Football season officially ends with this Sunday’s, Feb. 2, New York-New Jersey-based Super Bowl – the first NFL championship played outdoors at a cold-weather location. And with the San Francisco 49ers missing their second straight chance to win the Lombardi Trophy by such a frustratingly narrow margin, the Bay Area’s two winter teams finally take center stage.
One final thought on the upcoming Super Bowl featuring the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos. As I wrote last Tuesday, I usually would be for Seattle over Denver in the Super Bowl because of the West Coast, conference and division ties, and I followed the pre-LA Oakland Raiders and never was fond of the Broncos. I added since the Seahawks weren’t good, professional winners, especially the talented but dirty playing, un-pro-like, angry mouthed, Stanford educated Richard Sherman, I might actually favor Denver and its class-act, great-quarterbacking Peyton Manning, who deserves another title after recording a history-making season.
After thinking more about this statement, I still stand by it, and though I don’t deal with other sports writers’ views, I say that for all the money Sherman is making, yes he’s in a role model situation for having the ability to perform and be a winner. But at the same time, there’s still the issue of humility for himself, his teammates and toward his opponents.
Actually, I don’t really care who wins the Super Bowl, and by game time I might swing back to pulling for Seattle, because I have cousins who live in Washington who are Seahawks fans, though two grew up on the 49ers and found themselves in a rooting quandary, as did a well-known Valley sports figure and 49er faithful, whose relative works in Seattle’s front office.
With football in Northern California now over, myself and most of the Bay Area’s fans have turned our attention to our talented and exciting pro winter sports teams – basketball’s Golden State Warriors and ice hockey’s San Jose Sharks.
Both the Warriors, with their 27-18 NBA record, and the Sharks, with their 51-34-12-6 NHL mark – as of presstime – are headed to the playoffs with a chance of a strong postseason run, which makes it a whole lot of fun being a Bay Area fan at this time.
In fact, the only Bay Area pro franchise struggling is the Oakland Raiders, who we can only hope will finally get back on the winning track toward the postseason next year.
With football over after the Super Bowl, there are many who are already feeling some baseball fever and are counting the days until spring training starts. I do understand that thought, especially where the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s stand near the top of the MLB divisions and leagues.
But for me, and many others, hoops with the Warriors and ice hockey with the Sharks have taken center stage in the Bay Area, and will bring thrills and excitement in the spring.