Originally Posted by MachoMadness1988
Texas Rangers- Family in the Dallas area. Use to go there a lot as a kid. Been a fan since 1900.
Wow, no offense, but you're old
. Also, I think you're senile because the Texas Rangers franchise did not come into existence until 1960
Just kidding, man.
Well, the teams I love and follow all have some similarities. I was born, raised and continue to live in the San Francisco Bay Area; I actually live about 10 miles or so from the hospital I was born in, and keep close with my parents who don't live too far, either. In a way, I was simply my father's son, but I'd like to think that at certain times I consciously chose which teams to follow and love, too, individually and separately from the bonds of father/son dynamics.
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: Although I played basketball as a kid in school and then high school, I never really liked it or loved it or anything, and the Warriors were probably for the longest time the "bottom team" for me in terms of who I actively followed. Their being horrible for years upon years helped that, to an extent, I'm sure, but I didn't really "get" basketball; I could admire athleticism and derring-do involved in its play but I didn't love it. Then "We Believe" happened. I fell in love with that Warriors team, very slowly at first and then it became hotter and hotter, to where they were appointment television by Christmastime of that season. And I've followed the Dubs consistently every year since, only missing a few games a season. My passion for the Warriors swelled a great deal in the 2012-2013 season, a kind of "rebirth" from the tanking of 2011-2012 which saw a much better, sounder team appear out of the wilderness. And it's interesting, even though the 49ers are once again pretty awesome (more on them momentarily), I feel closer to the Warriors and basketball now than I do to the 49ers and football. It's something of a reversal from my childhood (although not to that degree) but again, more on that later. My dad's stories about the Warriors always entertain, and he speaks of Wilt Chamberlain in reverential tones while of course laughingly occasionally discussing his extracurricular activities. That NBA Network special "100" brought both my dad and I to tears watching it. Getting to visit the Warriors headquarters just a week ago today was a massive treat, seeing all of the huge names from the past decorated, today's players practicing, etceteras. Anyway, go Warriors!
SAN JOSE SHARKS: My dad was a kid when the New York Giants moved west to San Francisco and became the San Francisco Giants. He recalled that it was one of the biggest moments of his childhood; and, indeed, for the city of San Francisco. The city embraced the Giants immediately and with no reservations. For a kid, it was something of a surreal event to see a Major League Baseball team move out west to San Francisco, from New York, and take residence there on the west coast. MLB went as far west as roughly St. Louis at that time, in 1957-1958, and the Giants and Dodgers moving out west was the move that ignited the westward expansion of that sport--the establishment of the Los Angeles Angels; the Washington Senators becoming the Minnesota Twins; the founding of the Houston Colt .45s who later became the Houston Astros, the Athletics moving to Oakland from Kansas City and that city getting the Royals, etceteras, etceteras. So, no, the NHL establishing the San Jose Sharks wasn't quite the seismic shift that the Giants' move was, but
, this time I was the child and it seemed like the biggest deal ever to me. I twisted my parents' arm to help get me to some games at the San Francisco Cow Palace before the "Shark Tank" was finished in San Jose, and then once the "Tank" was completed, we went to several games down there even though I'm sure it was budget-crushing for my folks at the time.
