Here we go again, Giants fans.
It’s October. It’s an even year. We’re back.
Its been an odd season, to say the least. Odd start. Odd middle. Odd finish. It’s well documented. No need to go into it here. Odd.
Tonight’s NL Wild Card game feels odd as well. For one thing, the Giants didn’t charge into the playoffs like a team of destiny (2010) or build up a huge lead on the division and coast in, brimming with confidence (2012). This feels different. It’s the playoffs, but ehhhh, is it really the playoffs? After that torturous A’s-Royals slugfest last night, it seems more like the Giants and Pirates fan bases have been thrown into a pit to fight to the death, solely for the amusement of the other 28 teams fan bases. This isn’t a playoff, it’s bloodsport on a baseball diamond.
Okay, sorry. Now that I’ve brought you down and totally bummed you out, I feel obligated to lift your spirits. Hey, maybe the season hasn’t been the storybook we all hoped for. Whatever. We’re here. Might as well give it a go. For me personally, I just want the Giants to make it to the NLDS. I want it so bad. Even if they lose to the Nationals, it will be worth it just to feel the thrill of October baseball again. The raw emotion of meaningful baseball is a drug. Stick the needle in my vein. Ahhhh, yeah. Give me the good stuff. ITS BEEN TOO LONG. I WANT TO FEEL ALIVE AGAIN.
To help get that feeling flowing through all of us again, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite Giants videos. It’s a good mix. Some short ones, some long ones. Some cheesy ones, some classy ones. Some set to inspiring music, some set to … Joe Buck.
Look, you get the idea. No matter how blah you’ve felt about the 2014 Giants, if you watch these videos I guarantee you’ll be frothing at the mouth, ready to run through a wall for Bruce Bochy. So, hideout in your office or cubicle, turn on your internet machine, and detach yourself from any notion of productivity. This is not time for work! It’s time to focus, Giants fans! Get hyped and get ready for October baseball!
Or … you know … come back here Thursday morning and use these videos as a means of coping with a horrendous loss at the hands of Edinson Volquez.
Either way, enjoy!
Honorable Mention – Chariots of Flannery
This list is supposed to pump you up, so I won’t dwell on the 2013 season for very long, but this slow-motion footage of Angel Pagan’s walk off inside-the-park home run SET TO CHARIOTS OF FIRE is too good not to share. Sure, Angel Pagan suffered a near season-ending leg injury on the play, and sure you can probably trace all of the Giants 2013 failures back to this very moment, but … Hey! Chariots of Fire! And look at that beautiful mane flowing in the breeze!
#10 – “F*** Yeah!”
Before Marco Scutaro saved 2012 and Scott Cousins ruined 2011. Before Cody Ross was a twinkle in Brian Sabean’s eye, and before anyone even noticed Brian Wilson was dyeing his gross beard, there was a small matter of overcoming a 10-game deficit to the San Diego Padres and winning the NL West. After an epic late August/early September collapse, the Padres came to San Francisco for a season-ending three-game series, trailing the Giants by three games. Giants fans were feeling confident. Just win one, baby! Matt Cain crapped the bed on Friday, then Barry Zito Barry Zito’d all over himself on Saturday, setting the stage for Jonathan Sanchez, who, miraculously, came through in a big way on the last Sunday of the season. This NL West title was a long time coming for a new wave of young players, and so it was fitting that a new hero would celebrate by upholding the fine tradition of dropping an F-bomb on live television for a whole new generation of Giants fans.
#9 – The 2012 Playoff Run
The story of the 2012 San Francisco Giants regular season is ridiculous. Buster Posey came back from a devastating injury to win the NL MVP. Melky Cabrera made us cry over spilled MELK (get it?). Tim Lincecum lost his mojo. Marco Scutaro … happened. They won the NL West by eight games. RIDICULOUS. Then came the playoff run and it got even RIDICULOUSER.
#8 – Flem’s Signature Call
Think of the most famous calls in Giants history. Russ Hodges screaming, “THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!” Jack Brickhouse trying to remain calm as he described Willie Mays’s catch in the ’54 World Series, “Willie Mays just brought this crowd to its feet…with a catch…which must have been an optical illusion to a lot of people.” Hank Greenwald’s elation over THE clutch hit in the ’89 NLCS, “Clark hits it up the middle, into center-field, BASE HIT! … And Superman has done it again!” Jon Miller declaring triumphantly in 2002, “Kenny Lofton knocks a stake through the heart of the Cardinals! The Cardinals are dead! The Giants are going to the World Series!” and Mike Krukow hollering, “WE’RE GOING!”
