Sunday, August 8, 2010

A BIG Connection to my old hometown

What - did you think it was food?

For the un-initiated, follow me on a timeline from birth to now:

*1965 - year I was born, Willie Mays is the MVP (.317 BA, 52 HR, 111 RBI), and Juan Marichal clocks the Dodgers John Roseboro on the head with his bat, setting off a near riot at Candlestick;

*1970 - the 49ers win their first Division championship, shock the Minnesota Vikings in Minnesota in the playoffs, then lose to frickin' Dallas at Kezar Stadium for the right to go to Super Bowl V;

*1971 - The last hurrah for Mays, McCovey, and Marichal, as the Giants win the division on the last day of the season; sadly, Pittsburgh and the great Roberto Clemente knock the Giants out in the LCS, 3 games to 1

*1972 - The last hurrah for John Brodie, who comes off the bench in the final game of the regular season for an ineffective Steve Spurrier, and rallies the 49ers in the fourth quarter, hitting Dick
Witcher with the winning TD pass with about 30 seconds left; the Niners would then blow a 28-16 4th quarter lead to frickin' Dallas in the opening round of the playoffs, which hurt, but probably not as much as Raider fans hurt that day...

*1975 - The Golden State Warriors win their lone NBA championship, relying on an ego-maniac, a gravelly voiced coach, and quite possibly the best team play the NBA has ever seen (Russell's Celtics and the 69-70 Knicks are probably the only better examples)

*1978 - The Giants have a renaissance, stay in first much of the year, and cause my first bout of heartache late in the season as they fade from contention

*1981 - This the time, the happiest day of my life...little did we know that it would be the start of the most dominant stretch of NFL football by one franchise

*1982 - The Giants break my heart again (lefty Al Holland, ready to go in the bullpen, but Frank Robinson leaves righty Fred Breining to face Dodger slugger Rick Monday, a lefty, and Monday crushes a grand slam to really knock the Giants out of the race-fortunately, the Giants answer

*1983 - 49ers are ROBBED by the refs in the NFC championship game, with two questionable calls going against them, and the Redskins go to the Super Bowl, where they get spanked

*1984 - Now, THAT'S more like it!

*1985 - The 49ers trade up in the draft, move one slot ahead of Dallas, and take the player the Cowboys wanted - a wide receiver from Mississippi Valley State, Jerry Rice

*1987 - The Giants win their first division title in 16 years, hold a 3 games to 2 lead in the LCS, then fail to score a run in the final two games; I've never seen my Mom madder then when Atlee Hammaker gave up a 3-run homer in Game 7 to Jose Oquendo

*1988 - The 49ers win their 3rd Super Bowl, thanks to key plays during the season, and the greatest drive to win a Super Bowl

*1989 - Great year for the Bay Area, as the Giants win the pennant, the A's win the pennant, and the 49ers dominate the NFL, culminating in the biggest blowout in Super Bowl history

*1990 - Alas, no three-peat for the 49ers; thank you, Leonard Marshall...

*1992 - I attend what was thought to be the last San Francisco Giant game ever, and I admit, it was very, very dusty that day...

*1993 - Thanks to Peter Magowan, there would be Giants baseball in San Francisco for years and years to come; oh, they also signed a free agent that winter, Barry something...

*1994 - Niners win their 5th Super Bowl, becoming the first team to reach that milestone; this is the funnest team of the five, with so many characters (Ricky Watters, William Floyd, and the one and only Prime Time)

*1997 - Brian Johnson, anyone?

*1998 - The Catch, part II

*1999 - Giants play their last game at Candlestick Park

*2000 - Giants begin play at Pac Bell Park, win the division, but fall to the Mets in the LDS

*2001 - That Barry guy for the Giants? Bigger, stronger, hits 73 HRs*

*2002 - 49ers provide fans with the biggest comeback in playoff history; the Giants? Still can't talk about game 6 of the World Series without getting very angry.

*2003 - Giants knocked out by Florida in the LDS; my feelings? Best expressed here.

*2007 - The Warriors make an appearance! Great post-season run, highlighted by this. And the Barry guy ends his career*

And now? Well, the Giants have pieces in place, but still need a bat; the 49ers seem to be the "sexy" pick out of the NFC West this year; the Warriors?

Yes, I like my teams; not only for what they've done in the past, but what they continue to do, but most importantly, the teams are a link to where I'm from, and continue to identify with; I can only hope my little one continues to exhibit the same enthusiasm I have for these ever-changing groups of athletes as I will always show.

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