I Love The San Francisco Giants.
Now before Giants fans label me a band wagoner and my fellow TRUE BLUE Los Angeles Dodgers fans excommunicate me from all rights to cheer for my beloved So Cal team to make their way to the World Series in 2015, please allow me to explain. Jesus said in Matthew 5:43-48,
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Those who know me have heard me declare more than once the fact that Biblically, giants are bad guys and we shouldn’t root for the adversary…generally speaking. In the context of alliteration, I’ve explained it this way: it’s David the Dodger vs. Goliath the Giant. ☺ Furthermore, folks have never witnessed me wearing any Giants paraphernalia, nor rooting for them. Yet, on a microcosmic, somewhat inconsequential, and yet completely relatable level to the above passage from Matthew, I love the people on the SF Giants, and the fans.
Shouldn’t I? If Jesus expects me to love enemies that would threaten my life and the lives of my family and friends, shouldn’t I then start in the “small things” and “show the love” to my baseball “enemies”?
Some may say something like, “Oh Mike. You’re taking this baseball/Scripture thing too far. Let them be separate. Learn to compartmentalize your life better Whitford.” Despite my bringing teaching from Jesus into this mix, I still feel very light-hearted because life and death are not, at least should not be, at stake. Yet, shouldn’t we allow the truth of God’s word to enter every level of our existence, including sports and other hobbies? I tend to think so ☺.
Again, Dodger and “other” baseball team fans, please let me explain.
As I sat watching my latest Netflix TV show series obsession, I occasionally glanced at my MLB app to see the Giants vs. Cardinals score of Game 5. And then that which my baseball-esque spidey senses felt days ago, came to pass…
“The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!…for the THIRD time in 5 years!
As if that wasn’t enough, the tidal wave of praise came rushing over all of my social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc… What’s an arch-rival Dodger fan supposed to do in moments like these? The old adage, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” crossed my mind, but such action would wreck the space-time continuum as we know it. So no. Needless to say, that was/is NOT an option!
There I sat with my now obsolete and tiny “LA Dodgers 2014 NL Western Division Champions” accolades, as celebrations with the words: “San Francisco Giants: 2014 NATIONAL LEAGUE Champions,” continued through the airwaves, and onward throughout the whole the universe!
It was at that point that I had a revelation. An epiphany, if you will. Though I did not prefer to see the colors of orange and black waving all over my smart phone screen, I realized all those orange and black, #Orangetober, flag waving folks were people I absolutely LOVE and RESPECT!
Every single one of my Giants fans friends AND family are HIGH quality folks. Some Jesus loving, others I pray “soon to be” Jesus loving ☺ . All that to say, I didn’t see one single negative remark toward the Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw, or any other chiding remark against the now totally and completely underdog Dodgers.
To my Giants fan friends I say, classy. That’s what you all were last night. I witnessed nothing but 100% pure class from every San Francisco Giants fan on social media. You healed me of any “hater” I had left in me. Thank you ☺.
You exemplified the high standard that true champions don’t need to put down their “enemies”. True champions rejoice in their own victories with humility and, in the sports world, they show respect toward their former adversaries.
Such was the case last night in social media world, and for the first time in my life I CHOSE to rejoice WITH Giants fans. Not because I’m a Giants fan, nor because I ever will be, but because I witnessed the complete expressions of joy and post-season amazingness that I can relate to from nearly an age ago in 1988 when Kirk Gibson, Orel Hershiser, Steve Sax, Mickey Hatcher, Mike Davis, Mike Scioscia, Tommy Lasorda, and others led the then underdog Dodgers to a World Championship against the highly favored Oakland Athletics.
In the aftermath of Game 5, I cannot help but be genuinely happy for my Giants fan friends and family. I’m even happy for the San Francisco Giants.
A team does not win 3 pennants in 5 years without gelling together, loving each other, being FOR each other, and respecting their fans and even their “adversarial” teams. I believe these San Francisco Giants will be known as one of the most consistent and PURE baseball teams in the history of the Major Leagues. They deserve it. They didn’t stop fighting when sports analysts, and even some of their fans counted them out.
I believe the San Francisco Giants and their fans are the “David’s” in this narrative. They effectively stood over all their “Goliath’s” and are rightfully victorious in the National League. I wish the Giants and all their fans the best of luck in the 2014 World Series as they face another “David” type baseball team in the Kansas City Royals.
This Giants team and their fans have given me something I can root for in this world series: a never-say-die attitude! I think it will be a great series because both the Giants and the Royals are of the same cut: scrappy fighters with honorable qualities. To that I say Go…G-G-gggggggg…you guys!