Halloween is over, but the Bay Area sports landscape remains as scary as it’s been in a long, long time.
The 49ers and Raiders are nothing short of awful.
The Warriors’ opener made it clear that the team’s primary weaknesses — rebounding and free-throw shooting — went wholly unaddressed in the offseason.
Cal football’s dream season might very well end up an Emerald Bowl nightmare (or worse — if that’s possible) and Stanford football’s 15 minutes of fame are up.
And the Sharks, while strong, are still a hockey team, which means the Bay Area will care about it only if it takes a 3-0 lead in the Stanley Cup finals.
How do you deal with it all? Try these drinking games the next time you’re following the local lads.
For 49ers fans, it’s called Shoot the Coach, and it requires you to down an ounce of your favorite 80-proof beverage every time Mike Nolan appears to be clueless. By the middle of the second quarter most weeks, you’ll be too bombed to notice that your boys are down by 17 points.
For Raiders fans, it’s called Down on Firsts. Every time an opposing running back picks up a first down, you pick up your shot glass. By the third quarter, you’ll be so sloshed that you won’t care that JaMarcus Russell just made another $300,000 carrying a clipboard around for 3½ hours.
Warriors fans get to play Empty Glass. Every time an opponent gets an offensive rebound, down the hatch. By halftime you’ll think that yellow “We Believe” T-shirt you bought on eBay after getting stiffed by your boss on the company playoff tickets last spring is cool.
Cal football fans, yours is called Playmaker’s Mark. Every time Jeff Tedford’s play calling is called into question by someone in the seats near you, hit the hooch, and it has to be Maker’s Mark whiskey. By the end of the game, you’ll be so ripped you’ll be OK with the fact that the Big Game might just be your bowl game.
Stanford fans, yours is the easiest. Just start drinking now. No triggers — or explanations — needed.
Sharks fans? If you’re any kind of puckhead, you’re probably housed already. Good for you.
And finally, here’s a bonus game for you Giants fans: It’s called No Shot In Hell. Every time Barry Bonds begs for a job this winter, go buy a bottle of the good stuff. You’re probably gonna need it next summer.
Mychael Urban is the author of “Aces: The Last Season On The Mound With The Oakland A’s Big Three — Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito” and a writer for MLB.com. He also hosts the weekend edition of “Sportsphone 680” on KNBR (680 AM).