If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you probably haven’t been bitten by the same post-season playoff bug that has hit me and every other San Francisco Giants baseball fan in the world this week. For the first time in seven years, my team, the Giants, has made it into the playoffs. Just to put it into perspective for you, the last time the Giants made it to the playoffs (before 2002 and 2003) was 1989! So it’s a pretty memorable event.
But what does “fear the beard” mean you might ask? Two words: Brian Wilson. The closing pitcher for the Giants, he’s one of my favorite ballplayers and something of an unofficial team mascot at times when he and Panda (that’s Pablo Sandoval) get the team pumped up and inspired. He basically started growing a beard for luck and got himself and the rest of the team jazzed by pitching some great games as the Giants went on to beat the Padres last week and clinch the division title.
For a writer as well as a fan, it feels like we’ve been living inside a storybook, as each of these games has been very close and down to the wire. The Giants, if anything, seem to love tension packed games that could rival any opera or movie or novel. This Thursday they start playing the Atlanta Braves and with only eight teams left in the league it will be a nerve-racking and memorable next few weeks. Needless to say, I’m not shaving much these days. Go Giants!