Perhaps because stating baldly that you despise an entire people sounds
like something only a person wearing an armband would say, our bitterness is best cloaked through the manner in which we root
for our sports teams. Sometimes this is neither amusing nor subtle:
Giants fans in Chavez Ravine may get razzed a bit -- but ask a longtime
San Franciscan about that Dodgers double-header at the 'Stick back in '88 and
watch his smile fade. You haven't felt the vindictiveness that goes
hand in hand with an inferiority complex until you realize that the sickening
thump on the back of your stadium seat was a Dodger fan's head -- and
God knows where he was sitting before they threw him. By the way -- they don't really bleed Dodger blue.
Our obsession with our glamorous rival city is
more benevolently revealed by the light-hearted
print and TV coverage any time a "celebrity" shows up at a Bay Area
sporting contest. In Los Angeles it's no great shakes to share a
men's room trough with the guy whose face is adorning the billboard on the
outfield wall -- but here in San Francisco, we're definitely on the
wrong end of a famous fan gap. So it was no surprise that when the fellow who plays a plumber on Desperate Housewives showed up to take a few
cuts at the Giants' spring training complex, it did not go unnoticed.
Now, James Denton may be the most famous television plumber in history (not including Captain Lou Albano playing Mario during the Super Mario Brothers cartoon live segments). But, you know, the man ain't Brad Pitt. And, when the guy selling you a Dodgers ticket is also pushing a screenplay, it's hard to imagine an actor of similar stature getting a full story on the Los Angeles team's Web page and local dailies -- especially when he professes that he actually roots for the team's arch-rivals. But here we are, in essence, crying out "See? See? We get celebrity fans too! He was great in Season One!"
And who is the big winner here? Not Los Angeles -- remember, they're oblivious about everything down there. Not us. Not San Jose. It's Fresno. While San Francisco spews vitriol at Los Angeles and San Jose pines after San Francisco's status, Fresno is waiting, patiently waiting for its chance to strike at San Jose. It won't be long now.