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What’s Geography Got to Do With it?

On Monday, the CBS affiliate in the Bay Area posted a link on Facebook showing that ticket brokers rank the A’s dead last in baseball while the Giants rank 2nd best in alll of baseball. I commented my reason behind and it read as follows:

“Nobody wants to see a major league farm team.”

Not long after that,I got a response from a guy who I presume is an Oakland sports fan who posts an irrelevant picture of guys who allegedly were juicing up on the Giants during the 2010 and 2012 years. Then he makes this statement:

“Tell me how you’re not a bandwagon fan living hours away from SF”

This is what this column is all about. Yep,this one comment and the answer to his response will come towards the end. First off,I will say that I wasn’t really offended by his response all too much. Too many fans of other teams,especially the A’s, are probably butthurt that their team hasn’t accumulated nearly as much success as the Giants have in the last six years or so. But let’s break this down into two parts.

Let’s start with what I originally said about the A’s essentially operating as a major league farm team. This is why I said that:

Giants fans have put up with being called bandwagoners for far too long,myself included

Giants fans have put up with being called bandwagoners for far too long,myself included.

The Giants have built a strong team with several guys from the minor leagues. All four of their All-Stars this year were home grown and they’ve managed to keep these guys around long after they’ve brought them up from AAA (or in Brandon Crawford’s case,Single A). In my opinion, the Giants are doing almost everything right in building a foundation for success and it’s paid off with three championships and room for more success in years to come.

The A’s on the other hand have shown to me and baseball fans across the country that they aren’t interested in building teams where fans know who is there year in and year out or teams that are built to win championships. Rather,Billy Beane trades his most valuable assets to other teams in exchange for prospects who will be brought up and in a few short years will inevitably be traded and the cycle continues. That,above everything else,was what my initial comment was about. Fans don’t want to come out to see a team who isn’t building a competitive team that can contend for a world championship for years to come.

I think the thing that bothered me most was his quip about me being a Giants fan living in the Sacramento area and how this automatically makes me a bandwagoner since I’ve never lives in the Bay Area and how supposedly I came out of woodwork somewhere around 2010. Keep in mind, this person has never met me and has no idea of the kind of person that I am, the kind of sports fan that I am,and how long I’ve actually been a Giants fan. By the way, Sacramento has a lot of Giants fans, not just Sacramento,but also the North State,the Central Valley,and even southern Oregon and northern Nevada. The A’s also have fans in those regions as well,are those fans also not real fans?

In my view, where you live doesn’t matter as much anymore when it comes to sports loyalties. What about people who’ve come from another area who now live in a new town, do their sports loyalties in a previous city not count? Do longtime Chicago Blackhawks fans living in Los Angeles get called bandwagoners because they no longer live in Chicago? Are longtime Boston Red Sox fans living in Florida required to root for the Rays or Marlins because they live there now? What exactly makes you a real fan of a team? 

For the record, I’ve been a long time fan of the San Francisco Giants and New England Patriots,two teams that are defending champions, for as long as I really care to remember. I’m also a fan of the Edmonton Oilers and Sacramento Kings, one team that was once a dynasty and has seen better days and another that should’ve been a dynasty but came up short.

Teams that are successful and well known like the Pittsburgh Steelers,Los Angeles Lakers (okay,bad recent example,but follow me on this),and the New York Yankees are going to have more fans than teams like the Tampa Bay Rays, Sacramento Kings,and Jacksonville Jaguars to name a few. For the most part, those well known teams want to win and to do whatever they can to win championships because they do have large fanbases and those fans want them to win.

So back to the Facebook guy’s second response, ‘”Tell me how you’re not a bandwagon fan living hours away from SF.”

It’s quite simple,the same way I am a huge fan of going to Disneyland despite living eight hours away from it. Loyalty and devotion don’t know geography. I hope he understand where I’m coming from,but I doubt that he will.

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July 2015
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