Liotta: Not much for Bay Area sports fans to be thankful for

What happened?

Two months ago, the Bay Area sports scene was sizzling.

The Giants were still breathing hard in a wild-card race. The 49ers were the upstart disciples of Mike Singletary, whose desire for winners appeared to be satisfied.

JaMarcus Russell still had a shot at becoming a bona fide NFL quarterback, and the Raiders were … well, the Raiders.

The Warriors were still out of sight and out of mind — which is preferable to watching them play their way into obscurity. And the Sharks were in training camp, which is always preferable to one of their postseason meltdowns.

Now? Ouch! It’s the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and what does the Bay Area sports fan have to be thankful for?

Sure, the Giants’ late-season fade was no surprise after a season of delightful surprises. The fact that their season had to come to an end may have signaled this two-month downer.

After their unexpected 3-1 start had even the most skeptical thinking postseason thoughts, the 49ers have fallen back so far they’re looking up at mediocrity. Now they look no further along than they were a year ago.

However, the Niners’ Santa Clara slide is nothing compared to the Raiders, who have reached so far into the no-hope handbag they’ve named Bruce Gradkowski their starting quarterback over Russell.

What does Gradkowski bring to the Raiders’ table? Up to this point in his fourth NFL season, he boasts a professional quarterback rating of 58.7, which is still not as high as Russell’s career rating of 65.5, and we all have seen with our own eyes how pitiful Russell has played in order to achieve his mark. 

The only positive a Raiders fan can claim at this point is that their favorite team hasn’t fallen as far as the 49ers. That’s only because they were the worst team in the NFL to begin with.

Meanwhile, the Warriors have taken a quick first step to laughable. They’re the worst defensive team in the league, and the composite record of the first three teams they beat this season — Memphis, Minnesota and New York — was 4-27.

One more thing about the Warriors. Don Nelson should not be fired. He should be forced to stick it out all 82 games on this awful team’s scheduled to play.

Down Interstate 880, the worst thing that happens to the Sharks and their fans is opening night, which signals the parade of another 82 regular-season games that mean nothing when it comes to determining their playoff credentials.

I now believe the more imposing the Sharks look during the regular season simply means the more pain they’ll dole out to their fans in the postseason. I’m actually rooting for them to go through several tough patches, which might change their postseason fate.

I’ve got it. On Thanksgiving, I will be thankful for something in Bay Area sports — only 77 days until the AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach.

Tim Liotta is a freelance journalist and regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at tliotta@sfexaminer.com.
 

49ersNFLSan Francisco 49erssportsWarriors

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays attends an event to honor the San Francisco Giants' 2014 World Series victory on Thursday, June 4, 2015, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
Willie Mays turns 90: San Francisco celebrates the greatest Giant

By Al Saracevic Examiner staff writer I couldn’t believe it. Willie Mays… Continue reading

Ja’Mari Oliver, center, 11, a fifth grader at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, is surrounded by his classmates at a protest outside the Safeway at Church and Market streets on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 in support of him following an April 26 incident where he was falsely accused by an employee of stealing. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
School community rallies behind Black classmate stopped at Safeway

‘When you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us’

A warning notice sits under the windshield wiper of a recreational vehicle belonging to a homeless man named David as it sits parked on De Wolf Street near Alemany Boulevard on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. A proposed SF Municipal Transportation Agency law would make it illegal for overnight parking on the side street for vehicles taller than seven feet or longer than 22 feet. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA to resume ‘poverty tows’ amid calls to make temporary ban permanent

Fines and fees hurt low-income, homeless residents, but officials say they are a necessary tool

Income from Shared Spaces will provide financial resources to the San Francisco Municipal Transporation Agency, according to its director, Jeffrey Tumlin. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA director says Shared Spaces serves transit agency’s financial interest

$10.6 million price tag for program raises concerns among transit agency’s board members

A broad coalition of tenants and housing rights organizers rally at Stanley Mosk Courthouse to protest eviction orders issued against renters Stanley Mosk Courthouse on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, in Los Angeles, CA. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Federal judge strikes down CDC’s national moratorium on evictions

David Yaffe-Bellany, Noah Buhayar Los Angeles Times A federal judge in Washington… Continue reading

Most Read