One of my greatest fears in the Barry Bonds Era was that the Giants would claw their way through the postseason, only to lose to the Yankees in the World Series. It kept me up at night in 2000, when the Yankees were in the middle of an absurd run. They were the team that had everything. The Giants had nothing. To lose to a team like that? Cruel and unusual. Just give us one championship, you horrible pig-people.
Even worse, one of the times the Giants lose after almost getting to the top of the mountain? It was to the Yankees. Who got lucky at the very end.
I just noticed the difference in despair, with the first strip featuring the kids looking more forlorn than the second strip, in which they’re more resigned to the void. Ol’ Sparky. He was a master.
Anyway, now it’s the Giants’ turn to be the Yankees. The Giants have won as many postseason elimination games in the last week as the Cubs have in 141 seasons. The Giants have won more World Series in the last six seasons than the Cubs have in their last 141. I know someone who just turned 100 this year. She wasn’t alive when the Cubs won their last World Series.
The Giants are the team that has everything. The Cubs have nothing. To lose to a team like the Giants? Cruel and unusual. Just give them one championship they shout at us, the horrible pig-people.
We’re supposed to reconcile this. It’s tough, but I’ll try.
1. Accept that sports fans are all greedy, horrible pig-people who want good things to happen only to them
It’s somewhere between greed and sociopathy. Sports! Also, humanity! Pig-people is like ATM machine — it kind of repeats itself. We’re all flatworms with arms and a more clearly defined need to procreate, and we have the collective morality of dandelion spores whenever there’s a chance to take something that will slightly improve our sordid lives.
Unless I’m just being cynical. Anyway, the problem with Cubs fans is that they were born in the wrong place or to the wrong parents or found Sammy Sosa too cool growing up, and like heck am I giving up a sliver of my happiness to improve their lot.
This is the opposite of how I feel politically, so it feels good to have an outlet.
More importantly, though, is this point:
2. You don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. THE NIGHT IS DARK AND FULL OF TERRORS
That is, I’m sure that one of the way Rangers fans consoled themselves in 2010 is that at least the Giants hadn’t won for a half-century. Same with Cardinals fans in 2004. If you’re going to lose, lose to a perennial sad sack, that’s my motto.
Then the Giants became absolute jerks. Even if they don’t win another game this year, they’ve already ruined one season. Two if you count the Cardinals, which you shouldn’t. The Red Sox? Also absolute jerks now. It was cute! And then they ruined the ending of Fever Pitch by winning, and then Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon were making out on the field or something? Now they’re jerks, just like us.
Though I do approve of their Cardinal-mashing ways.
This argument has been made here before, you know:
Everyone in America is rooting for the Royals, you know. Everyone except you and your craven friends. You're rooting for the overdog. You're rooting for McDonalds in a copyright infringement lawsuit against McDawson's Hamburgers and Friendly Fare.
I hope (the Giants) win the next four games because I'm not sure when they're going to fall up the stairs like this again. And it doesn't make me feel uncomfortable in the slightest to root against the Royals. I thought it would. It doesn't. At all. The Royals are a nice story. The Giants are the only story I care about, though. Somehow the team that couldn't hit Odrisamer Despaigne is four wins away from another World Series title, and it makes me feel like the Giants have never been here before and will never be here again.
And what happened? The Royals won the very next season. They climbed up that mountain. Now they’re the jerks. They got to be happy on someone else’s time.
The Giants, on the other hand, are falling up the stairs again. At the same time, the Cubs just might win three championships in the next decade. They’re young enough. They’re certainly talented enough. And have you looked at the NL Central? It’s the 20th-biggest market in America, the 26th-biggest, the 28th-biggest, and the 39th-biggest. At the top, you have CHICAGO, the third biggest in the country and bigger market than the other four markets combined.
They’ll be fine. Unless they aren’t. But we can’t worry about that! We just have to assume that they’ll be back next year and win the World Series against the Red Sox, and that we’ll all be happy! And if they don’t, uh, well, uh, you know, we’ll loan them our Conor Gillaspie bobbleheads for a week.
If the Giants lose? There’s no way that I won’t feel that same thing the Rangers fans felt in 2010. The same thing I felt in 1998. "At least they lost to this stupid, unlucky team with the fans that probably deserve happiness once in their lives." I’ll believe it, too.
Just know that a) the Giants deserved sympathy at one point, too, and b) the Cubs once won back-to-back World Series and then nothing ever again for over a hundred years ahhhhhhhhhh, which is to say, it might never, ever, ever, ever, ever happen again for the Giants, so root for it every chance you have.
Not that you needed help. Because you are a pig-person. Just like me.
It’s nice here, in the warm waters between greed and sociopathy. It’s nice.