The Bay Area is rich in sports fandom. Rightly so; what other demographic could support two NFL teams, two MLB teams, two NBA teams, an NHL team, and two NCAA football teams in major conferences? There is really nowhere like it from a sports perspective.
The Bay Area loves its teams, through the good and bad times. Sure, every team picks up bandwagon fans, but until somewhat recent times -- the Bay Area has endured mostly bad years. Still, we love our underachieving sports teams. With the exception of the San Jose Sharks, who have remained relevant for some time, we went 15 years without a championship in any sport. It's not exactly been a haven for frontrunner fans.
After Alex Smith wore his San Francisco Giants hat in a post-game interview, he was faced with a fine from the NFL. It was later rescinded, but it sparked unification. Following the news, San Francisco Giants manager, Bruce Bochy donned a San Francisco 49ers cap in his next pre-game interview. What we now know as #SFUnite was born.
Things have quieted down for the Niners and some of our initial excitement about acquiring players has subsided. But, yesterday, Anquan Boldin captured my interest in a surprising way.
I know Boldin is top-notch wide receiver. I know he worked our secondary in the Super Bowl. I know he established the Anquan Boldin Foundation aka Q81 Foundation. He takes an active role in the community. He is so noble, he actually traveled to Senegal to help the communities in Africa. By definition, Boldin is a humanitarian.
Honestly, I would have rooted for Boldin no matter the circumstance. I root for the team and all its members. But, you know what really made me like this guy and become a fan?
During yesterday's Giants game, Anquan Boldin tweeted:
He had me at #BeatLA. It's no secret. I love the San Francisco Giants. But, interestingly, even Athletics fans were commenting on his tweet. Realistically, Boldin is probably not a San Francisco Giants fan. Yet, here he is watching an MLB game, making an earnest effort to connect to the San Francisco community. He shows his awareness of our long standing rivalry with L.A. He pledged his allegiance, per se, to San Francisco. How cool is that?
It gets better. After the win, Boldin tweeted:
He mentioned a walk-off. Two days ago, against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Buster Posey hit a walk-off home run into the left-field seats in the 9th inning. He is following the Giants. That is simply awesome.
Maybe it was the welcome from the San Francisco Giants that sparked his attention? Who knows. Still, no matter what captured his interest, he is connecting with Bay Area fans. He connected with me.
In a sport where many world-class athletes are hubris and self-serving, he is appealing to his new fan base. And, really, there is no better way to do it. We love our sports. We love our teams. And, I love the fact that he already knows this about the Bay Area.
Now, I realize we only have Boldin locked in for one year. I have no idea whether or not he'll be with us next season. He may very well be a one hit wonder for San Francisco. It doesn't really matter. He's made a fan out of me.