Sunday, November 2, 2014

A World Series Parade: How Could You NOT Go?

On Halloween, the City of San Francisco hosted a parade to honor the 2014 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants. A day for orange and black celebrated what the men in orange and black completed in Kansas City just two days prior. Friends and neighbors for the past two days have asked the same question: Did you go? And there's really only one way I know to answer this question. It's with another question. How could I not go? And, if you love the Giants, I think you have to be prepared to answer this question too. 
This picture sums it up: Yes! Yes! Yes!
First, I want to acknowledge that there are valid reasons that some might not go. For one, the parade started at 12:00 noon. Not all places of employment are conveniently located along the parade route or and most will not close for business. For others, transportation is a legitimate challenge. I know that my brother who lives in Washington DC was unable to access one of the many forms of public transportation available to folks in the Bay Area. Had he gotten a ride, I know he would have positioned himself on Market Street well in advance of the parade's commencement. 

Fortunately for me, the school where I teach cancelled all classes on Friday. Our entire community had the honor and privilege of attending the public celebration of a great team. It was interesting for me to hear what people had to say about going to the parade...or not.
Dear Bruce Bochy, Please write a manual on leadership. You own this topic.
Some were disinterested because they don't like crowds. Others wanted to avoid the rain. One person even quipped, "it's not like it's the first one." To me, their reasons rang hollow. Stay away from City Hall if you want to avoid the masses. A true outdoorsman once told me: there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear. Come prepared. As much as I wanted to say "your excuse is egregiously pathetic, some fans wait their entire lives for a World Series Championship and a victory parade," I think it's more important to point to why it's more than worth it to "just show up" and go. 

The sheer joy and elation that fills the air is incredible. To see the athletes that we have cheered for since April "up close and personal" is awesome. They are there because what they achieved "Giant Together" is legendary. Without a doubt, what we saw by Madison Bumgarner qualifies (The homily at today's mass even referenced his feat). To see him standing as a man, surrounded by family and friends in his own float was an honor. How could we not celebrate MadBum again?! And I believe he gets to say "thank you" back to us. Every player has a response and reaction that is as unique as they are. It's such a treat to see.
The Giants promo says "Champions Together." Can we put an * by this. With MadBum, we are....
And how often does one get to partake in a truly communal celebration. The parade is free—no ticket required. It's for the public—from the Croix de Candlestick crowd, to the bandwagon members, all are welcome! My friend brought his two sons. I had a great "hang" with two co-workers. Being there made me wish I could share the experience with all of those who have loved the Giants in the past and those who I know couldn't be there.

For Catholics, the sacramental life is rooted in community. When you love someone or something, you invest in how they are and what they do. This team captured our hearts. They had a lot of it.  Showing up to celebrate that community means I become much more than a fan. I am a witness. It means the person next to me is a witness. Indeed we are all witnesses. An orange October reigns supreme. How could I not go?
Personal Highlights:
  • The float that played Sly & the Family Stone's R&B song: "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)." When you're cold/ in the rain a little funk always helps. 
  • Thank you for putting Giants on the rooftop of buses. Two years ago, they were each in convertibles. This way, everyone was able to see the G-men!
  • Continuing to note what a good ride Steve Perry, former lead singer of the band Journey has had in all of this. Even he was in the parade.
  • Not going to lie here...Michael Morse is a handsome man in the WS tee. My friend said he looks like a Neanderthal. At 6'5" and the player who had an all important RBI in Game 7, call him what you want.
  • That Jeffrey Leonard, the Hackman, was celebrated. I support his work with the OneFlapDown foundation.
  • I hope you have your own!
Photo Credits


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