San Francisco Giants: Confessions of a Bandwagon Fan

Mar 24, 2016; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Fans reach for autographs prior to the game between the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 24, 2016; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Fans reach for autographs prior to the game between the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s not exactly a tell-all memoir, but these are the confessions of a bandwagon San Francisco Giants fan.

More from Golden Gate Sports

I’ve never publicly admitted it, but my name is Sean and I’m a bandwagon fan. My team of choice is the San Francisco Giants, a team that has become popular among the “bandwagon” population in recent years with their three World Series championships over the past six seasons. My journey on to the bandwagon began long before 2010.

I was about eight years old in 2001, and had just started to get into sports at the time. Sports were never really “my thing” in the earliest years, but I joined little league that year and almost immediately fell in love with the game. But I didn’t really have a team to root for at that point. I grew up in New Jersey, in a very small town that you’ve almost certainly never heard of, so obviously the most immediate choices of fandom were the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. 2000 was the year of the Subway Series, when the Mets and Yankees clashed in the World Series, so that would have been a perfect time to pledge my allegiance to one of the Big Apple’s teams. I didn’t do that, however.

It was Barry Bonds that made my realize the world of baseball was bigger than just the small region I knew of at the time. It was Bonds hitting these monster home runs, 73 of them to be exact, breaking the record for home runs in a single season. Bonds was doing things with a bat that I had never seen at that age. Being on the other side of the country, I couldn’t watch Giants’ games regularly, but every time I turned on SportsCenter, I would anxiously watch for any highlights of Bonds crush baseballs with the ease of a person crushing on ant on their desk. When I saw Bonds hit his 71st home run on October 5th, I raised my arms skyward like Bonds did as the ball traveled through the night sky. By that point I was on the bandwagon, because like chicks, little kids dig the long ball.

It was a good time to jump on the bandwagon. In 2002, the Bonds-led Giants made it to the World Series before ultimately falling to the Los Angeles Angels in a heartbreaking (especially for a 10 year old) seven-game series. They won 100 games the next year, but were stunned by the eventual world champion Florida Marlins. San Francisco won 91 the season after, but then the hard times came.

More from San Francisco Giants

Over the next four years, the Giants lost 88 games a year, and it’s at that point a bandwagon fan is supposed to leave. No one every told me that. Nobody told 12-year-old Sean that the Giants are bad now, and he shouldn’t like them anymore. There was no orientation telling me “how to be a bandwagon fan”. So I stuck with the Giants.

The Giants weren’t any good at that point, but the players kept my eyes every chance. I wanted to see Barry Bonds hit more home runs. I wanted to see Matt Cain, just a pup at 20 years old, pitch in his big league debut. I wanted to see Tim Lincecum, this long-haired kid called the Freak, go through his crazy, herky-jerky pitching motion and dominate every player that stepped into the box against him.

It was Cain that became my favorite Giant after Bonds’ departure from the game. I got my first job when I was 17, saved up money, and bought a cream jersey stitched with the number 18 on the back and an All-Star patch on the sleeve to become my first jersey. That jersey still hangs in my closet, and I’ll occasionally break it out on the days Cain takes the mound.

Of course in recent years, I’ve been lucky enough to see the Giants win the last game of the season and celebrate on the field as the lone team left standing. Being a bandwagoner has paid off tenfold, and I couldn’t think of cheering for another team.

Next: Meet the New Faces to the Old Giants-Dodgers Rivalry

Bandwagon fans are common around sports, they always have been and they always will be. Sometimes, those people that hop on with the front runners can become as loyal as the ones that were born and bred. It’s all a matter of mindset.

My name is Sean, and I’m a bandwagon Giants’ fan. I just never figured out how to jump off.