17 November 2010


Turns out I knew it before they left for Texas. It was that 8th inning in Game 2. We lingered outside after the final out, hugging the rail of the Portwalk outside the Lefty O'Doul gate. It was me and Noah and Cash and Manny, and we reminisced about the season we'd all experienced — together — and I told them we'd just seen our last game at the Cove this year. Of course, they gave me hell. I'd have done the same in their position, without the benefit of my prescience. And as we parted ways, we made remarks to the effect of "I'll see you for Game 6." But on the walk back to my car — down 3rd Street past the developing UCSF extension campus, down a side street to an industrial zone that offers free parking — it hit me like a ton of bricks. It started with the kids, the fathers and mothers leading sons and daughters back to minivans and sport utility vehicles. They're so young, I thought. They don't know what it is to wait 33 years for a feeling like this — a feeling I still struggle to define, even weeks later. God, what that must feel like. To be that young. To be that happy. Absolutely. Without prejudice. And my thoughts drifted to my grandfather, a New York Giants fan, who moved West in the 40s and saw his team follow him a decade later. And I thought of my father, who attended the first Giants game at Seals Stadium in 1958 and pulled me out of school to go to the World Series in 1989 — a man who could barely watch any of the postseason run live because it would make his heart give way. And I thought of my mother, indoctrinated to the Giants by the osmosis of her love for my father, a true fan of the game who must have been just a little bit hurt by our defeat of her beloved Phillies. And I thought of my brother, who was at college in Oregon during the 2002 playoffs and saw his first-ever postseason Giants game this year — and who was probably whooping it up at a South Bay bar on this particular evening. And all of this thinking started the water works flowing. It was a happy cry. The one I've been waiting for my whole freaking life. The one that's cracked my cynical façade every day for the past two weeks. The one that followed me home that night and put me to bed... A few days later, when Edgar Renteria connected on a Cliff Lee mistake and sent it over the left center field fence, and my friends erupted around me in the common area of my apartment, I sat on the couch like a rock in the middle of a raging river, my jaw slightly drooping, my eyes wide as saucers, in disbelief that I hadn't jinxed a thing...

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