Saturday, April 21, 2012

Joey's Soapbox: Giants Fans More Obnoxious Than Phillies Fans

Last night, I attended the opener of the Mets' three-game weekend series against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field.  After watching batting practice, I made my way to our season ticket seats in row five of Section 138 and sat down to watch what I expected to be a well-played game between the Mets and Giants.  But there was a buzzing in my ear for most of the game.  It was worse than any incessant gnat and more intolerable than anything I had ever heard at Citi Field before.  What caused this annoying buzz that a mere swat couldn't expunge?

Section 138 had been taken over by a swarm of loud, belligerent and obnoxious orange-and-black clad Giants fans.

I'm Joey Beartran and you better believe I'm about to get on my soapbox for this.

There was a time when Giants fans were more docile creatures.  They went to games, rooted for their team and cheered politely.  If the Giants won, they'd be happy about it, but they wouldn't rub it in the faces of their opponent's fans.

Then the Giants won the World Series in 2010 and everything changed.

In 2011, I noticed an influx of Giants fans at Citi Field when the Mets hosted San Francisco.  They took over a small section of the Pepsi Porch and were very loud.  Because they had won the World Series the year before, giving them exactly ONE title in the 53 seasons they had been in the Bay Area, either they were releasing a half-century of pent-up frustration or they were becoming west coast copycats of the Phillies' fan base.  At the time, I went with the former instead of the latter and let them have their fun for one season.  I assumed that because the Giants were the defending World Series champions, their fans were just continuing their long-overdue celebration.  I assumed incorrectly.

Last night, Giants fans were all over Citi Field again, but mostly in Section 138.  Either they were experiencing the world's longest post-championship hangover or they just became really rude and obnoxious.

Giants fans and their Occupy Section 138 movement.

From the first inning, they were chanting "Let's Go Giants" at a decibel rate that would make a Metallica roadie go deaf.  In addition, they were standing up and pumping their fists during these chants, blocking the view of any Mets fan who was trying to enjoy the game.  (I was not affected by the upright Giants fans, as their seats were behind me.)

When the familiar sounds of the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop" played over the loudspeakers, encouraging the Mets to "hey ho, let's go", Giants fans changed the lyrics to "Zi-to, let's go" in honor of their starting pitcher, Barry Zito.  That was somewhat clever, but no one changes the lyrics to a Ramones song, especially in their home borough of Queens.

Then they started mocking Mets fans with other chants.  They were ripping on Jason Bay, calling him a bum.  (Bay promptly shut them up by ending the Giants' early no-hit bid in the fourth inning with a home run off Zito, essentially saying "Zi-to, let's go, go, gone!" to them.)  They also made fun of the "Jo-se, Jo-se, Jo-se, Jo-se" chant by changing it to "Po-sey, Po-sey, Po-sey, Po-sey" when catcher/first baseman Buster Posey came up to bat.  But then they broke into a "BER-nie MA-doff, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap" chant and that went over the line.  It got so bad that my colleague actually wondered aloud if this was why Dodgers fans pummeled Giants fan Bryan Stow after their season-opening game in 2011.  (Note:  What happened to Bryan Stow was uncalled for even if he did act like last night's Section 138 invaders.  You don't beat fans for being obnxious, you have your team beat the obnoxious fans' team.  That always shuts them up.)

By the middle of the game, I had to move from my seat because Section 138 had become unbearable.  After a four-inning break in the Caesar's Club, we returned to the field level to watch the ninth inning, an inning in which the Mets rallied to tie the game against the Giants' bullpen-by-committee.  After the Giants had lost their lead, you could hear a pin drop in Section 138.  Fortunately, you couldn't hear that pin where we were standing because we were surrounded by jubilant Mets fans.  (We had moved behind Section 110 along the first base side.)

Of course, the Giants scored a run in the top of the tenth to retake the lead, setting off a celebration in Section 138 because apparently the Giants fans confused a mid-April game for the seventh game of the World Series.  The Mets tried to silence the panda hat-wearing crowd in the bottom of the tenth after Daniel Murphy and David Wright led off the inning with base hits.  But a broken-bat groundout by Ike Davis, a strikeout by Jason Bay (okay, now he is a bum, but only I can say it, not them) and Lucas Duda flyout ended the Mets' threat and started what appeared to be an impromptu conga line in the left field reserved section.

I've seen Phillies fans.  They've been supportive of their teams for quite some time now, and by "quite some time", I mean since 2007.  But last night's overtaking of Section 138 by Giants fans was more obnoxious than anything I had seen or heard by any group of Phillies fans at Citi Field.  They were beyond boisterous.  They were rude and inconsiderate to a level that even a five-year Phillies fan would have to tip their cap to in appreciation.

