I can accurately say that I was an Earthquakes fan long before my son became an Earthquake. In fact, I was an Earthquakes fan long before I ever had a son. Similarly my love of the U.S. National Men’s Team predates even a predate with Chris’ mom.
This last Saturday, being at the new home of the San Francisco Forty-Niners, I feel like I do have to come out of the closet and tell everyone that I am the one guy on planet earth who is both a Forty-Niner fan and a Raider fan. When they play each other I root for the Raiders. In fact, even though I became an Earthquakes fan when I was a boy … I became a Raider fan a few years before there was even a small tremor of an Earthquakes team to follow.
I fell in love with the San Francisco Giants when I was a very small boy. We lived in Livermore and I used to make my dad take me to the games at Candlestick (about a 14 hour drive back then) to watch Willie Mays (I saw 17 of his home runs in person)… and I would let my know when Juan Marichal was pitching so he could pick out that convenient weeknight game to take me to. I also love the A’s … but strangely --- I am Giants before A’s and Raiders before Niners … but love all four.
With self-proclaimed love of all four teams … there is a marked difference between Oakland fans and San Francisco fans … and an eerie similarity between Raiders fans and Giants fans.
A real Giants fan will tell you stories about McCovey, Mays, Bonds (the other Bonds – the one who was the dad), Cepeda, Marichal, Gaylord Perry, and every one of them knows why they hate the Dodgers and every one of them knows about the Johnny Roseboro incident and every one of them knows that neither Don Drysdale nor Orel Hersheiser would have shutout inning records if the umpires didn’t bail them out. A real Raiders fan will see a #12 jersey and think “Ken Stabler” and a #21 jersey and think “Cliff Branch” – every Raiders fan will tell you the story of the “Sea of Hands” – and the “Holy Roller” – they will all claim that they were there in fact. Just about every real Raider fan knows that our two best Running Backs both came from Colgate – and each of them will tell you that if we used to have Instant Replay we would have won 7 Super Bowls (Immaculate Reception, Rob Lytle fumble at goal line, etc). And real Raiders fans know that we even hate the Chiefs more than we hate the Steelers (and everyone else we don’t like … but we hate them less than those two teams).
So there you go – probably the lamest blog post ever (unless you are a Giants or Raiders fan … then you know exactly what I’m talking about). Of course if you are a Raiders fan then you hate me mostly for also liking the Niners.