Sunday, April 19, 2009

Last Monday, the Golden State Warriors got blown out by 29 points on Fan Appreciation Night. On Wednesday, the Oakland A’s nearly got no-hit by a 42-year-old knuckleball pitcher. On Thursday, the top-seeded San Jose Sharks got shut out at home in their first playoff game by the No. 8 seed. On Saturday, the San Francisco Giants also got shut out at home.
Who would have imagined they’d collectively have a worse week than Somali pirates?
The way things are going it’s a good thing the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders have to wait until the coming week to pick in the NFL draft. They might not have been on the ball when they were on the clock.
Oh, brother. What in criminy’s sake is wrong with the San Francisco Bay Area professional sports scene? Is it time to jump on the San Jose Earthquakes’ soccer bandwagon? After all they’ve scored more goals on Saturdays in regular-season games this month than the Giants have scored runs.
The sports world in the Bay Area used to be abuzz with amazing accomplishments. We had championship teams coming out the wazoo in one of the greatest, most desirable places to live on earth except when the ground shook. We were the envy of the sports nation.
Now we can’t win and we can’t get anyone to come here to help us win. I mean, when was the last-time a big-time, big-name free agent in their prime has chosen to work here? Barry Bonds in 1993? Deion Sanders in 1994? Yahoo! in 1995?
We have fallen on hard times and we can’t get up.
In the 80s, the 49ers won four Super Bowls and began a stretch of 17 consecutive non-strike seasons when they won at least 10 games, making the playoffs 16 times. They had Joe Montana and Steve Young and Jerry Rice and Ronnie Lott and Bill Walsh and the West Coast Offense.
Now they have gone south and left us with the Yorks. The 49ers have failed to play in the postseason the past six years and fallen below the nation’s radar. The most attention the 49ers received last season was when then interim head coach Mike Singletary crescent mooned his players. He dropped his pants at halftime and sent his prized tight end Vernon Davis to locker room with his tail between his legs in the second half.
The Raiders returned home to Oakland in 1993 and eventually won three successive AFC West titles to get back to the Super Bowl in 2000. Since then, they’ve had five different head coaches and six straight losing seasons and the only big splash they made last year was when Al Davis resurrected the overhead projector.
The A’s went to three consecutive World Series from 1988-90 then were in the playoffs five out of six seasons from 2000-2006. Since then, they’ve averaged 86 losses a year, finished a collective 42 _ games out of first place and the only true superstar on the team became Billy Beane, the general manager.
The Giants got to a World Series with Will Clark and to another one with Barry Bonds but, after making the playoffs four times in seven years through 2003, the Giants have averaged 88 losses a season and never finished higher than third in the division. The only excitement now comes every fifth day when Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum starts.
Then there’s the Golden State Warriors. They ended a 13-year playoff drought in 2007 with a “We Believe” team that upset top-seeded Dallas, a 67-win team, in the opening round. The next year they won 48 games, but didn’t make the playoffs. The next year they lost 53 games and finished 36 games behind the Pacific Division-leading L.A. Lakers. We grieve.
The only hope for another team championship in the Bay Area comes from the sport of hockey, which, outside of San Jose, is embraced like the new state sales tax. The Sharks won the President’s Trophy this season with the best record in the NHL but, after losing Game 1 of their opening-round playoff series, San Jose has more hope now of luring the A’s than winning the Stanley Cup.
When will this slump end? What can we do to get out of this funk? Does anyone have any bright ideas to bring Bay Area pro sports teams back to prominence?
I’m as mad as hell and I can’t take this anymore.


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