SFBay photos by Scot Tucker and Evan Mew
CITY HALL — A Giants commercial spot at the beginning of the 2012 regular season referred to the cheers of the crowd as “40,000 strong.”
At the time, that number sounded enormous.
After today’s World Series parade and ceremony at Civic Center, 40,000 sounds like nothing.
Take it from someone at the center of the madness — downtown San Francisco looked like it was full of millions of people. It looked like Woodstock.
It was like someone took the crowd from Outside Lands, dipped them in orange and black paint and gave them each a CSN “Authentic Fan” sign.
Even at 7:45 in the morning, when this little tutu-ed fan stepped off the BART train, Market Street was already lined with fans that had been there long before I arrived.
Vendors hawking championship gear lined the streets leading up to City Hall. Fans — and fellow tutu-sporters — Danelle from Fairfield and Apple from Vallejo told SFBay they’d been en route to the festivities since before the sun came up:
“We’ve been out since 5 a.m. We had to take the ferry to get over here.”
I navigated a sea of lawn chairs and picnic blankets belonging to fans that had been camping out since the wee hours. Some had called in sick to work or school so they wouldn’t miss out on the fun.
Said students Marish and Jessica from Daly City:
“Some teachers told us to go to the parade. Because they knew people were going to miss school for it anyways.”
Fans of all ages — from all parts of California — were muddled together on the cemented stretch in front of City Hall.
Some started the often-heard “Let’s Go Giants!” chant, while a group behind me blew up balloons to be volleyed throughout the never-ending sea of people.
The crowd remained somewhat subdued for the majority of the morning, some even falling asleep in their lawn chairs. But once footage of the activity down Market began to stream on the jumbo screens outside city hall, the mass of people began to roar.
Some of that loud noise could’ve been due to the fact half of those attending had packed alcohol for the event, but who am I to complain?
Despite a parade that I’m pretty sure stretched much longer than the parade two years ago — lasting about two-and-a-half hours, give or take — the plaza came alive again as the coaches, families, broadcasters, and of course, the players, emerged from City Hall’s double front doors.
The applause for some was so deafening, you couldn’t make out what announcers Dave Fleming and John Miller were saying into their microphones. I’m not sure a single person could hear what they were saying about Sergio Romo, but I’m sure it was very nice.
Players weren’t the only ones receiving mountains of applause. Miller and Flem busted a move to “Gangdam Style” and received a wave of cheers. The vast majority of the crowd might be sick of hearing that song, but they certainly haven’t gotten tired of watching their favorite KNBR announcers dance around like crazy people.
I think the Giants organization can sleep well knowing they threw a city-wide bash that outdid every other festival and event in San Francisco.
It’s also safe to say this season’s parade might have outdone the 2010 parade. Because, as Giants announcers Renel Brooks-Moon proclaimed from her podium on the steps of City Hall:
“It was so nice, we had to do it twice.”