The San Francisco Giants are one game away from the Bay Area’s first ever world championship.
Well, wait, yeah, not the first. The 49ers have won five, the A’s have won four, the Raiders a couple and even the Warriors won once. (If you’re under 40, I know that last one seems a little insane, but you could look it up, as they say.)
It just seems like the Giants are first because no one who lives in the Bay Area has ever seen anything like this. The coolest, most progressive city in the United States has gone crazy for the Giants.
This is what New York must have been like in the Fall of 1969. You can’t shop at Whole Foods, go to a leather bar or get pandhandled without stopping to talk about The Freak, Matt Cain, Cody Ross, Buster Posey and Brian Wilson.
“I ran into Brian Wilson at a bar in the Marina last week! I was going to say hello, but I didn’t want to be like all the other girls,” a friend who’s an elementary school mom told me Saturday.
“Posey’s the cutest Giant. No, wait, it’s Pat Burrell. He can be my Daddy anytime,” my waiter told me yesterday, before heading back to the kitchen to see if the latest score was on the whiteboard.
Speaking of waiters, the Chronicle says San Francisco restauraunts are getting hammered financially by people staying in to watch the games, so I called Gary Danko to see if I could stop by for dinner. Gary Danko would be on anyone’s short list of the best restaurants in the United States. (It’s got the top Zagat rating for San Francisco, although the Michelin people ... don’t get me started.)
Guess what? Gary Danko had eleven cancellations last night. Eleven. And the game was in Texas, remember? These weren’t people cancelling their months-in-advance reservation because they were going to be at the ballpark. These were people cancelling so they could stay home and watch TV.
Or how about this: San Francisco BART stations, run by a combination of checked-out career bureaucrats and hardcore union guys, are almost thoroughly covered with orange and black Giants logos, slogans and posters. Not the craptacular Official MLB Merchandise™ kind sponsored by AT&T or Wells Fargo or whatever. I’m talking homemade signs. Grizzled men and women counting the days to retirement channeling their inner eight-year-old girl.
Halloween parties. San Francisco has a population of about 800,000. I’m estimating 500,000 of them wore black, bushy Brian Wilson beards for Halloween this year.
The normally golden City Hall is bathed in orange light. You can’t walk ten feet on any busy San Francisco street without seeing someone in orange clothes. Orange. Ever seen anyone look good in orange? No, you haven’t. It’s a whole city full of fashion victims. If that doesn’t convince you that relentlessly hip San Francisco has gone crazy, I don’t know what will.
And you know what the adopted song of all these fans is? The song they’re singing in bars and on the streets after every win? “Don’t Stop Believin’,” by Journey. I swear I am not making this up.
OK, I’m an A’s fan, so maybe I’m being a little churlish. When the A’s won those championships — four of them, did I mention that? — it barely made a dent in the local zeitgeist.
Those teams had some serious talent. This Giants team, like that Mets team in ’69, are deeply unlikely.
The whole thing has the look of “destiny,” whatever that means. We know the Rangers are the better team – they had a better record in a tougher league – but their hitting has vanished, Cliff Lee has become human, the umpiring (godawful in this series) is killing them and all the breaks (like Ian Kinsler’s ball that hit the top of the fence and then magically bounced back into play) seem to be going San Francisco’s way.
The only real party pooper has been Fox Television. They refused a request from the City of San Francisco today to let the game play on a huge screen in the plaza outside City Hall. If the Giants win it all, though, it’s not going to stop the biggest party this city has ever seen.