Wednesday, February 9, 2005

It's Been Awhile

In his post, Tom Petty Was Right, Mike Carminati asks, "What is the current longest wait for a sports city?" Where a sports city is a metro area with a team in each of the four major sports.

I was a little surprised to find that the SF Bay Area is #3 on his list with a no-championship drought of 10 years. Only Philadelpha (21 years) and Minneapolis (13 years) have been waiting for a championship longer than the Bay Area.

You know, Bill Simmons has talked at length about a grace period:
After your team wins a championship, they immediately get a five-year grace period: You can't complain about anything that happens (trades, draft picks, salary-cap cuts, coaching moves) for five years. There are no exceptions.

...And the Bay Area has had it's share of Championships. So, when did our grace period end? If you stand our grace periods end-on-end, when did they expire? Are they still going?

A list, then, of Bay Area Champions:
-A's, 1972
-A's, 1973
-A's, 1974
-Warriors, 1975
-Raiders, 1976
-Raiders, 1980 (The '83 Raiders were in LA)
-49ers, 1981
-49ers, 1984
-49ers, 1988
-A's, 1989
-49ers, 1989
-49ers, 1994

That's twelve championships, and 60 total years of "grace period" starting in 1972. That would mean we're still in our grace period all the way out to 2032, assuming we don't win another championship. But that just doesn't feel right. The first game of any kind that I remember watching was the '84 Super Bowl, so I shouldn't get a grace period for those championships I've only read about.

That leaves five "personal" championships starting in 1984. In that case, my own personal grace period should expire in 2009.

And it's a little different if you look at it on a team-by-team basis. I don't really care for the Raiders, Giants or Warriors, so I'll ignore them. But for the A's, we've been out of the grace period now for ten years - If you're only an A's fan, you can complain about damn near anything (and we do).

As for the 49ers, their five championships starting in 1981 will carry you through two more seasons to 2006 - my own personal grace period with the niners (excluding the '81 victory), however, expired at the end of the 2004 season.

So, I'll consider myself in a 20% grace period. I can certainly complain about either my A's or my 49ers without incurring the wrath of the sports gods, but I have been lucky enough to experience five championships. So, I suppose I shouldn't be too bitter about it. After all, they're just games, right?

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