Typically the argument for Title Town consists of counting championships, victory parades, plaques, busts and keys to the city will determine who is crowned as the greatest sports site.
I openly, and with confidence, can say that, yes, New York City, Boston, and Chicago are great sports towns, winning the most championships in the four major sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, & MLS) in that order respectively. Here, in the Bay Area, however, we host the greatest sports climate currently in North America, and possibly the world.
Let me explain:
I figured if I didn’t lead with SF, most readers would tune out immediately. I personally relate to the city and sports teams of Oakland more than San Francisco, but that is another topic for another article.
San Francisco, arguably, is one of the most diverse cities in the world -- a mixed bag of personalities, cultures, ethnicities, social climates, and just down right bizarre things makes the city welcoming for people from all walks of life.
The San Francisco Giants take full advantage of this. The team by the bay shouldn’t just be commended as a standout organization for their three World Series Titles since 2010, but for also celebrating the rich diversity of their fan base. The Giants don’t just celebrate varying lifestyles, they encourage them. They hold some of the most popular heritage nights, gay pride, and singles night.
Allowing different fans, who above else are just people, to be themselves openly without any fear of discrimination, or prejudice, allows for one of the greatest atmospheres not just in sports, but in any community. This openness is needed more in our world, but it helps that a professional sports franchise understands the bigger picture.
I could go on and on about their incredible roster and the continuous sellouts and fan base accomplishments, but you all already know those things, and I stroke Giants Fans’ egos enough already. Looking at you, Mark Ibanez!
This unique factor is just one example of why San Francisco and its sports team contributes to making the Bay Area the greatest sports climate in the world.
The bluecollared, rough exterior neighborhoods of Oakland host the richest sports scene in the Bay Area. “The Town” houses three major sports teams, and practically within feet of each other.
Besides being the most exciting team in the NBA, with the best individual athletes that represent our community and team, the Warriors are truly the best example of how professional sports organizations should be run. From the top of ownership, to the executives, players, down to the parking aids in the lot, the level of professionalism in this organization exceeds all others The “Bay’s team” may be on the verge of moving to San Francisco, but for the time being, Oakland host the best players in the league, for the best fans of any team, and still reasonably priced tickets to watch them play in a town that needs them more than ever. This next season could be the greatest single season for any Warrior fan. Time will tell.
The Oakland Athletics have seen better years. As an A’s fan I can attest to the frustration of rooting for a player, growing a connection watching them play and outperform others on the diamond, and then have my heart ripped out of my chest due to another head- scratching trade. I’ve grown to keep my distance, but if and when the guys I root for most do get shipped out of town, I will continue to root for them and hope for them to exceed even their own expectations.
Back to the positive- The A’s and the Coliseum might be the last pro sports venue where every seat is affordable. For most Tuesday home games during the 2016 season, the A’s offer free parking. Additionally, there is close to 500 tickets that are sold for only $5. Even when it isn’t a Tuesday, it’s easy to get a ticket at an affordable price for families, events, and even dates. Just make sure he/she is a true baseball fan, or it might be a long night. Take advantage of this affordability while it lasts. True baseball fans go to A’s games and enjoy a day at the park regardless of level of play, roster moves, and opponent.
RAAAAAIIIIDDDDEERRRSSSSS… The team that broke Oakland’s heart in 1982 by moving to L.A. and then coming back in 1994. The Raiders have had too many underachieving seasons to keep track of. However, there is hope. This season, with the continuous growth of a young roster, savvy veterans, encouraging head coach, and rejuvenated fan base, the Raiders will be a team to reckon with. With such a rich history on their “commitment to excellence,” there is a different ambience at Raiders HQ and practices. The team has bought in, and fans should too.
Oakland is unique in the fact there are three major sports teams in immediate vicinity of each other, as we as fans sit in limbo waiting to hear which of them -- or all of them -- are staying or going. The time is now to enjoy the plentiful dose of sports while we can. Don’t take these times for granted. Double dipping on an A’s game, and then Warriors game, as was available during the Warriors 2016 playoff run, should be a bucket list item for any sports fan.
SOUTH BAY –
Some may say the (San Francisco) 49ers are still SF’s team. You’re wrong. If you disagree, just think about the hour drive south it takes to get to the home stadium.
I digress. The 49ers are another team where you can’t help but wonder what’s going on in the ivory tower of ownership, but for the few seasons before the decline of ownership and pissing match between Head coach and owner, the 49ers were a team that seemed destined for another championship. I'm really sorry, but it's somewhat difficult for me to find a silver lining for them. They moved the stadium to Silicon Valley, the prices are over- inflated, the parking sucks, and the talent on the field doesn’t come close to the price and headache to deal with all of that.
A positive I do recognize is that 9ers head coach, Chip Kelly could completely change my opinions of the organization. Lately, Jed York has stayed out of the news, and it seems like the once one-word interviews of Colin Kaepernick are a thing of the past, and he now seems to he enjoy what he does for a living, or at least he's acting like it. Kelly's fast-passed offense will hopefully bring a lot explosive plays, which was absent in last year’s season. I don't want to be too hard on the 49ers, but there were such high expectations only a few years ago when they made three consecutive NFC Championships, and a Super Bowl. Before I jump down their throats, I'll at least give them six games of the regular season to prove something to me. Yikes, I didn't really sell them that well, did I?...
San Jose Sharks in the last ten years or so have been playoff bound nearly every year. And last year proved to be their best postseason run in history, just missing the Stanley Cup. If you've never seen a hockey game in person, you need to pencil in an upcoming game once the puck drops for the next season. The Sharks host relatable super-star athletes, affordable pricing, and "the Tank" offers a unique fan experience. Hearing and seeing these tremendous athletes speed around on ice with razor sharp blades under their feet, throwing their bodies at each other is a spectacle in itself. Just ask Frank Somerville. He'll talk you to death about how amazing they are.
Soccer continues to grow into a popular sport, still not the level of popularity in the rest of the world, but it is growing. And San Jose has its own professional team, Earthquakes, who are no stranger to championships, and offers another great option for an affordable ticket to bring family, kids, friends, and soccer fans together at an incredible venue of Avaya Stadium. Wait... What? Avaya Stadium is home to the of the longest outdoor bar in North America? YES! It truly is amazing. The bar has the potential to host up to 35 bartenders at once, almost 20 HDTV's, Wifi, and free onsite parking is included for all attendees. There you can look up at the giant scoreboard while tossing one back.
While these are only a few of the reasons why the Bay Area is the greatest sports climate in the world, you can see that there is plenty of options for all sports fans and every different walk of life. And all of this without including the college sports scene!! The Bay Area reigns supreme.
Thank you for coming to Cam's Corner. Stay as long as you'd like.
Continue the conversation with me, agreeing or not on twitter: @CamCleve2