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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

World Series: After Too Damn Much Ado, Giants Crowned Kings

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 4:59 PM

click to enlarge Yay! PSY! - JOE ESKENAZI
  • Joe Eskenazi
  • Yay! PSY!

Today it took the San Francisco Giants two and a half hours to roll from the Embarcadero to City Hall. And you can't blame Muni.

The orange-clad fanatics began filing into Civic Center Plaza as early as 5 p.m. yesterday. They were rained on. They subsisted on snack crackers and Slim Jims. These are patient people. And yet, with the victory festivities lagging far behind schedule, the bleary-eyed masses let it be known that they wanted to be deliriously happy sooner rather than later. Chants of "hurry up," "play ball," and "let's get started" broke out, the latter to the tune of "let's go Giants."

The team made short work of Detroit in the World Series. But receiving its deserved bit of public adulation in the heart of the city was going to take a bit longer. More than an hour after the scheduled starting time, the crowd was cued in that something was about to happen by the full version of PSY's ubiquitous "Gangnam Style" video playing on the big screens. Not that long ago, it would have seemed crazy to imagine a pudgy South Korean rapper performing a goofy pony dance would be the world's hottest musician. Not that long ago, it would have seemed crazy to imagine watching his video during the Giants' second World Series parade in three years.

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Once started, the show resembled the Giants' early play against Cincinnati. The massive chapeau-wearing singer from Beach Blanket Babylon started out praising the World Series victory of "the San Francisco 49ers." But this was an easy crowd, and all you had to do to induce a cheer was mention the "San Francisco Giants."

She and her broom-waving cohorts sang a rousing version of "San Francisco." But anyone who attended the 2010 celebration -- not that long ago, mind you -- should recall this song bombing with a young crowd. These are the people doing PSY's pony dance.

Mayor Ed Lee took the microphone, and turned in an amazingly lifelike performance. He may have been being cute when he referred to Ryan Vogelsong as "Vogelstrong," but he definitely marred Madison Bumgarner's name as "Bumgarden," or "Bumgardener." Lee went far too long with his speech and you're not going to believe this, ladies and gentlemen, but it was completely unremarkable. He did, however, receive absolutely no crowd reaction. That's a step up from the boos and catcalls showered on then-Mayor Gavin Newsom during the last Giants coronation. Lee culminated his oration by presenting Giants CEO Larry Baer with the most expensive broom this side of a Nimbus 2000.

click to enlarge Vive l'orange - JOE ESKENAZI
  • Joe Eskenazi
  • Vive l'orange

More Speeches! Baer, Giants' general manager Brian Sabean, and manager Bruce Bochy all stepped up to the mic. Their words were not memorable -- but the flashes of sincerity and emotion were. The same goes for Marco Scutaro and Pablo Sandoval speaking in Spanish (the closed-captioning during their bit read, simply "[Speaking Spanish"]); Vogelsong referring either to this video or this video ("You're going to jail!"); Hunter Pence and Angel Pagan leading the team in a frenetic "slow clap"; or crowd favorite Sergio Romo remarking on how a socially diverse group of folks with wildly varying personalities coming together to accomplish great things was a microcosm for San Francisco. That's a good point, and Romo finished his speech like a pro with his signature line -- "That's what's up." There's a reason this man is the closer.

The day finally ended with national treasure Tony Bennett singing, what else, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." On a gray day, San Francisco's golden sun did indeed shine for us at that moment. That was magical, and this song was perfect for the occasion.

It is, when you think about it, both fleeting and eternal. So is this moment. So is this year's championship team.



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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

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