Andres Torres

Giants Victory Parade: what a send off!

I told you this City was ready to explode! The parade was one of the biggest “you had to be there” moments ever, but I tried to capture the noise, energy and adoration that was on full display yesterday on the corner of Market and 4th. Below is a little movie I put together on the Flip (thanks to Comcast for allowing me to hold onto it for a short while, even when I’m not capturing Stanford football tailgate parties).

So if you were at the parade and want to relive it, or you couldn’t make it and want to know what it was like to be in the middle of a huge crowd of screaming fans wearing orange and black, all either standing on the tips of their toes or on top of MUNI stops, ATM’s, in trees and generally clinging to anything possible to get a better look at the conquering heroes, check it out. The accompanying photos were taken by my fiance and I, and the following video features Kruk and Kuip, Gavin Newsom, Andres Torres, Brian Wilson, Buster Posey, Aubrey Huff and his thong (look at his neck), Tim Lincecum and Edgar Renteria, who’s in the shadows inside his trolley car at the end of the clip:

Lots of cool things about the parade, but the one thing that really hit me was just how humbled so many of the players and coaches seemed to look when faced with the love showered upon them. It’s not like these are the Candlestick Park Giants; crowds of 40,000 people are commonplace at AT&T Park. But there’s a difference between seeing the same crowds you’ve been used to since your rookie year and being surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people — the happiest mob scene you’ll ever see in your life.

Of couse, that shouldn’t surprise us with these Giants, who you could just as easily see drinking pints at a local tavern as you could striking out opposing hitters in front of sellout crowds. A group of guys who you could picture crashing on each other’s couches after a long night of poker and videogames.

That parade is why we watch sports, go to games, monitor transactions, argue with friends, listen to sports talk radio, complain about east coast bias. It’s why life seems easier when your team wins and unfair when they lose. Because we’re all waiting for a moment when every game that could be won was won. Nothing left to accomplish. Nothing left to do but appreciate everyone and everything that made up the perfect season.

The other main thing I’ll remember was seeing the largest crowd I’ve ever witnessed in person. But there were lots of other memorable images that will stick with me: an incredible amount of public drinking and toking; signs and shirts celebrating Lincecum’s love of cannabis and Huff’s similar affinity for lingerie; climbing on structures that shouldn’t be climbed on (like the awning at the Ross I work above on 4th and Market, where a guy drank almost an entire Coors Light tall can after pouring the first third of it on the crowd); tons of bongo music and speakers blasting that fist pump song … and everyone was euphoric and peaceful at the same time. My buddy Carp and I even felt comfortable walking through the Tenderloin on our way to the incredibly crowded Civic Center. Well, sort of.

Other things I’ll never forget (first two are included in the video):

1. Huff drinking a can of Bud Light and showing the rally thong to the crowd.

2. Lincecum wearing a Red Bull hat (it makes sense that he and Shaun White would have the same sponsor), looking as happy as could be. Man, to be in your mid-20’s and own a city that’s perfect for you after winning the clinching game of the first World Series for said city.

3. Brian Sabean riding past in a convertible with arms up, index fingers in the air. He probably needed this more than any other Giants employee.

4. Bruce Bochy, clutching the World Series Trophy like a 2-year-old clutching a teddy bear.

5. Barry Zito, looking almost unrecognizable with his longer hair and beard. Someone’s ready for a spoken word tour!

6. Willie Mays rolling past, although for some reason the guy driving raced through the intersection.

7. Willlie McCovey following Mays in another convertible, sitting in the passenger seat. Considering the old vehicles that were driven and the legends passing by, it was like all the people watching were briefly transported to another time. It’s always cool to be in San Francisco and envision people decades ago doing the same thing you’re currently doing.

I have to warn you guys, this may be the last post around these parts for a little while (wait, I’m going to tell myself those cheers I just heard were still for the Giants). I’m getting married in about 48 hours, and since I’m a writer by trade, let’s just say some procrastination has come into play and I am nowhere near ready for the big day. My stepbrother, who’s also one of my groomsmen, made a great comment last night when I talked to him on the phone.

“Weddings are like high school. They’re fun, but it’s something you only want to do once.”

I know my fiance and I are going to look back on this last week and smile for the rest of our lives: rehearsal dinner, wedding in Tiburon, reception in downtown San Francisco. The Giants won the World Series, and did it soon enough so that the two of us were able to share the parade together today in front of my office building on Market Street. And on Monday, on a plane to Mexico, we will finally sleep.

It was a perfect way to say good-bye to the 2010 Giants, and like the World Championship, it was totally surreal. Usually the last time we see these guys is either on television during a meaningless game No. 162, and less often during a playoff loss. And while I might find time to squeeze out a post or two, this could be one of the last times you hear from me for a couple weeks as I probably won’t be watching a lot of Bay Area sports from Playa Del Carmen. I’m sure the Giants afterglow will keep your hearts warm while I’m gone.

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