Today, I find myself wondering how Mr. Tony Bennett left is his heart in San Francisco.
See, #meandD have just returned home from the Bay area. We went on this short, three-day trip, so we could watch our beloved Royals play in Game 4 and 5 of the 2014 World Series. It was actually my first time staying in the city. Other than that, I had only driven through from the airport on my way to Napa Valley. I was excited to say the least – not only to watch some history happen but to also explore a place I had never really been before.
We arrived Saturday, between noon and one, and met up with our friend, Joe, who was also flying in to partake in the best fun the MLB has to offer. From there, it was an afternoon filled with baseball talk, some lighthearted Giants banter back and forth, and consistently pinching ourselves. I mean we were about to attend a World Series game after all!
Game 4 started fine. We sat around a good bunch of Giants fans, took in the breathtaking views, and enjoyed America’s favorite pastime. Our Royals even took the lead for a bit 🙂 it wasn’t until we decided to leave during the 7th inning, however, where our so-far-so-good travels started to unravel. Something changed as the opposing team took the lead and I no longer felt safe in the city by the bay. First, it started with a few rude comments as we made our descent down the AT&T Park ramps. But once we made it outside, the three of us entered a whole new world, where every #takethecrown-loving soul was on their own. The crowds got rowdy, the demeaning trash talk started to flow, and the scariness began. ALL because we wore blue. The plan that night was never to go straight back to the hotel room. We had places to explore and good food to eat. But the Giants fans made that decision for us, making us feel un-welcomed and in harm’s way.
Wasn’t this just the same stadium a few short hours ago that honored their injured Giants fan who was brutally beaten outside Dodger Stadium in 2011?!
The rest of the night I was heartbroken. How could another team’s fans be so classless? At Kauffman stadium, we would NEVER treat an opposing team and it’s fans that way = win or lose! AND we were spending a lot of money in their city to be there for baseball, and up to this point, we were happy to do so. Needless to say, I had trouble sleeping that night and the next day, I woke up feeling just plain weird. Would it be okay to go somewhere for breakfast? Could we safely see the city? All I had was Royals gear in my suitcase. SO, we didn’t explore. We hung out in our room and got ready for Game 5. I wasn’t even outside our hotel more than 5 minutes before a lady [cancel that] woman in the cross walk told me I needed to “get the F out of here.” It made Game 5 a very wearisome experience. I just kept my head down and didn’t even feel like I could cheer for my own team. How sad is that?!
“True sportsmanship is . . .
Knowing that you need your opponent because without him or her, there is no game.
Acknowledging that your opponent holds the same deep-rooted aspirations and expectations as you.
Knowing that, win or lose, you will walk off [. . .] with pride.
Always taking the high road.
And always, always, always being a good sport.” ― Lorii Myers, No Excuses: The Fit Mind-Fit Body Strategy Book
Long story short = I will NOT be back to San Francisco for another sporting event. And please do not tell yourself for a second, it’s because of the losses. It isn’t. I mean I am a Royals fan after all. We more than know how to handle defeat. That wasn’t the case. It’s how ugly the Giants fans treated my counterparts and myself. How soon they have forgotten that before 2010, it had been 56 years since their last championship; much longer than the Royals have waited. They also have seem to space the fact that they TOO were a wild card team this fall. I’m not sure where all this rude entitlement comes from, but it has left an awful taste in my mouth that I soon won’t forget. Being in your town was not worth the stress. I am proud and loud Royals fan, but my life is more important than a game. Maybe this is why most of the nation is cheering for our team? A wholesome group of individuals. Well, whatever the reason is [in closing] I want to leave you with this: all of our body’s blood flows blue . . . until a little oxygen hits it 😉 GO ROYALS!
A well written essay. I have had some great tines in SF, but I am glad I was not there for this experience. I have witnessed and been part of some fabulous back and forth banter at major sporting events between bitter rivals but I guess I am lucky that the people realized they are fans and not over the top fanatics. You should definitely visit SF for the sights and food sometime and understand that for every jackass there are a lot of great people who welcome visitors. Lastly, you should have just come to KC to watch the games here and help me decorate my condo.