Those were all great moments, and great calls, but for me the call that most perfectly captures the moment is Dave Flemming’s voice cracking as Edgar Renteria’s home run sails over the left field wall in Arlington. In that moment, Flem realized right along with the rest of us that the Giants were going to win the World Series. Hearing it still gives me goosebumps.
#7 – Hunter Pence Goes HAM in Front of a Live TV Audience
This one should be fresh in your mind, so I won’t go into detail. Our intrepid reporter was on the scene last Thursday night and filmed the whole (NSFW) thing. Enjoy!
#6 – Ashkon Goes Viral
I honestly don’t know a whole lot about Ashkon. I know he made this video at the end of the 2010 regular season. He covers a great song (that we’re all sick of by now, but still, a great song). His lyrics are funny. He has a good voice. He nails the Will Clark imitation. I know some people thought Ashkon jumped the shark when he made another video in 2012, but after the 2010 video got over three million likes on YouTube, can you really blame him for doing another one? I also heard he did a 49ers one. I’ll pass on that, but this one … man, this one from 2010, it was gold. He referenced F.P. Santangelo and Marty Lurie, you guys. And that Will Clark imitation … take another look. Give Ashkon a second chance, that’s all I’m saying.
#5 – Hunter Pence Impressions
Good vibes following the 2012 season reached levels never seen before. Levels that frankly will probably never be seen again around these parts. The players loved each other. The fans loved the players. The players loved the fans. It was a love fest and at the center of it all was The Reverend, Hunter Pence and his amazing speeches. This video from the World Series film outtakes would even make legendary KNBR curmudgeon, Salty in Clovis crack a smile. Okay, maybe a half smile.
#4 – Timmy the Legend
Try to ignore the unsteady warbling of Dick Stockton (ERRAH!) and focus on the artistry of one Timmy Leroy Lincecum in the prime of his prime.
#3 – “For the first time in 52 years…”
Welcome to the top three. It’s goosebump time, ladies and gents. If you haven’t gotten goosebumps yet, well, that’s okay. Hopefully I’ve thawed your cold heart to the point where these last three videos can make you human again.
Regrettably, this video does not include Kuip’s famous call. Instead you are subjected to Joe Buck. But nevermind that, this video has all 27 outs of Game five of the 2010 World Series. And it’s set to dramatic music. PREPARE TO FEEL THE FEELS.
#2 – Finnerty’s
If you’ve gotten this far down the list, I’ll assume you’re enough of a Good Giants Fan™ to know what and where Finnerty’s is. This grainy video of the crowd inside Finnerty’s (basement??) going nuts as the Giants win the 2010 World Series is incredible. Granted, there are many, many great videos out there with crowd reactions from both World Series runs, but this one is my favorite. The energy inside that cramped bar and the eruption when strike three is called is unmatched IMHO. This is the undisputed King of Crowd Reaction Videos. And kudos to whoever did the editing on this one. The way they time said eruption with Ashkon’s song is really cool. GOOSEBUMPS.
#1 – The Rain Game
Here it is. Numero uno. The greatest Giants video ever made. Ever, ever, ever. It was created by one of Giants Twitter’s most celebrated GIF artists, the talented Sara Showalter (otherwise known as @Gidget). Everyone knows about the rain game. Game 7 against the hated Cardinals. The build up was intense. The Giants routed the Cards and made it a laugher by the middle innings, turning AT&T Park into a big party. When the rain started to fall, the crowd cheered. Then it rained harder. And still harder. Nobody cared. The fans danced in the rain to El Mechon, then the oafish villain (Matt Holliday) popped out to the conquering hero (Marco Scutaro) and the players were finally able to join the party. It was perfection on a baseball field. Very rare. And worth setting to music!
The best part of this video comes toward the end, as the music crescendos and a shaky camera focuses in on Angel Pagan, he falls to his knees then gets up and streaks toward his teammates to celebrate. If this one doesn’t make you feel emotion, look, I don’t know what to tell you. You may be dead.