On Monday November 1st, 2010 – the San Francisco Giants made history by winning their first World Series title since moving to the City by the Bay. Tim Lincecum pitched eight scoreless innings, Edgar Renteria homered for three runs in the top of the seventh, and Brian ‘fear the beard’ Wilson flawlessly closed out the ninth with a ground out and two convincing strikeouts.
No doubt, I was ecstatic that the team I grew up watching finally won the ultimate prize, surprised that of all teams this “band of misfits and rejects” made it work, and 15 minutes late for my Monday night bible study.
But, amidst all the bro-mance hugs, champagne spraying, and countless of sighs of relief; the one thing that stood out to me wasn’t the Giant’s “cinderella” story or even Aubrey Huff’s “lucky” thong. The one thing that left me scratching my head in curiosity happened just moments after Nelson Cruz whiffed strike three ‘for the lost’ – Brian ‘fear the beard’ Wilson threw up his notorious “X” arm gesture.
I have certainly seen him throw up this arm gesture many times before, but this time was different. Of course, yes, he just lived out every little league pitcher’s dream by throwing the winning pitch of the World Series, but it was more than that. He crossed his arms with such authority. He clinched his fist and pointed up, roaring like Simba on roids. And he gazed up to the sky, fixing his eyes intently on something tangible and real – it was too different, I had to find to out the meaning of this highly contagious “X” arm gesture.
I had a couple of assumptions or general ideas as to what this cross armed craze was all about. Judging from Brian Wilson’s nutty personality and obscenely bright orange cleats (not seen here), I figured that it might have some sort of ‘gray’ or ‘borderline’ meaning. I’ll be honest, that’s what I originally thought. I mean come on, crossed arms, left hand in a fist, and right index finger pointing up – evokes memories of WWE’s infamous ‘suck it’ arm/hand gesture (if you’re unfamiliar, just think of it as a 2nd class middle finger).
Later that night I searched “brian wilson arm gesture” and the top result answered everything: http://blogs.mercurynews.com/extrabaggs/2008/07/14/at-long-last-brian-wilson-reveals-the-meaning-behind-his-crossed-arms-gesture-after-he-saves-a-game/
I love being surprised. According to the article, Brian Wilson’s…
Crossed Arms – Represents “One More Round” clothing line that Brian Wilson wears underneath his jersey. “It has to do with the drive and determination that certain fighters have when their backs are against the wall. It’s, ‘No matter how deep I am in this fight, no matter how badly burned I am, I’ve got one more round in me.’ … No matter what it takes, I’ve got one more in me.”
Left Hand in a Fist – Represents “… the power of the Holy Trinity: the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The fist is a symbol of a circle. It’s never-ending.”
Pointed Right Index Finger – Represents “… one man. I’m (Wilson) that one person. And I can only go so far in life leaning on my own understandings and my own strength.”
With all three parts together – “… the strength of God [on one hand] and the strength of man [on the other]. And without him, I am nothing. I can only go so far in this life. But when I cross, I now have this one person with the strength of Christ, and I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me. I can get over any battle in life.”
Wow, I love that! One limited man. One never-ending God. Crossed together = Brian ‘fear the beard’ Wilson – reppin’ Christ on baseball’s biggest stage.
Although Brian Wilson doesn’t explicitly say it, I definitely think that his “crossed” arms most certainly alludes to the Cross; where God himself, offered the perfect sacrifice.
Brian ‘fear the beard’ Wilson goes on to say that he plays for an “audience of one” and that he “doesn’t play for anything else”. He also comments that his arm gesture mean “no disrespect … [only] positive praise”. “What more perfect time to display my faith than at the end of a game.”
So who does Brian ‘fear the beard’ Wilson really fear? I think that should be pretty obvious by now – but in case you missed it, the man with the quirky personality, sporting bright orange cleats and one oversized jet-black beard, fears God.
“Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. – Psalm 33:8-9
Here’s my version of Brian ‘fear the beard’ Wilson. Dug up my old dusty glove, borrowed my brother’s little league hat, and strapped on my trusty asian grandma visor as a beard.