Oh, I will definitely be back, Brad 🙂
If you think kc is any different you are wrong. Making statements like we are better than that is the bread and butter of the “best fans in baseball.” Newsflash they aren’t and either are we. All fan bases are exactly the same.
Do you forget the fan that got beat up at a chiefs game ? I forget did he die?
I understand what you are saying, Paul 🙂 there are [of course] sad incidences in any sport. However, I have not experienced anything like this before and this was my story to tell . . . and if you do not believe KC fans are different, you are wrong = best fans in sports!
Tell that to my friend that wore cards gear to an opening day and was told “I hope you die on 70.”
Saw it first hand this weekend wearing rams.gear to a chiefs game.
KC fandom.is like every other fandom. They come when a team wins, attendance dwindles when they lose. There are rude, mean, violent, drunk fan. There are smart funny lovable fans.
Exactly like St louis, exactly like Chicago, exactly like San Francisco. Etc
Sorry your friend ran across a jerk, but hubs is a Cards fan and has worn Cards’ merch to the K for years with no incident other than friendly people stopping to ask us about “house divided.”
I’m glad your husband has been able to enjoy the K, Stacy. I cannot imagine living in a “divided” household – must keep the romance interesting 😉
Paul, what I meant by “best fans in sports” is that we are loyal to our teams and proud until the end. We’ve had losing records for a lot of years. Please do not miscontrue my words 🙂
Paul, that fan was not beaten due to team affiliation. That was due to some bad people, and a poor guy getting wasted and getting into the wrong car.
I haven’t been to SF, I hope these people were outliers. And I hope Royals fans show Giants fans courtesy when they come in for games 6 &7.
I hope so too, AC. I’m sure our fans will rise above and show them a good time in the sea of blue 🙂
Sorry you had that experience. I travel to the Bay Area quite a bit. I was there right after the Royals had just swept the Giants in KC and wore my Royals hat to AT&T. Many fans struck up respectful conversations, both at the stadium and surrounding bars. I was also in the Bay Area DURING the WC game vs the A’s. Before AND after I wore my Royals cap around and same thing from A’s fans – good conversations. One even bought me a beer. I’m sure the stakes involved in the Series change things, and I’m not questioning your experience at all. But mine has been pretty resoundingly positive over the years.
That’s good to hear, Matt 🙂
I feel horrible that you had such a bad experience. My husband and I arrived in SF on Saturday night from KC and we met some of the friendliest people…starting with the flight attendnedants giving us free drinks if we kept them updated on the score:). Even when we were watching the end of the game and getting stomped, the staff at the airport bar/restaurant talked about how fun the series was and fun it was to watch the Royals…even wishing us luck (but not too much luck!). On Sunday we had a wonderful day sight seeing and going around the City- ho heckling or rude comments the entire day! Giants fans gave us directions and welcomed us to their city…we couldn’t believe how kind they were! We even walked about a mile to the Stadium with a Giants fan visiting the entire way. He pointed out a couple places we should go eat if we had time. We were surrounded by Giants fans at the game and they were not rude or mean to us. As we were leaving, one man that had been chatting with us a little made sure that he told us to have a safe trip home and hoped we’d enjoyed our time. Once we got out of the stadium, we needed some directions to get to BART (public transportation) . I went up to a cop and asked for some directions. A gentleman and his son were visiting with the cop and he said he was heading to the train, and we could walk with them. We had a lovely walk from the stadium. Even rowdy fans along the way were nice..Remember the crazy dancing guy that they showed on the Jumbo Tron in the white shirt dancing to Disco music? He hugged me and thanked us for visiting their town and stadium, when we were heading down an escalator, there were other Royals fans and I commented to them rather loudly that it was ok because it would be so great to win it all at home! The Giants fans around me laughed and joked- they loved it, what a great attitude and it wasn’t over yet! On the train ride back to our hotel, there was 1 guy that was drunk and a little obnoxious, but just yelling , “let’s go Giants”. Other fans were almost apologetic to us saying there’s always 1 in a crowd and it had been such a fun Series. We heard numerous times that they don’t hate the Royals. They wish we could change our color because they do hate the Dodgers and the Royals having the same blue wasn’t easy!
