Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Great Time to Be a Bay Area Sports Fan

It has taken quite a while, but the Bay Area sports scene has become one of the strongest in the entire country. Sure, there have been other high times of success, but the current run has seen just about every team from the area have success. With the exception of the Raiders, all of the major professional sports teams are having fine seasons. Even better, most teams are doing it with young rosters, giving promise to a sustained run of excellence.

The San Francisco 49ers are one of the best teams in the NFL. Having just lost the Super Bowl in February, the future looks promising. Led by a young Colin Kaepernick, the team has the players and potential to be an elite team for at least another decade. Also, the front office has shown over the last few seasons that they know what they are doing; supplying Jim Harbaugh with all the necessary pieces he needs to put a winning product on the field.

The San Francisco Giants and Oakland A's are both making names for themselves in MLB. The Giants have won 2 of the last 3 World Series and look to be in shape to make another run this season. They will have some questions coming up soon that will determine how long the dominance can continue, but they have a core of veterans that have proven they know how to get the job done. Also, having locked up young pieces like Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner, the future looks solid. The Oakland A's have become a force, but not in the traditional sense. They play small market baseball, relying on talent evaluators to get the most out of their money. This has made them competitive despite spending a small percentage of what the top teams spend. It is scary to think what would happen if the front office was given a $150+ million dollar payroll.

The San Jose Sharks have been very consistent over the last decade. Regular playoff appearances have become the norm, but that is not good enough. The lack of a championship is what haunts this club. They have had great teams, but have not been able to get over the hump. While it is a little frustrating not having a championship, just getting into the postseason year after year is an accomplishment all to itself. They show no signs of slowing down.

The Golden State Warriors are the newest team to shine from the Bay Area. They made the playoffs this year, for only the third time in roughly 25 years. While that may not seem like much to celebrate, the team has the look of a team that can compete for the foreseeable future. Led by Stephen Curry, the team has a bright future. Coach Marc Jackson recently said Curry and back court mate Klay Thompson were the best shooting back court ever. Shockingly, there were not many people in the media who thought that was an outrageous statement. That goes to show you what kind of core the team has. All they need to do is get a dominant big man and stay healthy as a team. Easier said that done, but it is not like they need a bunch of pieces to become a contender.

Even with the lackluster efforts of the Oakland Raiders, the Bay Area sports scene remains bright well into the future. Besides, its not like the Raiders are very far off from contending. A few solid drafts and they will be back in the title hunt. It is time people start recognizing the amount of success the area is having. While they have not turned into a bunch of championships, I could see plenty of titles coming back to the back in the next 10 years. I am not talking about one or two either, but multiple from many sports.

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