Dodgers/Giants Rivalry to Me!
Sunday, April 2, 2017 at 3:07PM
JOHN KELLY KEENAN

When I was a kid, I didn’t hate the Giants, because the Dodgers/Giants rivalry wasn’t a big deal. Dodgers/Yankees… now that was a big deal!

You gotta understand, I began my fandom in 1977 -- an era when the Dodgers and Yankees met in the World Series three times in five years. That was the rivalry -- especially for a kid growing up in suburban-northern New Jersey. That’s right! Before I was a Dodgers fan in Giants country, I was a blue blood in Yankee-land.  While I worshiped Garvey, Cey, Lopes, and Russell, all my friends loved Reggie Jax, Ron Guidry, and Graig Nettles. I shed plenty of tears in ‘77 and ‘78. But, in ‘81, I proudly shoved that pain back in those spoiled-Yankee-fans faces.

How could I hate the Giants when they were so ordinary. And, the teams were never good at the same time. The Dodgers dominated the 70’s and 80’s. By the time San Francisco finally won a division in ‘87, the Dodgers stunk, and I was going off to college with plenty of other things on my mind. Hell, I even rooted for the Giants in the ‘89 Earthquake series.

Ok, I admit it, there was one reason to hate the Giants -- 1982. Joe Morgan -- a brief Giant -- knocked the Dodgers out of the playoffs with a homer on the last day of the season. It sucked -- but it wasn’t like the Giants advanced instead. It merely gave the division to the Braves. Besides, that winter, a bigger tragedy loomed. Garvey and Cey were leaving the Dodgers, and other big names would soon follow (I would say goodbye to all my favorites -- Lopes, Russell, Baker, Sutton, Hooten, Reggie Smith, and Yeager). The team of my youth was gone forever.

Revenge is a dish best served, with pizza -- I mean Piazza! In 1993, Barry Bonds proved that you can go home again. He led the Giants to 103 wins in his first season in San Francisco. But, rookie of the year, Mike Piazza sent the Giants into hibernation for the winter with 2 epic homers, giving the division to -- who else -- but the Braves. What a coincidence. Oh, and in a case of wonderful irony -- that was Will Clark’s last game as a Giant! -- payback is a bitch!

So, some rivalry seeds were sown. But, through the Barry Bonds years, the Dodgers were not that good. The rivalry simmered. I even wanted the Giants to win the 2003 series. Hell, I never felt threatened by the Giants finally winning something. Besides -- I loved watching Barry hit.

In 2008, things changed. I move up to San Francisco in 2008, and the Dodgers returned to dominance with back to back NLCS appearances in ‘08 & ’09.

Then 2010 happened. Sure, I rooted against the Giants, but I tolerated their win without angst. I figured the sun shines on the back of every dog’s ass sometime -- right?

2012 sucked.

2014 really sucked.

So, here we are!

I am a Dodger fan in Giants-country --  and the rivalry is now very real.

Article originally appeared on My Writing Life (http://johnnypromo.squarespace.com/).
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