While hanging out in the lower concourse after the epic 7th inning of last night’s game, I got word that the San Jose State Spartans had tied Stanford. Knowing that the game probably wasn’t showing in the West Side Club because of the Pac-12 Network’s carriage problems, I found myself wanting to head across the Bay to watch the finish of the football game. Then I realized that I was already doing another doubleheader on Saturday, starting with Cal reopening Memorial Stadium followed by the Saturday night A’s-Red Sox tilt.
Here in the Bay Area, we are practically drowning in spectator sports. I talk about it once in a while. The local and national media don’t. It’s a thoroughly impressive list of teams and events when you list it all:
- 2 NFL teams
- 2 MLB teams
- 1 NBA team
- 1 NHL team
- 1 MLS team
- Seasonal international soccer friendlies
- 3 FBS/D-I football programs
- 6 D-I baseball and men’s basketball programs
- 6 D-I women’s softball, volleyball, and basketball programs
- Prominent college men’s and women’s soccer programs
- Nation’s most dominant rugby union college program
- AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tourney
- US Open @ Olympic Club or Pebble Beach (roughly twice every seven years)
- Tour stops for ATP and WTA tennis tours
- NASCAR, IndyCar, and other racing circuits @ Sonoma/Sears Point and Laguna Seca
- Multiple stages of the Tour of California cycling race
- 1 arena football team
- 5 minor league or independent league baseball teams
- 2 minor league hockey teams
- 1 minor league basketball team
- 1 perennial high school football state champion/national powerhouse
- A hotbed for MMA training and events
- 3 highly-ranked, world champion boxers
- Mavericks surfing contest
- America’s Cup sailing
Not even New York or Los Angeles can match that wide variety and frequency of teams and events, pro and amateur. There’s almost always something to watch. It takes me away from my non-sports fan friends and makes them wonder about my sanity sometimes. I don’t care. I love it, I cherish it, and I try to take as much advantage of it as I can. Or as Captain Comeback says:
Nice to see Mavericks on the list. It’s the wild one — some years the swell hits predictably, some years it doesn’t. That’s part of the beauty of surfing; it’s the only major sport that takes place in the wilderness, completely dependent on several natural forces coming together at the right time. And if the waves don’t roll through for a heat, even the best contestants can lose. As a great writer once put it, “the sea wins every toss.”
More importantly, everyone needs to show up tomorrow at the O.co. The A’s are playing great ball. No excuse not to sell out the house.
I just got back from Stockton for the second time this season, and will head down to SJ for my nephew’s birthday tailgate at the Baby Giants game. I’ve gone to many A’s games at the Coli this year, one at AT&T Park, and a game in San Rafael for the Pacifics. I also hit up a Pacifics/Maui game when I was in Hawaii. It’s been a great year for experiencing different kinds of baseball. I wish I could have made it to Sacramento this year, but summer slips by quickly and I didn’t get it worked out this past month.
We do truly live in a great place for sports.
Absolutely. But so far, the place hasn’t been packed. This with a Friday night and Saturday night game, against the Red Sox, while in a playoff hunt / pennant race, and with one of the most exciting teams in baseball. No excuses.
This is what really really annoys me about the “We love Oakland sports” rally. Got a concept for those people who showed up to the rally – try showing up to A’s games instead.
Now, that said, I’m sure a lot of the same people at the rally have actually gone to games.
But with attendance still poor, for a an exciting playoff team, it’s painting a really crappy picture to MLB in terms of Oakland’s viability. But this has always been the case, frankly. But people will come back with same old tired excuses “Lew is alienating us”, or “Beane keeps trading away our players” blah blah blah.
Oakland fans – fill the stadium, and Wolff/Fischer/MLB will notice.
Oakland businesses (Knauss & company) – come up with lucrative naming rights deal, and pledged luxury box purchases, and other advertising, and Wolf/Fischer/MLB will notice.
Oakland Pols – come up with an EIR, and land, and infrastructure financing (at the very least), and Wolff/Fischer/MLB will notice.
Anything less than all of the above is complete and total BS, and will fail in keeping the A’s in Oak.
Show ’em the money and they will stay. It’s that simple.
Sorry for OT.
The bay area and Nor Cal in general is an awesome place for pro sports, and I’m very grateful to live here.