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Cal fans, what is your favorite Bay Area pro team?

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With the Warriors in the Finals, just wanted to ask: Do you have a favorite Bay Area professional sports team? Which one is it and why?

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Nick Kranz: It's the Giants, and it's not really very close. I nominally root for the 49ers and the Warriors, but I can't pretend that my fandom for those two teams comes anywhere near my fandom for Cal and the Giants. The Warriors were so bad for so long during my formative childhood years that they completely failed to make any meaningful impact. I'm just a fringe bandwagon fan now, more happy for long suffering friends than I am personally invested.

My interest in the NFL has been dying for years thanks to a league that has piled scandal upon scandal at every level of operation. Whether it's at the league level (Hellooooooo, hidden military sponsorships, domestic violence ignorance and concussion denial!), the organizational level (Jed York: perfect scion of undeserved, inherited power) or the player level (no, rooting for Chris Culliver and Ray McDonald, amongst others, didn't really appeal to me), the NFL has lost me beyond a cursory interest in Cal grads and a sentimental family picks competition.

Honestly, it's a problem for all major professional leagues. I'd probably be drifting that way with the Giants, except that they were my first, biggest love as a kid, and because they've been so ridiculously successful over the past half decade. I increasingly find the transitory nature of sports frustrating, at both the college and professional level. Yet, unlike most professional outfights, the Giants have done a pretty good job of keeping core players around year after year, which means I get to enjoy the familiarity of seeing Tim Lincecum each year, for better or for worse.

The joy of baseball is how it fills a summer otherwise devoid of frequent sports, without loudly demanding your time and attention the way football does. I can turn on the game and catch a few innings, and walk away without worry, knowing that there's going to be another game on tomorrow with the same familiar faces and voices. Even better, a loss isn't the end of the damned world leading swaths of internet rage across blogs and twitter. Baseball is hardly immune, but it's the least hyperactive, bloviated option in a field otherwise flooded with constant overreaction and turmoil.

Plus baseball players don't regularly get concussed.



boomtho: Warriors, by far. I grew up in the Bay Area and became a fan a few years before We Believe, in the 2002-2003 season under Eric Musselman. I don't really know why - I played basketball for many years before that, but I guess I was just starting to get competitive with local leagues and my school team. That was a goofy team - we had some nice pieces (Arenas, J-Rich, Jamison, Dampier), some early pieces that would take years to develop (Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy)... and yet, they only won 38 games due to some absolutely horrendous defense and questionable coaching. That was a great introduction to the Warriors for the next ~10 years - pockets of talent, an incohesive roster, less than optimal coaching, and a disappointing win total.

I stuck with the Warriors til now despite a non-stop procession of shitty players - Zarko Cabarpaka, Foyle - misused high first round picks (Diogu, PATRICK FREAKING O'BYRANT, Anthony Randolph, Epke Udoh). I watched and was amazed at the success of D-League callups - something the Warriors could hang their hat on!! - Will Bynum, Ish Smith, Anthony Morrow, Kelenna Azibuike, Reggie Williams, Bazemore, CJ Watson - wondering what a sad indictment it was of our team that these random D-Leaguers so effortlessly cracked our starting lineups and became productive players.

I remember how said I was that We Believe turned out to be a flash in the pan. I still think the NBA needs to remove conferences when deciding playoff berths, and that's a direct result of the 48 Warrior team that missed the playoffs in a loaded Western conference. I remember the slow descent into becoming an NBA punchline again - Don Nelson clearly not giving a f***, a four guard lineup with Acie Law guarding Eryan Ilyasova, the Warriors incurring a technical because we didn't have 5 eligible players to finish a game with. I love Nelly and I'm glad he got his wins record, but the end of his tenure was decidedly not fun. There was also the front office squabble between Rowell, Mullin, and the stagnancy that introduced into the Warriors' ability to do anything in free agency or trades.

The ride back up, starting with David Kahn gifting us Steph Curry, the ownership change, the bold move to trade fan favorite Monta Ellis for an injured Andrew Bogut, drafting a PERFECT fit in Klay Thompson, absolutely NAILING the 2012 draft (started by tanking for a chance at Harrison Barnes), Jackson instilling a culture of toughness and defense, and now the incredible rocket-ship effect of Steve Kerr - has been nothing short of stunning given where the Warriors were under Cohan.

Anyway, that's a long rambling way of saying I started as a Warriors fan because I played basketball and was born and raised in the Bay, I stuck with it due to the pockets of optimism and flashes of talent, and I'm happy beyond words that they're in the Finals now.



ragnarok: Giants/A's - Because I'm a baseball fan, and why should I have to choose between those two? They play in different leagues, and other than '89 have never been really in each other's way. Sometimes the Giants are more entertaining, while sometimes it's the A's. I sorta follow the other professional teams, but have never been to a professional football, basketball or hockey game, so I don't have any strong allegiances to any of them. I'm basically a well-wisher, in that I don't wish them any specific harm.


Trace Travers: Professionally, it's either the Warriors or the A's. I'd put the Raiders up there, but it does make a difference that they've become a laughingstock and a punchline in the NFL. My mom is from the East Bay and used to bring my brother to A's games when he was younger, so I hopped on that bandwagon much like younger brothers tend to do. A's games have a certain atmosphere that I've always preferred over the Giants, so I've stuck on that side, even though Billy Beane makes Sam Hinkie (76ers GM) look like a joke when it comes to trading people.

