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The A's are going for an improbable division title on Wednesday. Is it weird for Giants fans to root for them?
There's no way to verify this, but I'm pretty sure after the final out of last night's A's/Rangers game, there was an A's fan who pumped his fist and said, "YEAH! SUCK IT, GIANTS!"
I'm sure I've written about this before, so I won't dig too deeply into the reasons behind the one-sided feud. An A's owner tried to help the Giants move out of San Francisco -- for obvious business reasons (it sure would have been nice to have the city across the bridge all to himself). Decades later, the new owners bought the A's at a discount because San Jose wasn't a part of the A's territory. Now there are a bunch of billionaires fighting over billionaire stuff. Therefore, all A's fans must hate the Giants and their fans.
I'm amazed by the A's. It's a fascinating team with a rich history and unique obstacles to overcome in today's game. They're led by the guy who got high on the couch in True Romance, which is a really neat factoid. They're doing this all on the backs of rookie pitchers. Rookie pitchers! Those are supposed to explode if you put them in sunlight. But the A's are making it work. I'm kind of infatuated.
I like the A's, and I'm rooting for them. To pull a number from me hindquarters, I'd wager that 60 or 70 percent of the comments and tweets I've read from Giants fans are expressing a similar message. How can you not root for the A's? Because a very vocal contingent of their fan base is unhinged when it comes to Giants-related paranoia? That's your prerogative, I suppose. But I find the story on the field more compelling.
In 2006, I had my heart broke by Barry Zito. Thank goodness that's over. My love for the Giants and my appreciation for the A's aren't nearly on the same level, of course. The former is like dining at the best restaurant imaginable; the latter is like reading a well-crafted and witty review of that restaurant. There's no choice, really, but I'm glad both exist.
Also, the 2008 Giants were like an Arby's sandwich that you found in your glove compartment, and the 2008 A's were a misspelled piece of graffiti scrawled on the bathroom wall that you had to read over and over while you regretted the decision to eat the sandwich.
I kind of understand the resentment. But I really wish that A's fans would stop acting like Gene Hackman in The Conversation if he were obsessed with the Giants instead of surveillance. You know what sucks? Everywhere else. There's no reason to name names, but there are some hot, cold, arid, snowy, wet, dry, close-minded, and culture-free places out there. We're the Bay Area. We're better than everyone else. Remember the "South Park", where people from San Francisco were supposed to enjoy smelling their own farts? That's because they are awesome. Hints of oak and cinnamon, with the occasional tannin. You're included in that, Oakland, Berkeley, and the rest … you're cool. Let's hang out and huff a few.
When Bay Area fans don't have a stupid manufactured rivalry, it's telling how goofy the fans are. The Sharks are one of the most successful teams in the NHL, with a consistently boisterous crowd. The Warriors still draw amazing crowds, even though they've been the Pirates of basketball for most of the last two decades. Do you see the beautiful things that are possible when we work together, my friends? Besides the Warriors, of course.
So I'm rooting for the A's up until the next time they're in the World Series against the Giants. And I'm not going to feel weird about it, even if the sentiment isn't equally returned. Never forget.
The Raiders still suck, though. Let's not get crazy.