Holy hell, what a freaking day! This year's team is Major League come to life! I've been lurking on this site for years, hands down the best A's site in the world. I figured what a better time than now to finally make the move from lurker to participant.
I'm an A's fan. I have never been to Oakland. I've only been to California once (to San Fran, for a conference). I grew up in Michigan. I am an A's fan. I have been since I was 8 years old. I am 32 now. The Bash Brothers made me an A's fan. Jose Canseco is still my favorite player ever, no matter how big of douchebag he became. When I was a kid, my parents took me and my sisters to an annual Tigers game at the old Tigers Stadium. I made sure it was always against the A's. I was there when Cecil Fielder hit a home run out of the stadium off of Dave Stewart in 1990. My parents made me sit 3 rows behind them after that because I got so mad. Our minor league team is the West Michigan Whitecaps. I'm pretty sure I was the only person in Michigan mad when they switched affiliation from the A's to the Tigers. When got to college, I went to the A's-Tigers series in Detroit every year. When I had home plate seats, Kirk Gibson was the Tigers radio announcer. When he was introduced, I turned around and booed him with a one-finger salute. There's no way he didn't see me. I was at 3 games of the 20 game win streak. I saw them every year at least once at Comiskey in Chicago. When I moved to Virginia, I went to Opening Day in Baltimore in 2005 to see the A's. I ditched my grad school responsibilities to watch the 2006 playoffs. I lost it when Scutaro cleared the bases against the Twins. I rooted for the A's against my home state Tigers in 2006. My Dad (god rest) sent me the sports section when the Tigers swept. When I moved to New England, where I live now, I made and still make sure to see the A's at Fenway every year.
I have had MLB.tv, and before that MLB Radio, to follow the A's since 2002. I live in the eastern time zone and stayed up late every game of the 20 game win streak. I woke up my whole house when Hatteberg hit the winner. I get auto-text messages after every A's game with the score, which often wakes me up at 1:30 am. I wore an A's jersey to the Moneyball Opening Day and embarrassed my girlfriend. I then told her the differences between the book and the move and the parts of the 02 team they left out. I had a work conference today, forbidding me from watching the game. I followed Gamecast and escaped for the top of the 9th. I got home at 9:00 est, a bottle of champagne in hand. I put on my A's hat and jersey, went out to my deck, put on Kool and the Gang, and had my own celebration. My girlfriend thinks I'm nuts. She's right. I am an A's fan.
Sorry for the rambling, but I had to make a proper introduction. Thank you to all of the members here, the core ones especially, for making me and the rest of us non-Californians feel like we are part of this all. Blez, Nico, baseballgirl, and the rest of the core members, you guys are the best. My name is Josh, I am an A's fan, past, present, and future.
LET'S GO OAKLAND!!!!!