Just 25 games into the 2014 season, Giants fans have to be pleased with the way it’s played out so far. The team sits atop the NL West standings with a 15-10 record. They’re finding ways to win, even as familiar names like Pence, Posey, Cain, and Sandoval have struggled. Giants fans have been treated to big comebacks, walk-off home runs, and even a couple delightfully savage, yet tasteful Dodger-bludgeonings early in the year.
It’s a great time to be a Giants fan. Two World Series titles in three years. Matt Cain’s perfect game. Tim Lincecum’s no-hitter. Stability in the front office. Beloved players and coaches who are easy to root for. The best broadcast team in baseball. The best ballpark in baseball. The best seagulls in baseball. A streak of 250 thousand straight sellouts (give or take a few) and a burgeoning reputation as one of the best fan bases to play for in all of professional sports.
Giants fans are rolling around in a pile of garlic fries and awesomeness.
And yet, here we are to recap a series of monumental fan fails which threaten to burn everything we have worked for to the ground.
Have we as a fan base gone too far? Have we been reading our own press for too long? Have we sold our collective souls for these championships and this ballpark?
WHAT HAVE WE BECOME?
It started on March 31st, at the season opener in Arizona. Comcast cameras were focused on Angel Pagan contemplating a delicious two-out ribeye, when astute fans watching at home picked up on something in the background.
Is that …
Does that say …
Yup … GAINTS.
How does this happen? I mean, come on. The name is right there on your shirsey. SMH.
Giants fans immediately took to social media to distance themselves from the offending fan and laugh together.
Ha! Ha! Ha! This Giants fan is silly! Let’s all point and laugh at her! She’s not like the rest of us Giants fans. Why, she can’t even spell Giants! Surely this will never happen again! We are smart Giants fans!
Two weeks later, the joke wasn’t so funny anymore.
Ugh. What does that say? BAET LA? BAET LA???
BAET LA, indeed.
Faced with a second epic fan fail, this time against the hated Dodgers, Giants fans were forced to take a long look in the mirror.
What they saw frightened them.
And it was spreading across this great land, from sea to shining sea …
And even beyond our borders …
Unspeakable atrocities that shook us all to our cores …
OKAY, STOP! THAT’S ENOUGH!
FOR GOODNESS SAKE, THIS IS A FAMILY SITE!
On Saturday, I went to the ballpark to take in the sights and sounds of a Giants game. It had been about ten days since the last epic fan fail. Fans were beginning to move on. The night before was a celebration of Duane Kuiper’s only career home run and a rare double-rainbow beamed over the ballpark, washing away the memories of GO GAINTS and BAET LA.
Giants fans were born again.
In the first inning, sitting in the sunshine, I noticed a group of fans holding signs above the right field wall. My heartbeat raced. Would this be another epic fan fail? Could the fan base take another misstep after so many blows to the ego?
A simple sign. BELTZONE.
A brilliant sign, to celebrate one of the Giants most curiously controversial young players, Brandon Belt. A player who symbolized growth and rebirth. A player who fans could rally behind and make right what was once wrong.
Hit the ball, Brandon! Crush the ball into the BELTZONE!
He didn’t crush the ball. He didn’t even hit it.
Brandon Belt struck out. Then in the 5th inning, this happened …
BELTZONE GUYS, HOW COULD YOU?? YOU WERE THE CHOSEN ONES.
The dream of rebirth was over. The fan base had failed yet again.
But in that moment, a curious thing happened. Fans took to social media again, but this time it was not to laugh at their brethren. Not to cast them aside. Not to ridicule them or scoff at their foolishness. No, the ZELTBONE fans were accepted. Welcomed into the pantheon of epic fan fails and exalted as heroes.
These brave men took what was once a source of embarrassment and made the fan base see it was really a source of pride all along.
Then they took it to a whole new level …
LETZBONE, Giants fans.
Giants Fans – Together We’re Gaint