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Not just for boys: Mills students celebrate Giants’ win

Hundreds of thousand of fans flocked downtown San Francisco on Nov. 3 for a parade honoring the San Francisco Giants, the 2010 World Series champions. (Courtesy of California Beat)

On Monday, Nov. 1, the San Francisco Giants defeated the Texas Rangers in the fifth game of the World Series, marking the first World Series win in in the city’s history. Fans joyously celebrated this historic victory by parading through the streets and screaming with strangers throughout the city.

Mills students enthusiastically joined in the excitement, disproving popular mainstream assumptions that women are not as invested in sports as men.

Mary Grimes, a second-year dance graduate student, has been a lifelong Giants fan.

“When I went away to college, I made the Giants’ website my homepage just so that I could stay up to date on them,” Grimes said. “They’ve just always been my team.”

Grimes said she felt like this series was especially exciting, and loved the way San Francisco rallied around the team.

“I just loved the way it brought the whole city together – people everywhere were wearing their orange and black and supporting the team,” Grimes said. “It was really heart warming.”

Grimes watched sports with her mother growing up, and never viewed being a female sports fan as unusual.

“I think that I surprise people with my knowledge of baseball, and especially the Giants, because I have very little interest in any other sport, so it seems to come out of left field, but I’ve never felt like I’ve really been treated differently for it,” Grimes said. “I do think, though, that baseball has a different connotation than a lot of other sports, and I would imagine if I were a huge fan of football or hockey, I may have a very different answer.”

Grimes has seen the Giants play live many times, but could not make it to any of the Series games.

“My dream Giants experience would be to have been at that game five and seen that final win,” Grimes said. “But I have faith that we’ll get there again soon and next time I’ll be sure to do whatever I need to do to be at one of those games!”

Junior Ashley Shaffer said she considers herself a casual fan, but
followed the series closely. Shaffer’s father and younger brother are sports fans, which led to her interest in the game.

“It’s lame that’s it’s considered a male interest,” Shaffer said. “I think it’s a bummer that you’re considered a lesser fan if you’re female in some regard; people are surprised if you’re talking about the game.”

Regardless, Shaffer stayed up-to-date with the team.

“I was so surprised (they went to the Series); I would go home from work and watch the game,” Shaffer said. “My boyfriend would call or text me the score when I couldn’t see it,” Shaffer said. “It totally changed my relationship with baseball.”

Christie Frakes, a senior, was thrilled to see her favorite team win. She has been a Giants fan for the last ten years, and describes her allegiance to the team as “pretty hardcore”.

After Frake’s boss let everyone leave work an hour early, she watched the final game with a group of friends. She remembers the memorable last inning clearly.

“We screamed and jumped around,” Frakes said. “I’ve never seen one of my guy friends cry; he was tearing up cause it was so electric and emotional … You couldn’t not be super excited.”

Frakes said she feels like being a woman in a male dominated fan base tends to lead to some assumptions.

“I’ve always been a sports fan and a tomboy,” Frakes said.

“Especially this year, everybody if you see a girl in a uniform [people think] oh, bandwagon fan. People write it off [and ask] what do you know about anything? It’s kind of hard to deal with.”

Frakes said she also recognizes that many people did not follow the Giants regularly until they entered the Series, but does not feel like their excitement is any less legitimate.

“I welcome the bandwagon fans, what’s so wrong with the bandwagon fans if they’re cheering for your team? Those fans don’t contribute any less,” Frakes said.