully perfect half of the Bay Bridge, we stomp our feet and wonder why you get rewarded for no championships in 55 seasons, while four titles in 38 gets us limbo in a rotten stadium.