October 27th, 2002


Go Giants!

I know most of you skip my sports entries so if that describes you, you can bail now.

I went to a bar alone to watch the World Series game last night. Actually, because I worked until 8:30 I only saw the last inning and the only reason I went to a bar was because if I walked home I would have missed the end. It’s the first time I’ve ever watched a sporting event in a bar and it was fairly bizarre.

First context: The Giants have never won the championship since they moved to SF. Generations of SF baseball fans have been heartbroken by The Giants. The bar I went to wasn’t a "sports bar" but a neighborhood bar, one of the few left that has a very mixed old-timer/new hipster clientele. The old guys (and a few women), rightfully took over the whole bar. They all wore Giants hats and poured their Miller High Lifes into small glasses to drink them. Everyone else gathered at the pool table, gambling machine, and small table area. I walked in just in time to see the Giants lose the lead for good.

I didn’t realize that people actually chanted encouragement at TV screens during these events. I mean, I expected cheers for things that happened. If Bonds hits a home run, for instance, I knew everyone would stand and yell. But I didn’t expect that as the Giants went down in order in the top of the ninth, that people would start chanting, "Let’s go Giants! Let’s go!(clap clap)" in order to encourage the home team.*

I know it’s really just a way for people to release their stress over the game. Better, but probably not as satisfying, as pounding on the one Angels fan in the bar. The bartender had planned ahead and made sure one TV was visible from the street so a number of patrons could chain smoke without violating the state no smoking ordinance.

The game ended. The Giants lost. The Angels fan disappeared very quickly while the younger, hipster-ish types filed out slowly. The old-timers sat at the bar. Not moving, not talking, not drinking, they just looked down into their beers. They looked near tears so I left too. Even though I’m a Giants fan, that near tears look can turn into a who-can-I-beat-up look fairly quickly. Besides, I was depressed too and wanted to be alone.

*Before you mock, I would submit that this is no more silly in terms of cause and effect than chanting, say, "Hey hey / Ho ho / The oil war has got to go!" in the middle of Market St.
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Pumpkin of the year

I saw a great pumpkin on my way home from the bar. Practically across the street from nodoilies was a cross-eyed jack-o-lantern with a wide open mouth. In front of it was a metal Corona beer bucket. Coming out of the jack-o-lantern’s mouth and into the bucket was a stream of pumpkin innards, seeds and all. Yep, a puking pumpkin. I love SF.