I grew up and went to college in Northern California. As a kid, if the 49ers were playing, that is what would be on tv. My mom yelled at the television so much, Joe Montana and Jerry Rice were household names. I had a box full of Mother's Cookies Oakland A's baseball cards, including Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco when they were the Bash Brothers, having acquired them while sitting in the bleacher seats with my swim team eating hot dogs and getting a "farmers tan". Most recently, I was invited to throw out the first pitch at a Giants game, upon returning from the Olympics in 04' & 08' at Pac Bell Park. So I have come to hold a very special place in my heart for the professional sports teams of the Bay Area.
Living in LA off and on for the last 10 years has helped me appreciate many a Southern California team as well. The Lakers, Sparks, Dogers, Angels, and Ducks to name a few. But none warm my heart quite like hearing about the teams of my childhood. Now, with the World Series upon us, I have had a longing to be home right now. (Thoughts of the holidays could be contributing to that as well but lets just stick to sports for now....) To be caught up in the hoopla and shenanigans that follow the pride of supporting one's team. While I sat on the couch watching Game #2, I came across this blog post on Facebook. And it made me smile.
Because I found that I knew EXACTLY what he was talking about. Only applied to my life I guess it is sort of on a global scale. The World Series is bringing San Francisco and many of us displaced natives together right now, as it does every year for baseball fans in two cities. Every four years, the Olympics bring together countries of people. And in the host city of the quadrennial the feeling of the visitors is much like Drew describes in his blog. People who might normally argue, have different political viewpoints and nothing in common, DO coexist and joyfully at that! The feeling is exactly one that you wish you may bottle up for use later when all hope seems lost. I LOVE sports for this and feel blessed to live every day in pursuit of excellence in them.
As I have said to every family member, friend and random person I meet. If you have the chance to go to the Olympics DO it. It will be well worth the trip just to experience the aura of such an event. But if that is too ambitious an adventure, it is satisfying to think that you can obtain the same feelings being part of a World Series, a Super Bowl, a World Cup, your University's next football game, your High School's next soccer game......at any level the key is just to enjoy the ride.
Perfectly shown by two water polo alumni of my high school, Miramonte in Orinda, who splashed around in McCovey Cove outside AT&T park during Game #1 of the Series. Fans of the Giants and water polo!