All I kept thinking about during the many "Let's Go Giants" chants was what those fans were chanting at baseball games before 2010.  It probably sounded more like "Let's Go Dodgers" or "Let's Go Padres" instead.  Either that or they'd be talking to each other in the stands about the 49ers' chances in the NFC West.

Do you see the handsome bear in the photo to the right?  That's yours truly enjoying a game at AT&T Park in 2010 with no hostile Giants fans anywhere around me.  I was there for the entire Mets-Giants series, which took place approximately three months before the Giants won the World Series.  At the time, the Mets were actually ahead of the Giants in the wild card race (the San Diego Padres were leading the NL West).  Although Giants fans were supportive of their team back then, they didn't have this sense of empowerment that they have now.

The St. Louis Cardinals are the defending World Series champions.  I'm sure when they visit Citi Field in early June, Cardinals fans in attendance won't be beating their chests and proclaiming their superiority.  That's probably why they're considered to be among the best, if not the best, fans in baseball.  They're classy.  Giants fans are clearly not.

Stay classy, San Francisco.  Better yet, stay home.  We don't want you in our ballpark if you're going to disrespect our fans because you won one World Series title two years ago.  Before you fire off your next oh-so-clever chant, remember this.  The Giants couldn't beat the Mets in their only postseason meeting in 2000 and it took your beloved team 53 years in San Francisco to win half of the championships the Mets won in less time.  I hope you're just as proud when it takes them 53 more years to win that second championship, you know, the same number of championships the Mets have been able to claim for over a quarter of a century.


Anonymous said...

Stay classy or stay home - I love it! I also love how you said it became unBEARable. Good job, Joey.

Ed Leyro (and Joey Beartran) said...

Thanks, Dee. "Let's go Giants" chants should only be heard in New York during football season. The San Francisco Giants fan base wishes they had as many championships as the New York football Giants do.

Anonymous said...

As a Bay Area native I must apologize for the behavior of my fellow Giants fans. You're too right in speculating that the half of them were not such close followers before the 2010 WS! For better or for worse the Giants are trendy now, and those of us who paid our dues in Candlestick also have to put up with their ignorant, panda-hat wearing ilk. Cheers! -A Giants fan

Ed Leyro (and Joey Beartran) said...

Wish more Giants fans were like you! Thanks for the comment!

Anonymous said...

As a life long Giants fan I can assure you that Giants fans were much more hostile at Candlestick than they are these days. AT&T park is pretty mellow except when the Dodgers are in town. Then it gets very rowdy.

Ed Leyro (and Joey Beartran) said...

I'm glad I never went to a Mets-Giants game at Candlestick then. What I got when my wife and I went to AT&T Park in 2010 was pretty harsh. I can't imagine it being worse when they were still at Candlestick!

Nicholas Lee said...

No offense, but I wish there were no Giants fans at all. Generally, they're pretentious artards.

Ed Leyro (and Joey Beartran) said...

I wonder if they still proudly wear their "Melkman" shirts now after Cabrera's suspension. At least they can still wear their "Let Tim Smoke" shirts. That's all he can do since he hasn't exactly been lighting up National League hitters this year.

shanduhthepanduh said...

Most obnoxious Giant fan run-in: At my son's pre-school, some douche in a Giants shirt razzed my son (my FOUR YEAR OLD SON) for having a Dodgers hat. I said, "It's his Dad's fault. But I'm a Cards fan, so I guess no one in our house roots for the Giants." He then corrected me, "The World Champion Giants." This was in the summer, year 2012, after the Cards had won AGAIN in 2011 (oh excuse me: The WORLD CHAMPION Cardinals). These people are truly obnoxious. So come on, Tigers! Pretty please. You can give these first two games away, it's ok.

Anonymous said...

i just returned from Sat/Sun World Series in Detroit. I had the "pleasure" of sitting amongst Giants fans. While it's nice that they travel to support their team, they were way over the top loud and obnoxious in someone else's house. That's just rude.

Anonymous said...

"I hope you're just as proud when it takes them 53 more years to win that second championship, you know, the same number of championships the Mets have been able to claim for over a quarter of a century."

Haha it only took 3 years for the SF Giants to win again.

Anonymous said...

I know this hasn't been commented on for ages now, but here are my 2 cents as a life long Giants fan. First off, the fan base is MUCH more mellow than it was at Candlestick Park. Giants fans might rib you a bit, or might even be rude, but violence and threats only usually happen at Giants/Dodgers games or when an opposing fan is just asking for trouble(I saw this with Phillies fan who visited AT&T Park a few years back). Candlestick Park was a completely different situation- fewer fans, but far more rabid. Opposing fans were harassed to the point where they'd just leave and when the Dodgers were in town riot police often showed up just to keep order.

All that being said- I've noticed a huge presence of Giants fans at Citifield for ages now. Those are New Yorkers who remained Giants fans after the team left for SF.