Mama had the good fortune to see our Giant’s beat the Phillie’s in person at AT&T park in San Francisco yesterday. Being a fanatic for the orange and black myself, I was hoping to accompany her, but the ballpark only offers one day per season dedicated to doggie admission. So, Wilbur and I had the pleasure of spending our day with Chris Wagner of Waggy’s Petsitting in Folsom, which was lovely (but certainly not playoff- game lovely).
When mama returned she relayed to me, in her exhausted and exhilarated state, her fantastic experience at the playoff game. The game was great for many reasons, the obvious ones being the Giants won, Cody Ross hit for the first RBI (again!) and the heightened sense of love from the crowd towards their team was delicious. But, the best part of the experience was not even about the game, it goes much deeper than even a playoff situation. Let me explain.
Yesterday’s playoff game took place in San Francisco, the city where my mama lived for many years as an adult and she grew up only 15 miles from this spectacular city, so for her, S.F. is home. San Francisco is known for it’s ability to embrace differences and for being on the cusp on cultural change.
Mama often says that she is grateful to have grown up in the Bay Area because she was inundated with the messages of tolerance, kindness, entrepreneurialism and open- heartedness. Yesterday, these qualities of mama’s lessons embodied the crowd at AT&T park to a degree which my mama had never experienced.
Since the game was in San Francisco, the crowd was heavily weighted towards the home team, with few Phillies fans sporting their red and white pinstripes in the throng. As these red-jerseyed infidels walked the concourse there were a few boos and catcalls, or course, but not what you’d expect. And not what these Phillies fans expected either.
You see, when mama approached one of our opponent’s fans, his comment was “I’ve had one guy boo me and ten people ask me if I was enjoying my stay in San Francisco.” He found this very strange, as he had expected confrontation.
Another supporter from Philadelphia said that more people asked him, with concern, if he was being treated well in the stadium than booed him. Another shocked baseball-lover from Philly.
A female fan in full Phillie’s regalia said she had never been to California but had expected fights with the local fans, “like in Chicago and Boston”. She had only been assaulted with pleasantries and restaurant recommendations, not with words or fists, yet, strangely, she seemed disappointed. She sarcastically asked if the entire city smokes “what Timmy smokes” since everyone was ridiculously friendly and kind.
Philadelphia is known as the City of Brotherly Love, but San Franciscans taught these visiting fans a few things about what that title really means. It means being courteous and respectful even towards your rival’s supporter. We feel very proud to be a part of the City by the Bay and our victorious Giant’s.
Winning or losing, San Franciscans demonstrate dignity and respect. “Just think like a dog”, I always say, and these fans obeyed!