As a bi-weekly columnist for a local newspaper, I am imbued with certain special — and admittedly dark — powers. One such gift, I have recently discovered, is the ability to transcend the physical plane and spiritually embody a sports franchise — to soul-jump, if you will, into the very essence of your favorite team.
Given the time of year and my insatiable desire to take my ability for a spin, I’ve done you the favor of taking the non-corporeal form of each and every one of the Bay Area’s sporting entities and making some New Year’s resolutions … 2019 is gonna be great if I have anything to say about it!!
The Golden State Warriors
I resolve to keep up the good work.
Here are some facts: I have won three of the last four NBA championships; I sport arguably the greatest collection of stars ever to play together in the league; my point guard is the greatest shooter of all time, a two-time MVP playing like he wants a third; my small forward is larger than life and better than most, playing like he wants a second MVP of his own.
Naturally I could continue, but there’s only so much time. The most important fact is that I have spoiled you, and I intend to continue spoiling you — no matter how frustrated you might be with distracted regular-season losses or shooting percentage dips from All-Star players.
I have my flaws, but they’re smaller flaws than everyone else’s, and not by a little. Don’t forget that after a lifetime of being a laughingstock, I’m thriving at a big-new-stadium-on-the-Bay level.
It won’t last forever, but it’s not nearly done. Enjoy me.
The San Francisco Giants
I resolve to stop lying to you — and myself — about who and what I am.
The first half of this decade was a special time for you and me. We had parades, pandas, Posey hugs and plenty of other prizes. For the last few years, we’ve lied to each other in the face as we tried to hold on to that magic, but it’s time for us to admit that the thrill is gone.
I’m afraid I’ve got to take a step back and regroup. I still love you, and I hope you can still love me, but I’m going to be going through some changes. I’ve had to send my preacher away, and your favorite pitcher might be next. I can’t be the same old lovable Zoo at China Basin.
But fear not! Soon you’ll be able to BART over for Bart, lift a pint for Lil’ Pudge and stand for Steven Duggar. I’ll be back in tip top shape before you know it.
In the meantime, at least we’ll have honesty.
The Oakland Athletics
I resolve to make a real run with this class of young talent, and let you enjoy their primes.
The days where I could reasonably cry poor and mortgage budding stars for hauls of prospects are over. I’m ready to let you fall in love with me without immediately breaking your heart.
Have you seen my Matts? They’re real, and they’re spectacular. You haven’t met my Jesus Luzardo, and you’ve only gotten a preview of my A.J. Puk and Jorge Mateo, but I’m telling you the full feature is a doozy.
Have you seen my ballpark plans? They’re real, and I’m serious about making it happen. I took it slow and steady this time, I’ve got my ducks in a row and my politicians in the right pockets.
By 2023, when some of my best young players need big money, I’ll be printing it thanks to the new shopping center in my current home. You’re gonna love riding my gondola. We’re doing this thing.
You can trust me this time.
The San Francisco 49ers
I resolve to show patience, a virtue that has escaped me in the past.
Listen — I don’t like losing. It feels like yesterday that I was winning everything all the time, and even if I’ve spent most of the last two decades heading the other direction, I’ll never get used to the feeling. Why do you think I’ve changed coaches eight times in the last fifteen years?
I won’t lie, I’m not in peak condition — my defensive backfield is a downright mess, I haven’t got a lick of an outside pass rush and my two highly-paid offensive skill position players have been injured all year. In my defense, my ex-boyfriend Trent really put me through the ringer before he left town.
I’ve finally found a coach I can love again, though, and I’m coming around on the GM. They’ve helped me shed the deadweight I put on during the last few years of my relationship with Trent, and showed me that even the leftovers and youngsters I’ve got on my roster can make some things happen.
So even though I’m heading for my fourth straight season of six or fewer wins, I’m not freaking out. At least for 2019, I’m giving Kyle and John the chance to show me that they’ll care for me in ways Trent and his rotating cast of coaches never did.
I’m choosing to trust again, and I hope you’ll trust me.
The Oakland Raiders
I resolve to not let the door hit me in my soft, stonewashed jeans-clad posterior on my way out of town.
The San Jose Sharks
I resolve to stop losing overtime games to bad hockey teams. And while we’re here – come out and see me, I’m both talented and family-friendly.
The San Jose Earthquakes
I resolve to get my act together after making just one playoff appearance since 2012. I would very much like to show you my beautiful stadium, but I understand if you’d like me to be good first.
Stanford Cardinal Football
I resolve to stop suffering perplexing losses to mediocre programs during otherwise solid seasons …
I resolve to simply pass on bowl eligibility in the future if the alternative is a nine-interception game where I lose 10-7 in overtime.
Bay Area College Basketball (with adjunct member SJSU football)
Don’t patronize us, we know you don’t care.
Happy Holidays everyone, and may 2019 be the year that all of your sports dreams come true!!
Matt Kolsky is a sports media professional (or something like that) and lives with an aging Shih Tzu/Schnauser mix in Berkeley. You can hear him on the Bay Area sports radio station 95.7 the Game, 5a-6a every weekday morning. You can listen to his podcast, The Toy Department, on iTunes or wherever else fine podcasts are free. You can find him on Twitter @thekolsky to share your personal feelings about this article or any other topic, he will respond to most tweets that do not contain racial slurs.