The Giants, 49ers, and being spoiled

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Every year, the Sharks season ends in misery. I don't know because I watch puckstick. I know because I see the tweets fly by in real time. And I think, man, doesn't every Sharks season end like that? Ha ha ha, what a drag. Glad I'm not a Sharks fan. Seems depressing.

It's weird, the ability to care so little about something other people are freaking out about.

Or maybe it's weird to care so much about something that really doesn't mean anything.

I can see how not to care. It's right there in front of me. All I have to do is that, in which "that" is defined as whatever I'm already doing with the Sharks. If I do that, my coffee doesn't taste like matted fur today. I don't stare off into space for a few minutes without realizing it.

Sports are so stupid.

Dammit, Niners.

But you're here because you love sports. Baseball and the Giants, most likely. If you are a Giants fan, you've probably had a common experience over the last couple years, in which you complained about your team in front of a fan of another baseball team, and you were told to shut your yapper. They were right to tell you that, you know. And you probably chuckled and acknowledged that, yes, you were a greedy pig-person for wanting the Giants to win again and again and again.

Then a funny thing happened. The Giants stopped winning. I guess that's not a "funny thing," actually. The Giants stopped winning, and they did it expertly. They excelled at not winning last year.

Yet if you complain about that now -- on the Internet or at a backyard barbecue -- there will still be someone telling you to shut your yapper because the Giants won recently. There will always be fans who consider themselves more tortured. There will always be fans who consider you spoiled.

You can't be spoiled forever, though. You can't be expected to wear 2010 and 2012 as a gigantic no-right-to-care millstone around your neck forever.

How long, then, can you be considered spoiled?

One year. That's my answer, and I arrived at this answer after careful, Niners-related contemplation. The Niners used to be the spoiled team and fanbase, remember. They were twice as spoiled as Giants fans, twice as entitled. Niners fans were told by other people to shut their yapper twice as much. And we could laugh it off because the Niners were always good. They were always going to win Super Bowls.

The last time the Niners won a Super Bowl, I was living in a dorm, listening to Phish cassettes and wearing half-ironic bell-bottoms. It was also the first time I really cared about a Niners championship run. I didn't pay enough attention to them in the '80s, but I rectified that in '94. It was glorious.

The next year, everyone told me to shut my yapper when Adam Walker fumbled. They were probably right to do so. The Niners had just won, after all.

Then it never happened again. There was always something, always a Packers game, always a missed block from Lawrence Phillips, always a Cody Pickett. That led to where we are today, the world in which the San Francisco 49ers will never ever ever ever ever win another Super Bowl and I hate everyone and I hate this stupid game and get away from me just let me be please just get away.

For one year, you need to have a little perspective. After that, assume your team will never win again. Root as if your decision to root for your team is a decision that bestowed special powers upon you, and those powers are the only thing that will make your team win again. Root as if you're going to get blamed if your team doesn't win ever again.

The Giants aren't going to win the World Series in 2014. I enjoy an every-other-year narrative as much as the next feller, and I expect the team to be competitive. But the odds are with me when I bluntly suggest the Giants aren't going to win it all next year. And you'll complain. You might get someone who tells you to shut your yapper. It was cute when people needled you last year, but it's okay if you get defensive and annoyed this year.

Because it might never happen again. In fact, assume it's never going to happen again. It's been 19 years for the 49ers, 40 years for the Warriors, and infinity years for the Sharks. If you have a young child, the odds are decent they'll be legally drunk the next time the Giants win a championship. Maybe with their kids, even.

When someone chides you for complaining about a loss or bad season, claiming you've lost the right to complain because of recent success, remember the Niners. Those stupid, stupid, Niners in that other stupid, stupid sport. Because they're never going to win another championship, and there are fewer and fewer people who even remember what it was like for the Niners and their fans to be so spoiled.

Assume the Giants will never be spoiled again. Root accordingly. Don't listen to anyone who tells you differently. And if/when the Giants get close, so close, without winning, wear it like you're rooting for a team that's never won in the past and will never win in the future.

Why couldn't Kaepernick have thrown the ball two inches higher?

Looking forward to pitchers and catchers reporting, though! Man, I really can't wait. It's coming soon. Baseball's coming back, and it'll be glorious. Even if it's going to end in sadness and frustration just about every single year.

I hate sports.

Oh, sports, I can't stay mad at you.

(Seriously, though, sports, at least stay away from me today. We'll text tomorrow.)

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