After Years Of Mediocrity, Hope Returns to East Bay Sports Fans

Jodie and Larry

Todd Washburn
Assistant Sports Editor

A’s fans watch their team cruise to
a post-season berth.

There has been nothing but despair for East Bay sports fans in recent times.  From the announcement that Oakland Athletic’s owner Lew Wolff has interests to relocate the A’s after being a part of the East Bay since 1968, to the announcement this year that the Golden State Warriors would be moving back to San Francisco.

The Warriors announced they would be moving in 2013 to a new arena location on the San Francisco waterfront – an area in the bay that hasn’t witnessed basketball on its soil since 1971.

After moving to the Oracle Arena in Oakland, fans in the East Bay began to follow a team, that to them represented their city for the sport.

The town had witnessed some of the most exciting basketball players of their time in Chris Mullin, Tim Hardaway and Mitch Richmond, who represented the Run TMC era, to Latrell Sprewell, Chris Webber and John Starks to name just a few.  The Warriors have only made the playoffs once in recent memory.

The team has been in a constant state of “rebuild-mode” and is looking to boost their revenues by moving to a market that could generate more revenue to make their team more competitive – but at what cost?

Not only did East Bay fans learn of these turn of events, but also heard rumor that the Raiders could be one of the teams on the chopping block to entertain Los Angeles’ venture to build a stadium and bring their top of the mountain television market back into the NFL.  How can so many leagues, owners and teams abandon a fan base unparalleled to any other in the country?  The answer is money.  Bottom line.

Finally, with the given bad news as of late, there’s something to smile about in the East Bay.  The baseball playoffs will be painted Athletic green.  East Bay fans are a strong, passionate and tight-knit community and they’re in jeopardy of losing one of the things they can use to get away from the protesting, unemployment and social issues of today’s Oakland society.

There may not be a more deserving group of fans than those of the East Bay, who have struggled to watch their sports teams lose year after year.

The Oakland Athletics and their fans watched as the A’s clinched their first playoff berth Tuesday night for the first time since 2006.  A team that was expected to win no more than 60-70 games has shocked Major League Baseball, fans and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  The A’s season started out miserable but ended up on a tear that would propel them past the would-be new powerhouse of the division Angels with their acquisitions of slugger first baseman Albert Pujols and pitchers Dan Haren and C.J. Wilson.

On opening day the Coliseum sat only 2,000 fans who wanted to see the A’s perform, now the city has a chance to make Oakland the most difficult stadium to play at. The Coliseum could turn into something similar to what the “We Believe” Warriors playoff atmosphere was during the 2007 playoffs.

The onus is on the Athletics now. A lot of pressure has been brought to a ball club that nobody expected to even have a winning record let alone make the playoffs.  If they fail, it could be a disaster for the hearts of East Bay fans. But until then, it can give the city of Oakland and any A’s fan throughout the East Bay hope, and sometimes that’s all people really want.