A little more on my last thoughts. I don't know why the hell MY part of the country doesn't care more about its teams. Cal and Stanford have both
had some FINE teams in the 45 years I've followed their FB and BB teams, but they have never inspired huge amounts of passion up here. The A's won
the World Series in 1972, 1973 and 1974. Do you know how many others have won 3 consecutive World Series? That's right. The NY Yankees. Period.
Yeah, they did it a bunch of times, but nobody else has done it. Ever.
And even in 1972-1974, the A's attendance sucked and very few Northern Californians passionately cared about them.
Can you imagine how people would have reacted to such a great baseball team, even with the repellent Reggie Jackson on it, in any other part of the
country (except perhaps Atlanta, which doesn't sell out its own playoff games)? In Cleveland, Chicago, Miami, Milwaukee, Texas and loads of other
championship-starved areas, the team's already large fan base would grow enormously and you'd have to pay a fortune to get a Series seat. But the
A's, despite their great success, were no biggie to Bay Area fans.
Yeah, the 49'ers suddenly had 100 times as many fans once Walsh, Montana et al. exploded onto the scene. When they beat the bejesus out of Dallas in
1981 (59-14, I think), then overcame something like SIX turnovers to beat them again on "The Catch" and "The Turnover" in the NFC Title Game, en route
to Super Bowl #1, all of Northern California embraced the Niners. But not the way other cities do, and the Niners have a LOT more home losses in
Conference Title games and other playoff games than other teams.
Likewise, since the Giants' LF became the first baseball player ever to magically get 10 times better after his 35th birthday (and remember, he was
already a Hall of Famer), interest in that team has grown 100-fold from what it was when they were horrendous in 1984 and 1985 (the worst team in
baseball at least one, and perhaps both, of those years). So the Bay Area will support SOME front-runners. But the A's won five consecutive
divisions, and three consecutive World Series, and you'd have never dreamed it from their attendance. And the Bay Area has zillions of people who are
too busy drinking latte to be troubled with sports.
Now, y'all have seen enough of my posts to know I'm anything but a redneck. But I'm living proof there is nothing irreconcilable about being a
diehard sports fan and a hippie/lifelong anti-establishment type/defense attorney. And it infuriates me that somehow the vast majority of Northern
California thinks itself above supporting its sports teams with the same passion one sees from New England, Southerners, Midwesterners, etc.
"True North," do you live in the Bay Area, or are you up in the real North, like I am? (I'm 80 miles south of Oregon, on the Redwood Coast.) And how
do you explain the fact so few of our natives work up the kind of diehard passion that Bostonians, Texans, New Yorkers, Georgians, Chicagoans,
Floridians, etc., are almost to a man, and now often to a woman, known in their home regions to hold for their teams? Doesn't it just about kill
I mean, I stuck with my Giants despite Marichal's moment of insanity and despite the subhuman behavior of fans at Candlestick through the years. I
stuck with the Niners while they were going 2-14 routinely. And I'll bet Chain Gang would stick with LSU if they were putting up that sort of
horrible record, as long as they were a clean program (right, Chain?).
What the hell is wrong with us? Have we consumed so much fancy drinking water (and yeah, I drink the stuff), and eaten so much vegetarian cuisine
(yeah, I eat almost nothing but), that most of us think being a sports fan makes one a barbarian, a subcretin and a flagitious, inferior being (or
some such arrogant, ridiculous b.s.)? Because I'll guarantee you there are a lot of people in other parts of the country who perceive us exactly that
It's not about political beliefs; I know that much. Or, if it is, I'm an aberration. I am a registered Green and about as liberal as one can get on
this country's political spectrum, but there can't be more than a few hundred people who are more passionate about pro baseball than me, plus I love
pro football (despite its alleged "barbarism," or whatever arrogant, self-superior term they use for it).
Anyone got any theories? (YO, SOUTHERNERS! A Californian is now inviting you to take a shot at California anti-sports culture. Help yourself.
Almost all pro athletes who play out here seem to agree this part of the country is uniquely bland toward sports--and it was bland, if not downright
lukewarm, even toward the incomparable Willie Mays. Yeah, we got fired up for the World Series in 2002, but even Anaheim's fans looked more fired
up, and THAT is the part of the world where Dodger fans leave games in the 7th inning. One of the three lifelong friends I made in law school was at
Dodger Stadium the night Dennis Martinez threw his perfect game, and she told me lots of "baseball fans" were left in the 7th, 8th and 9th
So maybe it's not just the Bay Area. Maybe it's the whole damn state, because ANY baseball fan surely appreciates the honor fate has bestowed on you
if you get to be present for a perfect damn game.
I'd love to hear theories about we are thus. It's not like people in the rest of the country are too "stupid" or "unsophisticated" to appreciated the
"more important things" in life. When 9/11 happened, I'm sure people in Boston, Oklahoma and the South were just as uninterested in sports as I was
(and just as furious).
So it ain't the rest of the country's ignorance or lack of sophistication. It's our lack of interest in sports, or at least lack of a true PASSION
for our teams.
I welcome any and all theories about the reasons for this embarrassing state of affairs.
Baseball History (and sports) Nut
P.S. I am looking back through this thread, and I've made far too many posts, and as usual, they are far too long, especially in that kind of volume.
So if y'all will be kind enough to offer your theories on the phenomenom I'm asking about, I won't be replying to your remarks and prolonging this
chat, I promise. But I am REALLY anxious to hear the rest of the country weigh in on the very weird phenomenon I'm talking about here.