Anyway, I lived and died with the Sharks the way I lived and died with the 49ers and Giants for a long, long time, years and years from their birth through the trials and tribulations of being a constant underdog in the playoffs to vanquishing the Red Wings to never quite getting to the top of the mountain to downright playoff "chokery" that started to piss me off by the mid-2000s and kind of burn some of my deepest passion for the team out. But, I still love the Sharks and still follow them, even though I despise the "Shootout" method of resolving hockey games and this year has been particularly painful in how the Sharks continually lose via "Shootout"; to me, it's woefully anti-climactic even if you win and shitty as hell if you lose through a "Shootout." The Sharks to me are becoming like the hockey version of the Chicago Cubs or something, where you just sense they'll never quite "win it all" even when they've assembled teams that on paper could have and maybe even a couple of times should have held up the Cup. Anyway, that's my brain talking; my heart still loves the Sharks, though I probably miss about twice as Sharks games as I miss Warriors games these days.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: When I was a very little boy, the 49ers were the regal team of the Bay. Montana. Rice. Taylor. Super Bowl upon Super Bowl, a couple before I was born, and then that ass-whipping of the Broncos that I watched on the floor of my living room when I was very small, very young and very na´ve, heh. If I'm still looking for the Sharks to reward the dedication of a little kid from long ago, and for the Warriors to become truly relevant again in a way they haven't been on any consistent basis since long before I started watching the NBA, the 49ers are the team that spoiled me as a child. I remember being crushed when they lost back-to-back NFC Championships to the Dallas Cowboys, after the second one having to walk off the defeat outside for about an hour, staring into space, lol. They made up for it by defeating the Cowboys in the third NFC Championship matchup in a row, lol, and going on to crushing the Chargers in the Super Bowl with Steve Young at the offensive helm. My dad went to the first 49ers games at Kezar Stadium and tells great stories about the famed NFL franchise. Getting to go to a bunch of NFL games at Candlestick (RIP) was a blessing, and seeing the 49ers obliterate teams like the Bears, Packers, Rams and others firsthand was a cool experience. My parents were at "the Catch" game and tell the story of it in vivid detail whenever given the opportunity, haha. Seeing the team go through a painful transition period for years was tough, but the entrance of several important figures behind and in front of the scenes has changed things quite a bit, obviously. I find myself often less enthused with football as a sport these days than I did as a kid, but it's still a lot of fun when it's done well.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: The kingpin for yours truly. I remember getting into the Giants in 1989 leading up to their World Series appearance. And, yes, of course, the earthquake. Their losing that Series didn't affect me all that much but as I continued to watch the Giants, the more and more I liked them. This was before I was able to process anything my dad might have to say on the subject, so the love was entirely organic and my own. It sort of began with Will Clark; the guy was a natural that you couldn't take your eyes off of. Or at least I couldn't. Then there were little touches like the KTVU "bumpers" for Giants games where they had these black dudes playing saxophone for "Bye-Bye Baby," an old Giants anthem (that they still play on the air going to commercial or at AT&T today during same after a Giant hits a home run). I was like, "Wow, this is cool," lol. By 1991, at the age of five, I knew every player on the team, and started to count down the hours to the next game, lol. I was in rabid, frothing love with the 1993 Giants team. My childhood took a nearly mortal blow when the 1993 Giants--who had won 103 fucking games--were knocked out of postseason contention on the final day of the season by the loathsome Atlanta Braves in one of the most dramatic National League Pennant chases of the last 25 years. This was before divisions sprouted up; only two teams from each league made it to the League Championship Series, the winner of which went on to the World Series. Then, as if that wasn't bad enough, the 1994 strike. Come on, now! But more than any team, the Giants are in my blood. I can't imagine missing a game, and haven't been able to since 1991. Will Clark gave way to Matt Williams, and then he quickly gave way to the godlike Barry Bonds.
AT&T Park's creation was awe-inspiring, as has been the run the Giants have enjoyed since it opened, in many ways, with two World Series Championships, three NL Pennants, six MVPs, two Cy Youngs, one ROY, three no-hitters and a Perfect Game (which I was at, as I will never tire telling everybody who will or will not listen to me, whoohoo). The Giants are just a badass team with a badass history: from the Gothams to the Giants, from Jim Mutrie to John McGraw to Christy Mathewson to Mel Ott to Roger Bresnahan to having the most Hall-of-Famers to orchestrating the selections of guys into the Hall like George Kelly who was considered possibly undeserving because so many former teammates were on the Veterans Committee to Carl Hubbell to Travis Jackson and the Leo Durocher saga and controversy to Bobby Thompson's "Shot Heard Round the World," Willie Fucking Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal and so, so many others. 130+ years of history now and still going strong with an NL-best 22 Pennants. I go to way too many games.