I really want to thank you all for the emotional blow out sessions after tough losses like yesterday. I'm honored that you even bother reading and responding to my posts and comments on this site. The hardest thing to do after a loss like that is painstakingly review everything in order to write a recap after the game. It just sucks. But when you can review it together with anyone else, it becomes basically a group therapy. The pain dissipates. People crack jokes. And we start to look forward.
I was planning on going to the airport and cheering on the team as they arrived home. I didn't go, because well, when you have a family and whatnot sometimes you can't do crazy things on the spur of the moment. But seeing this pic and the short video below helped ease the pain a little further. Seeing the Oakland fans never say die. Imagine if you are a player - that is one rough plane flight and a depressing drive home from the Oakland Airport in the middle of the night. Suddenly you come out and there are a few dozen people cheering with signs, making noise. That picks you up; it's not the number of people (although yes a thousand people might have been something REALLY special) but the fact that the fans got your back. That they cared enough to come out there AFTER A LOSS to welcome the team home and cheer them on for Game 5
In terms of elimination games -
I was there when we lost to the Twins in 2002. In the third deck. No one was there. It was somewhat anticlimactic. And depressing. I was there when we finally broke through in 2006. I brought a broom. We were doing broom hi-fives across multiple rows (somehow they let be bring a full size broom in). After we won I ran up to the tarped third deck and ran around the entire stadium. Specifically I was looking to see if Tim Kawakami was in the press area, as he had predicted another early exit. Yes I was an obsessive idiot when it came to the A's, and not much has changed. And of course, I was there for all three potential elimination games last year, when the A's gritted out a victory behind spectacular plays in game 3 and some big time clutch hitting in game 4. Game 5's loss didn't really hurt after Game 4. It wasn't the gut punch followed by resignation in 2002. It wasn't the feeling of inevitable failure after Game 2 of the 2006 ALCS, when I watched D'Angelo Jimenez fail and Frank Thomas fly out with the bases loaded. We gave the team the famous ovation.
Those fans at the airport, those fans in game 5, those are us. We are better than Tigers fans that boo their own all-star player in a 1-0 playoff game. We are better than Cubs or the pre-2004 Red Sox fans to complain about "curses" and "can't win the big one" and "not clutch" and other b.s. And this team is better than in 2012 and 2006.
This is not last year. Verlander is not superhuman. Scherzer is used up. The A's tagged Verlander in Detroit in August. Let's collectively get over the pain and move on to the task at hand: Losing our voices and sending all our collective energy in support of the A's tomorrow. I was not planning to go to the game because I was so bummed out. However due to the early start my wife cannot get out of work in time to go, so as fate would have it I am sent back to the Coliseum at least one more time this season.
Recently it came to light on various blog posts, that the "This Is Oakland" video, narrated by retired A's PA Announcer Roy Steele (a.k.a. "The Voice of God") was intentionally pulled from the A's website and purposefully removed from the planned pre-game ceremonies during the playoffs. No one from the A's is allowed to talk about why it was pulled, but the decision was sudden and it was done with no public announcement. The video was commissioned and created by the A's marketing department, and the plan prior to the postseason was to have the video on the A's website and air it on DiamondVision in the ballpark prior to every game. This info was recently confirmed by A's blogger Dale Tafoya and others. Well, given that (1) why it was pulled seems to be top-secret, (2) Bud Selig recently called the Coliseum a "pit" and (3) Lew Wolff is currently trying to negotiate a new lease on the Coliseum while continuing his plans to exit as soon as possible (while complaining about fans not showing up), it seems clear that it was removed for political reasons, at the expense of and without any consideration for loyal Oakland A's fans.
Who knows what the outcome will be tomorrow. But I'm damn sure that we will be loud, in full force, and have their back until the final out, no matter the recent history, and regardless of whether MLB and the A's ownership give a flying fuck about us. You know, and I know, that's what it means to be an Oakland A's fan - never give up until the last out. I'll let Mr. Steele take it from here: