Baseball, however, is different. It's the only sport for which I inherited my father's love (he also adored football, which I hate, and my mother disdains pretty much all organized sports), and the only one I will make room in my schedule to watch. I will say that I do like soccer, or futbol as it is properly called, but I'm a bit of a fair weather soccer fan and really only pay attention once every four years during the World Cup. Really, when you come right down to it, all other sports could evaporate from the earth, and I barely would notice. However, I love my baseball.
Now that baseball season has begun again, the sun seems to be shining a little bit brighter, there is more happiness and music in the air, and everyone seems to be smiling more. At least that's the way I see it. That said, however, there is one thing I don't like about baseball, and that is the smack talking done by its fans. I'm sure this is a phenomenon common to all sports, but as I've just said, baseball is the only one I really care about.
About eight or nine years ago, I considered myself a fan of both the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A's. I live in San Francisco, but Oakland is just across the Bay, so I figured the A's could be hometown heroes, as well. Now, I was told in no uncertain terms by a couple of my co-workers at the time that it was unacceptable for me to like both teams, but I dismissed that as silliness. Then something happened to me: I heard too much smack talk being uttered by A's fans. And by "A's fans," I mean friends of mine who loved the A's. They were constantly saying bad things about the Giants, or so it seemed. They were mad about the Giants newer, nicer ballpark; they hated Barry Bonds (keep in mind, this was a few years ago when Barry was still playing, as opposed to sitting in a courtroom fighting perjury charges); the Giants got too much attention in Bay Area sports. Blah, blah, blah, whine, whine, whine. They sounded like jealous teenagers, and frankly, all their yammering really put me off the team.
So I no longer am an A's fan. I haven't been to an A's game in years, and I never watch their games on TV anymore. And everything was fine until last fall when the Giants pulled off a little feat known as winning the World Series.
*photo courtesy of World Weblog Whizz
That brings us to the start of baseball's current season, and this weekend, the Giants are playing longtime rivals the Dodgers in Los Angeles. I now should mention that rivalry or no, I also happen to like both the Dodgers and the Giants. I'm from L.A. (okay, Pasadena), and the Dodgers were my original Boys of Summer. So that team will always have a piece of heart. However, I'm a home team kind of girl, as well, so of course I love the Giants. Love them. The smack talk has already begun with Dodgers fans (well, just one Dodger fan friend of mine, really) and a few stray A's fans charging that the Giants' World Series win was a fluke; the Giants belong in last place; the World Series win was fun for the whole Bay Area, but of course the A's are superior. Again, blah, blah, blah. Don't get me wrong, some of my Giants fan friends talk smack, too, especially when the Dodgers come to town, and I find that to be equally annoying. It's just going to be a very long season if all of this keeps up.
And if any of this silly smack talk causes me to abandon the Dodgers, I may have to issue some kind of smackdown of my own. One that probably only will involve me singing songs while considering anyone who talked smack to be "dumb," but it will happen in my head nonetheless.