As for the Warriors, basketball is my favorite sport. As a kid, I loved Kobe and Shaq (because kids are bandwagoners by nature), but I always thought as a kid that you were supposed to stay loyal to the team you're closest to. And through a whole load of terrible seasons (and one great 'We Believe' year), the Warriors have become an excellent team that is probably the most fun to watch in the NBA. After seeing Klay Thompson tear through a Cal defense for 36 points in Haas my freshman year, it's great to see him exceeding the potential he exuded at that point. It's a far cry from Bimbo Coles, Danny Fortson, and the ashes of John Starks.



Sam Fielder: The Oakland A's and it isn't even close. The first 15 or so professional baseball games I remember going to were A's games and as a young and impressionable 7-8 year old, it just stuck. I assume that Old Bear 71, a diehard Dodger fan and my dad, couldn't stomach the thought of taking his son to Giants games, so to A's games we went and it didn't take long for me to get hooked. I remember crying after the 1988 World Series and being so mad at Old Bear 71 that his team had won. (I am a Dodger fan today as you really can't root against your father for too long) but then 1989 happened.

In October of 1989 I was almost 9 years old and at the peak of my A's fandom. Rickey Henderson had joined the team that summer and immediately became my favorite player and sparked the A's to the World Series. I'm not sure why, but I hated the Giants more than anything in the world and so for the series I convinced Old Bear 71 and my mom to let me plaster the house with pro-A's/anti-Giants signs. Old Bear71 tells me that one of the signs said that Will Clark was mud, as that was about the worst insult my 8 year-old self could think up. I like to think my signs put the A's over the top that year.

And had all of those things not convinced me to be a lifelong A's fan, one night in 1993 definitely would have done it.  My family and I were in the Oakalnd airport as Old Bear 71 was getting ready to fly to Florida for the summer before we moved there. A plane pulled up to the gate next to us and there was no one there to meet it or any signs or anything.  We watched as a bunch of guys in suits started getting off the plane and then some guys with A's bags and then I started naming all of the players as they were filing off the plane.  It was one of the most surreal moments I've ever had. Old Bear 71 and I ran down the hallway and caught up to Rickey Henderson and I got to say hi and shake his hand and it was pretty much the best thing ever.

I still root for the A's and will attempt to raise my sons to do the same.  It's a little tougher now that I live so far away but I still watch the early innings of a lot of A's games on MLBtv and always wear A's stuff once the season rolls around. And I still hate the Giants.



Nik Jam: I started out rooting for all Bay Area teams but fell in love with underdog Oakland around a decade ago. Raiders were my first love and was how I got into football. I then adopted Cal as my college team and made it my go to attend here (I made it in 2009!) To help bide time between football seasons I became a fan of the Warriors, Sharks and A's (and other various Cal teams, first men and women's basketball and later baseball/softball. When I became a student I started following the other sports)

However lately the A's became my main team because I found a second family within the LF/RF Bleacher crew, and combined with the Cinderella 2012 season and successful 2013 (when I met the majority of my close friends) and the poor Reggie McKenzie Raiders years they've been my life lately, but Cal probably has most of my heart.

The Warriors do mean a lot to me but they might be last of my teams in terms of who I want to win a championship, cause im not a big NBA fan and I'm not happy about the SF move, but I did attend several games inlcuding a playoff game (the one loss to Memphis, doh!) and will hopefully attend the parade if I'm free.

LeonPowe: It's the raiiiiiddddeeeerrrrssss and that's really the only Bay Area pro team I'll even cop to rooting for. Growing up as an LA kid, the Giants and niners were hated. I'm neutral towards the A's and I have had a soft spot for the Warriors especially the Run TMC teams and Saraus is on my list of all time favorite basketball players. But that's it.

TwistNHook: Oakland Athletics and it is not even close.  This is somewhat weird, because I used to be a huge Niners fan, but am not as interested anymore.  I am not sure why that is.  I mean I watch the games and was excited for the deep playoff runs the other year(s), but it is not the same as the As.  Perhaps because I have only been to 2 Niners games in my life.

Regarding the Dubs, I am kind of in the same boat.  I watch the games and am a big fan, but emotionally am not that invested.  If the As won the World Series, I'd probably go bonkers.  When the Warriors win the Finals, I will not be as interested and probably will not do that much.  Maybe I will go to the parade.



Berkelium97: I didn't follow baseball much until I started attending Cal.  When I was younger my favorite baseball team was the Yankees.  Not because I'm a terrible person, but because my dad is from New York and we'd root for them together.  We watched games periodically, but not on a regular basis.  It was mostly a way to pass the time during the NBA's offseason.

For whatever reason, I started watching baseball regularly when I was at Cal.  And I discovered the A's.  I was drawn in by how lively the crowds were. Any fanbase that can bring that much energy for 3 hours per game, 81 home games per year is easy to be drawn into.

As a Cal fan, it's been more rewarding to root for the A's in recent years because Bob Melvin is a Cal alum.  And this season they're regularly starting Cal alumni Marcus Semien and Mark Canha.  Even during down years (like this one) A's games are always a ton of fun to watch live or in person.

As for the other Bay Area teams, I am neutral-to-slightly-positive on the Warriors and Raiders.  I also enjoy seeing the Giants beat the Dodgers.  I still have some residual dislike of the 49ers due to the Harbaugh-Kaepernick era, but that may begin to fade after a few more years.  I don't care about hockey, so I never think about the Sharks.

cldpc: I'll root for and support all of the real Bay Area teams: Athletics, Warriors, Quakes, Sharks. Now that Harbaugh is gone, even the 9ers. It's just a natural product of spending the vast majority of my adult life in the Bay Area.