My husband and I were talking about the lesson we learned from the Giants fans. I mean, don’t get me wrong, we are kind people. We are from the Midwest. I grew up on a farm in Iowa:) and we felt like we need to be nicer to visiting fans when we see them in KC. I hate it that you had such a rotten experience. I think the fans that we encountered would be ashamed that some of their own made you feel that way. Just wanted you to know that our experience was one we’ll never forget because it was wonderful and we were treated with respect and kindness.
Susan, thank you for sharing your experience. I think most of the KC visitors had a similar experience as yours. I think Jenna’s experience let us know how bad she had must have behaved so she got that kind of treatment. Nobody likes a visitor with an “I am better than thou” attitude. I saw some well behaved KC fans who were not molested by SF fans. I also got to see KC fans being colossal dicks on the streets. Sure, they were not welcomed here. After all, here we only get one side of the story. Hopefully you can visit SF sometime soon!
Wow, Daniel. I’ve never had or will ever have an “I am better than thou” attitude. We were honestly just walking around, minding our own business, when we experienced the Giants fans this weekend. I never said anything to any of them to initiate such treatment. This is my story to tell. I’m sorry if it upsets you. We were very well behaved and did not ask for any of this.
It makes me so happy to hear that some of our Royals fans were treated well. I heard mostly bad accounts on the news stations, so that’s why I decided to not keep quiet and tell my story. I know not all Giants fans are bad. That’s not what I was saying at all. I was just giving food for thought 😉 I will be back to San Fran sometime in the next year. My best friend moved there this year. It just won’t be for another sporting event. Oh, and I too grew up on a farm 🙂 only it was in Nebraska. Midwest people are the kindest! Thanks for your thoughts.
Just stop wearing Dodger blue would ya? 😉 Listen, like a couple posters said there are bad fans at every event. It’s a shame you saw so many of them and they dictated your paradigm of San Francisco, because it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world!!!
I went to Game 4 and sat behind a couple Royals fans. The whole section would boo them when they left for beers and came back, one guy even yelled for the usher to escort him out. It was all in good fun. But honestly, I couldn’t help but be impressed as to how they could still be in a good mood after the 7th inning. Before then my stomach was in knots!!! But they were and I know for a fact they enjoyed themselves.
To try and answer for those bitter fans, I know some that resent the fact that KC is getting so much love when in 2010 the Giants were not only underdogs, but after they won it everyone said they were just lucky. After 2012, they were just lucky again, or the “Detroit bats fell asleep”. So there is a lot riding on this for us. If the Giants take 3 in 5 years, that will squander every “lucky”, “bats asleep” moniker, and perhaps finally they can get the respect they deserve.
One last thing, the “SF” Giants had never won a WS title prior to 2010, so believe me as a fan I understand what the average KC fan is going through and it’s magical isn’t it? Most fans that I know like your team because they remind us of 2010. Scrappy, pitching, defense, never quit, TEAM supported by a fan base just dying to feel that victory. Besides all we hear out here is how good Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers deep payroll is.
Come back to San Francisco, enjoy the city and I hope your next experience is away from rude people who just don’t get it.
Thank you Mike for your kind words 🙂 my stomach was in knots too! Lol. It’s been a fun series [baseball-wise] thus far . . . now onto Game 7!
Well as a Steelers fan who has watched many a game at Arrowhead, I wouldn’t say KC is the nicest place to be when wearing an opposing team’s jersey, but I never felt unsafe. My husband did though, the last time he went to the Steelers game in KC. He went with a few guys, but he was honestly worried about a couple of guys trying to pick a fight.
I’m bummed to hear that, Lisa 🙁 loved the retro jersey’s the Steelers wore this past weekend, though! Very cool.
For those who said it happens everywhere, I sat next to a Giants fan the entire game 6 last night. There was not a single word of trash talk from anyone. Not on the way into the stadium, inside at stores, concessions, or our seats, or on the way out. Great to see the class exhibited by our fans in blue last night! I am a season ticket holder for the Chiefs. I will admit it is a different atmosphere, and more likely to be hostile to visitors. Yet I also didn’t see a single incident this past Sunday versus the Rams that required security involvement. Midwest proud!
Nice to hear, Kevin! Thanks for stopping by 🙂