As a true blue Dodger fan, I don't care much for the San Francisco Giants. I mean, I'm civil and everything, but I will (politely) boo them and their players with a lot of gusto. And even if I come upon the rare record book which registers their virtually unwatched 2010 World Series fluke, I am careful to remind Giants fans that their San Francisco trophy case carries four fewer trophies than our own Los Angeles Dodgers' case.
Which brings me to football. I don't care much about football, and the little eneergy I do spend in following it skews toward college football rather than the professional spectacle known as the NFL. Perhaps this reflects the fact that Los Angeles doesn't have a pro football team (besides the USC Trojans); at the very least, this doesn't help any. But even as a kid growing up in SoCal, I didn't care much about the Lambs (too weak) or the Raiders (too scary).
So here come the 49ers, having rebuilt their squad on the back of an old-school Stanford coach who has given washouts like Alex Smith a reinvigorated and perhaps unrealistic perspective. Yet the 49ers, mediocre for years before, are suddenly in the conference playoffs.
San Francisco fans are psyched, of course. They haven't seen a winning 49ers team for decades, and frankly, they're so overcome with giddiness that they can barely hold their pinkies in while grasping their chardonnay glasses.
I recall about six or seven years ago when I was waiting for a table at the House of Prime Rib in San Francisco, along with a large party of inlaws from my wife's family. The queue was long and people were getting ornery. And then, in walks another group, much later than us, and puts their similar-sized party's name in the queue. And suddenly, they vault ahead of us and are seated.
My brother-in-law and I raise the issue of this inequity to the hostess, who acknowledges the favored treatment and promises to seat our party promptly. However we were pretty aggravated, so much so that the about-to-be-seated party looks back and notices the affront. The next thing I know, one of the older guys in their party comes over to us and says, "hey, sorry about this. Can I buy your party a round of drinks, on us?"
Totally cool move on his part, right? And I'm rarely one to turn down a free drink. However my brother-in-law just glares at the guy, and while I'm taking drink orders from the rest of our clan, he retorts that he doesn't want this guy's charity. I shrug my shoulders and put in my drink order, but my brother-in-law just glares at the guy, and I don't really understand why at the time.
Turns out that guy was John York, husband to the co-owner of the 49ers. And my brother-in-law, a lifelong fan of every San Francisco sports team, was so pissed at how the 49ers franchise had degraded under York's tenure, that he couldn't stomach even an offer of free alcohol from the owner. So be it.
Anyway, I digress. I've got nothing in particular against the 49ers, and certainly not the level of hatred as my brother-in-law had toward York. I mean, I find them annoying, but only insofar as I find most Bay Area sports fans insipid and bothersome.
I'll watch the NFL if it's on TV and there's nothing else. And sure, the single-elimination playoffs are more compelling theatre. But these teams evoke no passion in me; I'm largely indifferent about the New York Giants, let alone the Ravens and Patriots. And I think if push came to shove, I'd probably root against the Niners--simply because they're from the same city as the hated San Francisco Giants.
Is this wrong? Is this even rational? And are any of you Dodger fans going through the same set of emotions about the NFL playoffs? Discuss, as I'm about to consider (more) therapy.