Over the past four decades, bay area pro sports fans have had it pretty good. We've had championships produced by the A's, 49ers, Raiders, Warriors (yes, it's true, youngsters; you can look it up) and most recently and currently, the World Series Champion San Francisco Giants.
I do not tire of typing that phrase.
That would leave exactly one major pro team out of the mix, our hockey squad the San Jose Sharks. Ironically, the Sharks are currently the best franchise in the bay area, what I define as a quality organization, a team that can produce a streak of seasons with not only playoff appearances but also advancing past the first round. (One could say the Giants have started on a streak of one season of playoff appearances and they are leading their division, but the season is still young.) The Raiders were that kind of organization for decades until their complete collapse early this century. The Niners were quality for most of the 80's and 90's.
But right now, if you want to enjoy a playoff game in the San Francisco Bay Area, you'll probably have to drive down to The Shark Tank in San Jose.
The Sharks have built a team around Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, and have been either the first or second seed in the Western division of the National Hockey League for five straight years.
With a total of zero appearances in the Stanley Cup finals.
This year, the Vancouver Canucks stand in the way of the Sharks making it to the finals, and even diehard fans have this feeling that somehow, someway, the Sharks will find a way to screw this up.
Come on, Sharks! This is your year. Show the league you can choke on the biggest stage in all of hockey. I know you can do it. You are the quality heartbreakers.
You've been the Cleveland Browns for long enough.
It's time to become the Buffalo Bills.