In all my life, I've rooted against a Bay Area team exactly once. It was for Kansas City and against San Francisco and I'm not even ashamed. It was Joe Montana's second season with the Kansas City Chiefs and his first and only game against the San Francisco 49ers. Joe won. That was 1994 and I haven't thought of Kansas City since.
That changes tonight, when our San Francisco Giants take the field and do battle with the Kansas City Royals for the World Series title.
Being a sports fan is a strange thing. As a Giants fan, you want to work up a healthy, artificial, arbitrary hate against the team, and the city, standing between you and reflective glory. To do that, it helps to have a history with that team or city. The LA Bums? Easy. The St. Louis Cardinals or the Atlanta Braves or the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Orange County of California? Yep. But Kansas City? Who are they?
Did you know Kansas City is not in Kansas? I mean, how dumb is that? OK, actually, there is a Kansas City in Kansas, but that's not the one in which the Royals play! The Kansas City Royals play in a Kansas City in Missouri. That makes no sense. That is also the only thing I know about Kansas City. The Missouri one.
So there isn't a natural or historic or geographic rivalry with the Royals. They're not even a dominant team that will invariably, undoubtedly destroy our ragtag Giants the way that the Texas Rangers (heh) and Detroit Tigers (hahaha) were. So where are we, as fans, going to find that hate? Well, there is this: the entire country wants us to lose. The entire country wants them to win.
29 years, they all say. 29 years since the Royals last won a World Series. They keep repeating that as if that's supposed to mean something. It means nothing. Do you know what it means when a team last won a World Series 29 years ago? It means that they won a World Series 29 years ago! It means the vast majority of Royals fans have seen them bring home a trophy. It means, up until four years ago, the Kansas City Royals had won more World Series than the San Francisco Giants, which may be understandable if not for the fact that the Kansas City Royals came into existence 11 years after the Giants moved to San Francisco!
Look, I get it. 29 years is a long time. But it's not heartbreakingly long. To be heartbreakingly long, you need to have had your heart broken. To get that, you need to have gotten to the World Series and lost. Those are the rules. You know who else won the World Series way back when and never made it back? The Cincinnati Reds (24 years), the Los Angeles Bums (26 years), the Baltimore Orioles (31 years), and the Pittsburgh Pirates (35 years). No one cries for these teams. In fact, the 26-year drought of the Dodgers is a bottomless pool of joy that I swim in quite often!
To truly be a sentimental favorite, you need to either be embarrassingly hopeless and hapless like the Cubs (last World Series appearance, 1945; last World Series title, 1908), or you need to have been Sisyphus, pushing that giant baseball up that hill only to slip on a loose pebble at the top. The Royals haven't had that in over 29 years. Let's give it to them.
They're tired of hearing about our silly even-year voodoo. They're rolling their eyes at Hunter's insane speeches. They're sick of our skyline, our panda hats, our garlic fries. They're done with all of it. But most of all, they're done with the "undeserving" Giants winning the World Series. The entire country wants us to lose. The entire country wants them to win. And so, tonight, your San Francisco Giants will go to Missouri as the underdog. As they were against the Braves and the Phillies and the Rangers in 2010. As they were against the Reds and the Cardinals and the Tigers in 2012. As they were against the Pirates and the Nationals and the Cardinals this year.
We've been here before. We'll get there again.
Holy cow, this is the World Series! Again! Again, again!!!
Let's go Giants!!!