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Murph: It’s OK to be anti-blue and celebrate the Dodgers’ World Series loss



The Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the World Series, and as a Murph & Mac Friend of the Program said: “It’s my 4th best night of baseball in the last seven years!”

Pretty good line from a diehard Giants fan.

Yes, Dodger-hating Giants fans — yours truly, leading the parade — are fist-bumping in corporate hallways, sipping that Happy Hour beer with a satisfied smile and generally thanking the cojones-laden Astros for denying our bitter rivals their first World Series title since 1988.

This leads to today’s Jock Blog question: Are Giants fans like me soulless spoilsports stooping to schadenfreude, or merely spirited fans keeping an ancient rivalry’s embers burning, to honor a century-plus of sporting competition?

And the answer is: Yes.

If you’ve heard our show, you know I was not bashful about rooting against the Dodgers. Part of the passion comes from a sports fan’s contractual obligation to keep the fun alive by always having a rooting interest (Red Sox fans hate the Yankees; Ohio State fans hate Michigan, etc.). Part of the passion comes from honoring a rivalry that spans two coasts and many generations. And another part, the bigger part, comes from a Giants’ fans wind-whipped scars from Candlestick Park.

For anyone between the ages of 35 and 65, the rivalry cuts deep.

Our sporting sensibilities were formed from the time the two teams landed in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and the glamor boys down South hogged all the glory. From 1959 to 1963 to 1965, and then from 1981 to 1988, the Dodgers won *five* World Series titles while our sad-sack Gigantes won none.

That’s from Eisenhower to Reagan; from phonographs to CDs; from buzz cuts to hippies to disco to New Wave. It was an all-encompassing dominance, and Dodgers fans of those decades barely acknowledged the existence of the Giants. Many was the time I was told: “You guys think we’re rivals; but our real rivals are the Reds and teams like that; you know, teams that actually compete.”


Giants fans had to be scrappy and take pride in being downtrodden. 1962 was glorious for my parents’ generation; beating the Dodgers in Dodger Stadium for ’62 pennant — even though the Giants lost Game 7 of the World Series — was the first time the black-and-orange could plant a flag in the West Coast version.

After all, you have to honor the East Coast history, too. In 1934, Giants manager Bill Terry (his No. 4 is retired on the walls of AT&T Park) was asked about the then-lowly Dodgers. “Are they still in the league?” he queried sarcastically. Great line, but the Dodgers wound up knocking the Giants out of the ’34 pennant with two wins on the final two days of the season. Think they enjoyed that?

In 1946, Leo (The Lip) Durocher, then-manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, sized up Mel Ott’s Giants and noted what a “nice” bunch of guys they were. It was only a set up to his legendary line: “Nice guys finish last” — said of the Giants. The actual line, according to some, was “the nice guys are over there, in seventh place”, but you get the idea. A zinger. Dodgers-Giants, style.

October 3, 1951, of course is one of the most famous days in baseball history, and it involved the Giants and Dodgers. “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”, anyone? Bobby Thomson? Ralph Branca? “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!” — heard of it, yes, kids?

My friend San Diego Mike, his Grandpa was a diehard Giants fan in New York. His downstairs neighbors in the their apartment building in Brooklyn were huge Dodgers fans. Grandpa Mike told us California kids in the 1970s that he remembers running downstairs to bang on their neighbors’ door, only to find the whole family around the radio in the kitchen, crying.

Giants-Dodgers. You root against each other. That’s the fun.

Ask Terry Forster and Joe Morgan in 1982, a landmark year when the defending World Series champ Dodgers eliminated the Giants from the west on the Friday night in the season’s final weekend, only to see Morgan homer off Forster on the Sunday at Candlestick Park to eliminate the Dodgers. For a Giants team with no World Series titles in San Francisco, it felt like a Fall Classic win.

At Dodger Stadium in 1993, the Dodgers roared and roared and roared as they clobbered the 103-win Giants on season’s final day, denying Dusty Baker’s crew an NL West tie with Atlanta. I know. I was there. I had Dodger fans deeply in my air space that day. I will never forget that noise. Mike Piazza. Blecch.

We could go on. You get the point.

And when a guy at a Halloween party this week, a transplanted New Jersey guy who likes the Mets, said to me: “But how can you not root for the Dodgers? They’re from California . . .” and “But your team has won three World Series titles; they haven’t won one since 1988, let them have one . . . “ it took all of my Candlestick DNA to gently remind the gent that, no, that’s now it works.

This is a rivalry. It’s sports. Its fun. This is where we honor history and generations and keep traditions alive, and pass them on.

Giants fans don’t root for the Dodgers. In fact, we root for them to lose.

And it’s OK.

In fact, by the 27th out at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night, it was fun as heck.

Fist bump, anyone?

See ya in Scottsdale.