With news that Super Bowl L is coming to San Francisco/Santa Clara, just a quick review of the run of events that continue to put Northern California in the sports spotlight...
Easy conclusion: The Bay Area has had an infusion of good sports management lately, possibly with a long future of relative wisdom ahead based on the figures involved. (And I say this as someone who prizes local prove-it-to-me skepticism.) Two World Series titles in the last three seasons by the Giants, who have designs on a few more, with AT&T Park at the center of it.
- Key figures: GM Brian Sabean, manager Bruce Bochy, 2012 MVP Buster Posey, pitchers Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Tim Lincecum, CEO Larry Baer. The 2012 AL West title, won by the A's, who have a very young roster -- but would like to move to San Jose.
- Key figures: GM Billy Beane, manager Bob Melvin, OFs Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Reddick, pitchers Jarrod Parker and Grant Balfour, among others. A berth in last February's Super Bowl XLVII by the 49ers, who came five yards short of winning it and are co-favorites to win the SB this season.
- Key figures: Owner Jed York, coach Jim Harbaugh, GM Trent Baalke, QB Colin Kaepernick, RB Frank Gore, ILBs Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman, DL Justin Smith and LB Aldon Smith. A new stadium for the 49ers, who have Levi's as the named sponsor and expect it to be ready for the 2014 season and will host Super Bowl L there (my goodness, I REALLY lost my wager with Jed York).
- Key figures: York, team president Gideon Yu. The Warriors just finished their strongest playoff run in years, with a young nucleus that should make the playoffs -- at the least -- for several more seasons.
- Key figures: Co-owner Joe Lacob, GM Bob Myers, board member Jerry West, coach Mark Jackson, G Stephen Curry, C Andrew Bogut. Stanford won its first Rose Bowl since 1972 last January.
- Key figures: Coach David Shaw, LB Shayne Skov, QB Kevin Hogan.
San Jose State had its best football season perhaps ever conclude with a victory in the Military Bowl last December, but also lost coach Mike McIntyre to Colorado. Sacramento, against the odds, did NOT lose the Kings to Seattle (I thought they were gone, I must point out; they are not gone, thanks to the intercession of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and GSW minority owner Vivek Ranadive, who will take over the lead role in Sacramento); The Sharks are in the second round, playing Game 4 vs. the Kings tonight at HP Pavilion.
Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) shoots over San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan, left, during the first half in Game 5 of a Western Conference semifinal NBA basketball playoff series, Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Let's just cast that against the travails in sporting SoCal... The Dodgers and Angels, despite massive payrolls, are not very good this season and haven't made the World Series since 2002 (the Angels) and 1988 (the Dodgers), respectively. The Lakers and Clippers were both eliminated in the first round this season. USC football and UCLA basketball are a little staggered recently. LA doesn't have an NFL team and there are no signs that one is coming soon, though the one of the likeliest candidates would be to appropriate the Raiders back from Oakland -- the worst current pro team in the Bay Area. The Kings won last season's Stanley Cup title, which is large, and they are currently up 2-1 on the Sharks.
But when an entire SoCal region is counting on the hockey team to carry it... that's not the way it has usually worked.
One last thing. Let's circle back to today's announcement: The Bay Area has Super Bowl 50. And Super Bowl I was held in... Los Angeles, yep. January 1967.
Read Tim Kawakami's Talking Points blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami. Contact him at email@example.com.
San Francisco Giants' Pablo Sandoval (48) celebrates with the MVP trophy after their 4-3 win in Game 4 of the World Series at Comerica Park in Detroit, Mich. on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. (Nhat V. Meyer/Staff)