Back in 2000, I hated baseball. I remember one Saturday morning when I was 8, I got out of bed because I was excited to watch a new episode of Pokemon. Instead, Fox was playing baseball on TV. I figured twenty minutes would be enough for them to finish playing “baseball.” Two hour later, they still weren’t done. I punched our CRT. I was furious. Remember when TV's were CRTs? I still don't own an LCD. I'm furious.
A few years later, I begin hearing this whole bunch of hubbub about the Giants. Apparently, San Francisco had a baseball team and they were playing in the World Series. Maybe because everyone was talking about it was why I got into it. Maybe I was looking for a sense of solidarity and a sense of pride for my city. Well, I didn’t know what I was thinking at the time, no goofy eleven year old did. Game 6, I grabbed the nearest monkey and punched the stuffing out of it. Game 7, I flipped my cap inside out and waited for a miracle. Then I watched Troy Glaus strut his valuable ass around the stadium when they won.
From what I understood, the Giants had it in the bag. I hopped on the bandwagon and started rooting for a guy named Rob and a guy named Kenny. Thoughts of Ash Ketchum's Pokeballs were replaced by Barry Bonds’s (insert: juiced or juicy) balls that he hit into a raucous crowd of frenzied fans. I thought I could be all cool and stuff by going to school the next day and saying, “the Giants won!” Present me would ask young me, “Name the back-up catcher on that team.” Except I wouldn’t have been able to. I still can’t. It was Yorvit Torrealba. Future me knew that. So, young me was a sucker, present me is critical, and future me seems like an intelligent fellow. The Giants didn’t win that year. End of that story.
Like many other fans today, I hopped on the bandwagon. I hopped on the bandwagon because they were good. I hopped on the bandwagon because I wanted to celebrate. But does it matter if I would've hopped off? Every crazy fan's devotion has to start somewhere. Some begin because their parents or grandparents take them to games. Mine began on the wagon, and I just happened to like where the wagon was taking me.
Who cares if people bandwagon? Maybe like me, they’ll find something they like about this team and become a hardcore fan where the tone of our night rests solely upon whether the Giants win or lose. They’ll start watching more and more games, and they’ll just be like one of us. Maybe they won’t. Maybe they’ll just find that baseball is dull. Either way, when the Giants win it all, they will throw confetti and all sorts of fans - casual, hardcore, or bandwagon - will watch confetti fall on each others’ heads. They will buy hats, they will wear their orange and black, they will scream. Most importantly, they will represent the San Francisco Giants. And when they disperse throughout California, they will remind those folks in Los Angeles who wear blue caps that their team has won two less World Series titles than we have in the past three years. In the end, we will hug each other and we will like it, because that is what shiny objects do to people.