I made it to Fan Fest 2010!
But first, let me start off by saying, I have been to many a convention, event, whatever you wanna call it, about many a subject matters. All geek. Comic conventions, sci-fi conventions, Star Trek conventions, I’ve been to them all. This was my first sports event/convention. Frankly, I don’t get the difference. It’s full of the same exact fanboyish people (myself included) as all the other conventions I’ve been to. I officially don’t get the difference between geeks and jocks. You guys are all the same, sorry to break it to you. The person obsessing about a baseball team is just as weird, cross eyed, smelly and socially awkward as the person obsessing about Babylon 5. All the same stereotypes were there. Seriously, it’s the same. Sorry to break it to you, but can’t we all just get along now?
Like I said before, I wasn’t sure if it was going to be my thing. So what really sold it was the fact that it was free and it was on a Saturday where I had no conflicts. I went thinking, worse comes to worse, I can leave whenever I want and I’m not really out anything. I also didn’t really know what to expect, so I decided to have no expectations or “mission” on what I wanted to accomplish. Ultimately, I ended up meandering around and taking it all in, checking out what it was all about, and I had a pretty good time doing it. Rather than a play-by-play, here are some random thoughts about the experience:
AUTOGRAPHS – That was the big thing. There were three autograph lines (or maybe two autograph lines and a photo line) and they were out the door. I knew up front I wasn’t going to try and get autographs because I didn’t want to spend my first trip standing in line. Good strategy because those lines were probably and hour + wait each. On the plus side, you’d probably average about three autographs per line, on the down side, there was no control over what autograph you were going to get because they’d rotate out players as you were standing there. But, if you love the team, I suppose it doesn’t really matter which team member signs your junk, right? Next year I think maybe I’ll bring a baseball and do the line at least once, but I am glad that this year I decided up front not to worry about it.
LINCECUM – The man is definitely a superstar to Giants fans. Every time he moved from one area to another, the stadium would erupt with cheers as if it were a full house, and it wasn’t even close. Every time he was on stage, people would shout “we love you” or “pay him!” I think there’s a new movement where people are wearing hats with long hair attached, in tribute to his locks. I completely get why everyone is hating the Giants for haggling with this guy instead of paying him what he wants. The love for him is just amazing. (I think the Giants have every right to haggle, and I don’t think it’s as big a deal as people are making it out to be, but that’s another post.) Here’s Lincecum being interviewed by KNBR:
STADIUM – I’ve never actually been inside AT&T park. I’ve seen the outside many times, but this was the first time I was able to peek inside the walls. The last time I went to a Giants game, they were still playing in Candlestick and Will Clark was on 1st base. It’s a beautiful stadium. The first thing I did when I got there, and probably one of my favorite parts of the whole experience, was step onto the field (which was devoid of grass) and look around. Crazy to imagine a full stadium looking down at you while you’re trying to play a game. No pressure! I also made a point to stand on the pitchers mound and touch ever base (except home, because KNBR’s booth was sitting on it). Here’s a pic of the stands from the pitcher’s mound:
PLAYERS – First thing I saw on my way down to stand on the field was Tim Lincecum and Mark DeRosa in the autograph booth. What a trip to see the guys that I’ve been writing about the last few months in person. Equally a trip for me was that one of the gawkers standing next to me ask “who’s that dude?” in reference to DeRosa and I was able to answer him! Go me! Here’s DeRosa waiting to sign:
As far as player interaction, didn’t accomplish that much. Mostly I watched them being interviewed by KNBR, but every time I sat there watching, I always felt like I was wasting the experience because I could have stayed home and listened to KNBR on the radio. They probably interviewed everyone that was there, but I only sat down for Lincecum, DeRosa and Jeremy Affeldt, and I mostly only did that because I had to sit to eat my overpriced snacks.
On the Club level, there was another interview section, and one player, while waiting for his interview, was taking pictures and signing autographs. I had no clue who he was, but I tried to get someone to snap a photo of me with him anyway, figuring I could look him up later. I was next in line when he was suddenly rushed by a pack of kids. So, figuring the children are our future, I let them lead the way. But then after he was done with them, he had to leave to get interviewed, so I missed out. I still looked him up though, of course, and it was Brandon Medders. Oh well!
CONFUSION – I found the entire organization somewhat confusing. It seemed very difficult to get around to the various areas where things were happening. I never did find the batting cages, or the supposed clubhouse tour. Every time I went to the Club level, I had to get directions from someone on how to get back down to the first floor. Navigating from one side of the field to the other seemed like a maze. I never saw Will Clark or Pablo Sandoval, though I suppose if I had sat watching KNBR all day they would have showed up. That’s one thing though, that the geeks have on the jocks, better event organization.
TWEETUP – The first annual Twitter Tweetup was kind of interesting, kind of not. There was a lot of waiting, and then we got to see the Scoreboard Control Room and the Marketing and Sales offices, which were cool, but we kinda just walked through them and then it was all over. No real explanation or guidance as to what we were looking at. Still, it was the first year they tried this, and it was somewhat last minute, so I’m glad I got to participate. Hopefully next year they’ll have the kinks worked out. Here’s a pic of the meetup:
ORANGE AND BLACK ATTACK – Okay not the actual organization, but just the wave of orange and black at this thing was impressive. I, of course, had no Giants paraphernalia. I figured whatever though, they’ll still let me in. But when I got there and saw the sea of orange and black, I got nervous that I might get lynched if I walk in hat-less, wearing a green sweatshirt and bluejeans So I swung into the Giants store before hitting the stadium and bought a hat. I was shooting for an official 5950, but my head size wouldn’t cooperate, so I went with the 2010 batting practice variation, which had less size restrictions. I’m not used to wearing a hat. My head itched a lot, but at least I blended in!
ALL-IN-ALL – I feel like I’m missing lots of little things I should have written about, but oh well. I’ve always enjoyed hanging out amongst fandom, and Giants fans are no expectation. You can definitely feel the love! It was a fun experience, I’m glad I went. Different than past events I’ve gone to, as mentioned above, where I knew what I was doing and what I wanted to accomplish, but it was fun to spend the day meandering and soaking in Giants fanaticism. Definitely got me stoked for the 2010 season to hurry up and start already!
BTW, Charlie Brown really is a Giants fan!
More photos from my Fan Fest 2010 trip can be seen here!