Giants Mania!

Donna Berry, LCI Director here.

It’s my turn to contribute to the LCI blog, which I’d already half-written on a completely different topic. It has since been abandoned, because I cannot imagine writing about anything other than the hysteria…yes, hysteria, that has taken over our fair city of San Francisco.

Three words: San Francisco Giants. Three more words: World Series Champions.

The effect this monumental win has had on the city is far more than I ever imagined. When the Giants clinched their victory last week, mayhem ensued. Thank goodness it was mostly friendly mayhem in the form of people flooding the streets throughout the city and every passing car honking with glee. Strangers were high-fiving each other and hugging. Mobs of people were jumping up and down in unison, shouting “Let’s go Giants!” It was unlike anything I’d ever seen or that am likely to see again. I was concerned for everyone’s safety and relieved that there were no casualties, sans the gang member who was shot at a bar in my neighborhood. Who knows if that was even related to the mayhem?

Last Wednesday’s ticker-tape parade was nothing short of amazing. Nearly a million people showed up to celebrate their team of self-proclaimed misfits who have now found themselves thrust into the international spotlight. San Francisco and its beloved team have made global headlines; the election received barely a nod by comparison. (I could have done without the media reporting that people were smoking marijuana at the parade, as it doesn’t do much for the city’s image.) Here’s the message I’m hoping got across to the world: San Francisco is a special place and a true community despite our differences. San Francisco feels more like a community than anywhere else I’ve lived. I’m a fairly conservative gal from Texas who found herself rooting for the Giants over the team from her home state. I couldn’t help it. With their quirky little personalities, big talent and – most important – playing as a team without jockeying for individual credit, the San Francisco Giants hooked me.

A sense of teamwork is what sets the Giants apart. As we watched the deciding World Series game together, my boyfriend (a high school baseball coach and former pro player) said to me, “Imagine what could be accomplished in this country if everyone approached their challenges the way the Giants do.” He has a point.

It was balmy out as I walked home from the office on the evening following the parade – a lovely ending to a very San Francisco day. People everywhere were wearing their Giants gear. One guy honked and shouted out his window as he drove down Chestnut Street. Another guy wearing an orange Giants shirt stuck his hand up to high-five me. I high-fived him back. And I thought to myself, it feels like this city is a team right now. There is a sense of camaraderie here, at least for the moment. People are being nice to each other. Perhaps San Franciscans have captured just a little of the spirit that has turned a seemingly mismatched team into a baseball powerhouse. As the mania dissipates, here’s hoping the spirit remains in the city where I haven’t left my heart, but instead where it very much still lives.

Got any memorable observations of “Giants Mania” to share? Email me at [email protected].

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