A Tale of Two Cities Part I

Updated: October 19, 2012

Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff Reporter

OAKLAND- SAN FRANCISCO- (BASN)—A Tale of Two Cities Oakland-San Francisco PT I

Can you guess which area this took place? Oakland or San Francisco

The Cities of Oakland, California and San Francisco, California are going in the opposite directions. This past week in the baseball playoffs and weekend football games they reviled another aspect of the stark differences of these two major sports cities. It’s a story of one city on the rise and the other in complete confusion.

The people of San Francisco elected Ed Lee the city first Asian American Mayor. Oakland also elected its first Asian American Mayor, Jean Quan, in choice ranked voting. For those who are unfamiliar with rank choice voting you have four or more choices and you pick each candidate from one through four. If no-one gets 50 % or majority they slide down to their second and third choices. This is how Ms. Quan won. Mr. Lee has moved forward in a positive direction, while Ms. Quan has waffled on many issues including the sports teams in Alameda County.

Both cities have had to deal with the new political Occupy Movement and each city dealt with it in a very different way. San Francisco quietly gave the movement Embarcadero Plaza as a camp site. The City of Oakland also gave the Occupy Movement a camp site right outside of city hall.

What transpired when trouble started shows the differences in the cities and their mayors. Oakland had two full scale riots which resulted in city property being destroyed and a Police state in the downtown district. Meanwhile San Francisco quietly arrested movement members who did not comply with city laws. The city of Oakland had to pay millions of dollars for extra police hours and help pay for store owners properties damaged in the two civil unrests.

Fighting for supremancy

This attitude permeated the Bay Area’s sports teams and East Bay fans are getting turned off. The Owners of the San Francisco teams had a definite plan while the owners of the Oakland teams have repeated stating that they wanted to move their franchises elsewhere.

The San Francisco Giants won the World Series in 2010. It was their first since moving from New York City in 1958. The San Francisco 49ers went to the playoffs last year losing to the New York Football Giants in a tight defensive battle for the National Football Conference title..

The Oakland Raiders have not been in the playoffs for some time now and it looks bleak after this week.

The Last time the Oakland Athletics won a playoff series was 2006 against the Detroit Tigers. The A’s have won Four World Series since moving from Kansas City, Missouri in 1967. The A’s have not raised a championship banner since 1989 The Earthquake Series against the San Francisco Giants which took two extra weeks because of the damage around the Bay Area.

The Golden State Warriors who are now based at the Oakland Alameda County Sports Complex are thinking about moving across the Bay. The Warriors play in renovated Oracle Arena. The Warriors are planning to move to San Francisco in 2014 with a new bay side arena. Golden State’s last playoff appearances were in 2007 before that was 1994. There seems to be some life in this organization with a new head coach, Mark Jackson in his first coaching job. With a valuable center, Andrew Bogut this season. Time will tell the Warriors currently have nine rookies who are eager to tell the basketball world they are wrong. They also have a stellar guard Stephan Curry who might guide this team to the playoffs.

The Warriors have won one championship since moving from Philadelphia Pennsylvania in 1962 to San Francisco and the Cow Palace. In 1971-72 they moved across the Bay to Oakland and change their name to the current Golden State logo. The Warriors won the championship in 1975 with head coach and North Carolina A & T Aggie graduate Al Attles at the helm.

The Warriors have always had loyal fan support and they still want to move back across the bay to San Francisco. The new Arena’s foundation has already been put into place this week.

The Oakland Seals renamed the California Golden Seals made a brief appearance at the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum. The Seals were born in 1967 and moved to Cleveland in 1976 after long legal battles between Seals management and The Board of Directors in the NHL. The Seals were known for their bright white skates and the Charlie O Finley ownership. Finley would not compete with the new (WHA) World Hockey Association and many Seals jumped ship to the new league. The Seals would drop to last place in the Western Conference. Finley sold the team to Mel Swig who tried to stop the bleeding. Swig wanted to move the team back to San Francisco. The team played better hockey under the Swig ownership but failed to make the playoffs and the San Francisco deal fell through. The Seals were off to Cleveland to become the Barons in 1976 under the ownership of the Gund Brothers.

This fall hockey returned to the Bay Area in the Cow Palace and the City of San Francisco entered minor league hockey with a team called the Bulls. Ticket sales are going well because currently the NHL has a lockout. The (ECHL) East Coast Hockey League Western Division San Francisco Bulls lost their first game to the Bakersfield Condors 5-4 last week. The ECHL is based in Princeton, New Jersey.

The Oakland Raiders have had three straight 8-8 seasons and have revived the discussions about moving back to Los Angeles, California where they played for 15 years. The Raiders are off to another great 1-4 start with last Sunday loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Raider quarterback Carson Palmer threw another critical interception in the fourth quarter which lead to this loss.  The Falcons kicked a last second field goal to remain undefeated.

Oakland hired young Dennis Allen as head coach. This seems to be a pattern with the Oakland Raiders. Al Davis hired General Manager Reggie McKenize to move the Black and Silver into the future. Coach Allen has shown some of his green talent with unusual play calling this fall.

The last time the Raiders were in the playoffs happened to be the same year they went to the Super Bowl losing to Ex-Raider coach, Jon “Chuckie” Gruden’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002. A lot has transpired since that Super Bowl bid.  The Mighty Black and Silver are not what they use to be. Moving to Los Angeles put the Hollywood in them and took out the meanness on defense

The rebel majority owner Al Davis passed away this summer. Mr. Davis’s wife and son have taken control of the team. The Raiders have gone through 15 different quarterbacks in 10 years. For the first time in 50 years the Raider defense has not stopped anybody allowing 32 points a game. The Black and Silver swagger has not been seen.

The Oakland Raiders have won three Super Bowls since 1962. The whispers of the Black and Silver moving back to Los Angeles will not go away. Only the Raider organization can answer that question.

This past Sunday afternoon it was a different New York Football Giants team who beat the 49ers giving San Francisco a 4-2 record in an old style NFL beat down. The Niners are still in first place in the NFC Western Division and have little worries about making the playoffs this year.

The Niners hired Jim Harbaugh two years ago after Mike Singletary cleaned up the porous defense. Singletary put respect back in wearing the 49er uniform. Last year’s playoff experience has served the Niners well and many Red and Gold fans are expecting them to win their sixth Super Bowl this February.

The Niners have a new stadium being built in Santa Clara County which should be completed in 2014. San Francisco’s city government and the teams ownership work together to achieve this accomplishment.  The Niners faithful do not have to worry about losing this historic football team. The New Gold Rush will be in the Bay Area for some time.

This will not happen in Oakland

Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove on Blogtalkradio.com Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod

One Comment

  1. Eric Graham

    October 19, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Great article Gary.

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