Tuesday, December 18, 2012

How the Giants, the Niners, the A's, and even the Warriors made the Bay Area our sports city of the year

A love letter to the Bay Area and our sports. I agree with every word of this article. 

"Sergio Romo's not from the Bay Area — he's from Brawley, near where California bleeds into Mexico — but he became a kind of local folk hero this year. He took over for Brian Wilson after the eccentric closer went down for the season, bringing an excitable, beardo charisma to the Giants' bullpen. But more important, Romo seemed to embrace the meaning of playing in the Bay Area. Fans want to win, but they also want their heroes to respect what it means to play here, to understand our values and beliefs and history. Romo showed up to the parade wearing a T-shirt that read "I JUST LOOK ILLEGAL." In the past, he's worn another shirt that boasts, "Made in the USA with parts from Mexico." 

 It's the kind of gesture you can imagine happening only in a tirelessly liberal place like the Bay Area. It's an easy place to caricature, and having moved away long ago, I find those things funnier than ever...You might disagree with Romo's quasi-political, ethno-hippie statement, and it's doubtful that anyone in Northern California went to the polls a few days later with his provocation on their mind. But Romo reminded us, if for a moment, of the unpredictable effects of feeling high or low based on how successfully a bunch of strangers defend a patch of grass — and of where all this might take you. "Look at the diversity," he explained to a reporter when quizzed about his shirt, "the different faces from different places, the different strokes. We all had one, how do you say, dream." Every photograph of him that day showed him flashing a different grin. "You should be very proud. I am very proud." It was a reminder that an athlete might do something that hundreds of thousands of people with little in common other than the coincidence that they all live near a bay would never forget. And in return, that place might change him, too."

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