Wednesday, September 15, 2021

True Colors: My Team Wears Orange and Black

A sports jersey for your favorite professional sports team can now cost you some serious money depending on the material used and how closely you want to be associated with your obsession: $75 for an ‘authentic replica’ or $150 for a ‘genuine game jersey.’ So go easy on that guy wearing his best San Jose Sharks jersey anywhere besides a Sharks game at HP Pavilion; his outfit probably cost more than yours. 

The marketing of sport team apparel is big bucks, and it seems there is a huge audience of folks willing to pay for it. As soon the 49ers started losing the glorious luster created by Emperor Bill Walsh and Sir Eddie of ‘Shut Up and Write the Check’, the new owners got religion and started changing the teams logo, ever so slightly, as well as the uniform colors (hard to tell the subtle difference between shades of the old red and new crimson from section 56 in centerfield of Candlestick Park, but it’s there), thereby creating a way for the loyal minions to pony up their fair share of the new quarterbacks weekly paycheck via updated jerseys, and proving you don’t need to be official shareholders to pay for the expenses of your team. Yes Virginia, you helped pay for Alex Smith‘s contract when you bought that new Frank Gore jersey that you now wear while booing your quarterback lustily from section 56.

The San Francisco Giants are my baseball team, and their colors are orange and black. They have been that way for a long time, and I like that. The fact that it has a sort of spooky Halloween motif is not lost on the fans of my team. Spooky is good, as in “Let’s intimidate the other guy with whatever BS we can muster.” After all, there was fear in “Fear the Beard“, and it worked. Announcer Mike Krukow once encouraged the fans to wear all black during a playoff game, his logic being that the other team “would hear us but not see us and that will freak them out! “ It’s not the point that his strategy made no logical sense; the fans all wore black, and if memory serves, we won that game.

The San Francisco Giants have a large list of special promotion games honoring the diversity of their fans including a green logo on St. Patrick’s Day, an orange and yellow logo on Mexican/American Day, a tie-dye logo on Remember Jerry Garcia Day (my personal left field favorite), and a rainbow flag colored logo on LGBT Day at The Ballpark, for when it comes to baseball, all are welcome in The City By The Bay. But in the end, my team wears orange and black. And like life and the dreaded New York Yankee pinstripes, sometimes it’s just that simple. 

Ken Owen   February 2011

Van Niddy Press