Monday, October 25, 2010


PARDON THE INTERRUPTION: We’re abandoning local government and politics today in anticipation of what could be our final days on earth.

No, there’s no special illness or any more damage than usual but after 56 years of waiting the San Francisco Giants just could win the World Series.

It’s common among long-beleaguered sports fans to declare they “can now die happy” when streaks of futility end as Boston Red Fox fans did a few years back after waiting generations for a championship.

The thinking is that among the most superstitious of all groups are sports fans who can be seen running back into the bathroom and sitting on the toilet during in bottom of the ninth because that’s where you were when the current batter homered earlier in the game. So naturally, it’s only stands to this kind of twisted reason that all that’s keeping you alive once your lifelong wait is over is that you’ve managed to delay getting cancer or hit by a bus until your team finally wins.

Other than the Chicago Cubs and (did you know?) the Cleveland Indians the Giants have gone the longest between World Series victories.

And it was in 1954, at the age of two, growing up in Manhattan- home of the then New York Giants- that, with our friend Barry Dubin, we started a lifetime of torture and disappointment.

Our Uncle Jerry was a huge spots fan- we still have a closet full of his programs from old 40's and ‘50’s Polo Grounds baseball and Madison Square Garden (the old one on 50th and 8th) college basketball programs.

And growing up in the Bronx he naturally hated the Bronx-based Yankees, having had to contend with smug and “entitled” Yankee fans. So became a St Louis Cardinal fan.

But kids growing up in “the city” as we call Manhattan didn’t care one way or another about the Yankees because we had another team to hate- the National League rivals of the Giants, the Brooklyn (now LA) Dodgers.

If it weren’t for Barry and his older, wiser brother- who was all of five- we might have been influenced by Uncle Jerry to became a lifelong Cards fan because as everyone knows when you pick a team in those formative years you are required live and die with them for life.

You can look it up- it’s written in the secret “fandom” code book.

So it was 1954 and the Giants had won the World Series the previous October, So of course in the mind of a two-year-old we were sure this was going to happen every year.

The resulting fanaticism provided an image that is quite clear in our memory to this day-

We’re sitting on the floor with Barry in his bedroom and his brother on sitting on the edge of the bed. In his New-York accented and, what seemed to us, basso-profundo voice Barry’s bother would yell “Fuck da Dahgas” and we in unison in our squealy little pipsqueak voices would echo “Fuck da Dahgas”.

“Fuck da Dahgas” he repeated the deep intonations of the professor.

“Fuck da Dahgas” chanted the shrill-voiced toddling scholars-in-diapers in response.

It didn’t take long before we had to be reprimanded by our parents for having the natural response to anyone who mentioned “Brooklyn” or the “Dodgers”.

And naturally they asked us where we got that little ditty from and last time we saw Barry’s brother he was still spitting soap out of his mouth.

Well there’s no Dodgers and no Yankees in this year’s Series but we’ve seen this movie before- in 1962 when a Game 7 two-outs-in-the-ninth, potential line-drive-RBI by Willie McCovey (which would have scored Willie Mays) was an inch too close to the Second Baseman Bobby Richardson, in 1989 when a pre-game earthquake kicked us out of our home field and in 2002 when we had a four-run-lead with five outs to go in Game 6 only to blow the lead, the game and, then in Game 7, the series.

We have full confidence that despite arguably the best pitching staff in history the Giants will keep the streak alive and disappoint us for a 56th year in a row.

But who knows- we just could get hit by a falling asteroid while sitting on the can having single-handedly struck the pose that caused the “Kung Fu Panda” to go deep with the winning run.

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