Giants 'torture' takes away from victory
November 3, 2010 8:48 AM
Seeing the Giants complete their World Series run is something most Bay Area residents will never forget.
The community of Giants fans undoubtedly rallied around the team, sparking jubilation when Brian Wilson closed the game out on Monday.
But it was the meme of "torture" and "suffering" that is present in the modern sports world that is all-too prevalent.
The phrases were on signs at the ballpark, television talking heads clung to it, and the City embraced the supposed lack of joy of being a fan as a chip on its collective shoulder.
The Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs have perfected this sentiment, but in San Francisco, it feels manufactured.
Sure, the Giants had not won a World Series title since they began playing in San Francisco in 1958, but their run in the City has been far from torturous.
The Rangers have not won a title in their 50-year history either, yet this sentiment was not expressed explicitly by their fans. One team in a 30-team league gets to win each year, and plenty have had extended droughts. A franchise or fan base should not be entirely defined by reaching that mountain peak.
In the 53 years since moving from New York, the Giants have had a winning record 34 times and since 1987, they have been to the playoffs seven times.
Seventeen other franchises and fan bases haven't seen that many postseason appearances in this span of time. Ask Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates fans what they would give for a single playoff appearance in the past dozen years or so.
The Giants also haven't been bereft of world-class talent, as they had (controversy aside) arguably the best player of a generation playing on their team for 15 years: Barry Bonds.
The idea of being a sports fan should not involve being "tortured." If you feel that way, maybe you shouldn't be following the team.
All fans should be gaining pleasure from watching a team or sporting event, not embodying a sense of masochism.
It's hard to imagine that the majority of Giants fans came up with this idea themselves. What's more likely is that the sentiment of "torture" and "suffering" is a conjured-up theme by a media that is constantly looking for an easy story line. Maybe the fans simply ran with it.
The 24-hour news cycle now stretches out to sports as well, and these irritating themes are the product of that.
But no longer can the Giants play the forlorn underdog card. Now the media will have to find another tired cliche to form story lines. Will the group of "misfits" stick? How about how "scrappy" the team is?
These themes devalue the real stories out there, and it's unfortunate they exist at all.
San Francisco is justifiably jubilant after an exciting and unlikely championship run, but let's take it for what it really was.
A great story all on its own.
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