You watch her from a distance. Her elegance is haunting and beguiling. Her light seems to shimmer under the pale moonlight. You have danced with her before. But something is very different. The years have been so kind to her. While she has made subtle changes, there seems to be a deeper glow. A sharper hue to her stance. You can feel her pulse. She calls to you without uttering even a whisper. But you are in a relationship.
A long committed relationship in which you have been taking more than you have been giving. A lot more. Exxon Mobile envies your heartlessness and lack of accountability. Your partner has given you her time, her love, and her undying devotion. Only to be let down time after time. Year after year. She has smiled through your ineptitude. While softly lamenting and remaining tacit through your empty promises. And there shines that brighter beast across the pond. You turn to your old partner and blow her a kiss. Load up your yacht and sail away on a river of her tears. On a yacht she paid for.
San Francisco has been slowly making a play to entice the Golden State Warriors to return to the city. The sunken drum beat came to a fierce crescendo last week when the Mayor of San Francisco Ed Lee stated that he wanted the team to return by the year 2017. The uninformed may have gleaned this as lip service, but this has been a move in the making since Joe Lacob and Peter Guber (co-owners of the Golden State Warriors) wrote that $450 million check for the team in 2010. Hollywood and Oakland have never been good bedfellows. Hollywood must be accompanied by only the classiest filler that money can buy. Even while quietly courting the working girl in the alley (insert Hugh Grant joke here).
Guber, ex-CEO of Sony Entertainment and Paramount Pictures and his partner Lacob announced that the move to San Francisco is all but certain. They unveiled plans for a new stadium at piers 30-32 almost directly under the Bay Bridge at a press conference early Wednesday morning. A $500 million privately funded arena with no foreseen subsidies from the city of San Francisco. A sweet deal for everyone involved right?
The announcement has driven a wedge through an already existing chasm. Residents and fans of Oakland teams have been forced to auscultate rumors of all of their professional teams leaving the east bay for greener pastuers. The A’s seeking San Jose. The silver and black maybe contemplating Southern California. And now their beloved Warriors crossing the bridge. All of these teams mind you, have been particularly woeful over the last decade. None of them deserved the fan support they have and are currently receiving.
The Warriors in particular have been to the post season one time since 2005. But have been in the top ten in attendance all but two of those seasons. And in the two seasons they did not finish in the top ten they were ranked 11th and 14th. This would seem to contradict popular assumptions of winning equaling greater attendance. But any resident of the Bay Area can tell you that we usually scoff at popular assumptions.
And how did the Warriors reward such blind devotion. Such unconditional and unrelenting love for our moderately performing but yet subtly entertaining team. Ticket increases, dismal basketball, and midgets jumping off of trampolines while you stand in line waiting for your overpriced snacks and beer. The little people sometimes being the biggest and best part of the three hour debacle that we call professional basketball. And the overpriced beer being the only soul numbing agent that can keep a usually sound mind off of the perpetual dissipation that is a Warriors game.
But Joe Lacob and Peter Guber seem to be intelligent human beings and smart business men. They understand that the money is on the Pacific side of the bridge. Making the argument that the team is only moving a few miles and another twenty minutes away from their site at Oracle Arena. Failing to mention that, that few miles will easily suck much more money out of the pockets of potential fans seeking to watch a game at the new arena. And I am not talking one or two dollars. I am talking you better have a stake in Facebook money. But the way their stock is plunging that may not even be enough to purchase a ticket.
It is just another classic case of the working class getting worked over. The men and women who so vigorously follow and support their local clubs being left to watch and cheer from their living rooms.There will most definitely be some dynamic pricing packages to get the true dyed-in-the-wool fans who cannot afford the luxury and pleasures of season tickets a chance to attend a few games. But this new arena is not being erected for them. And therein lies the rub.
So you are moving uptown with your uptown girl. And you’ve invited your old flame to join you in the penthouse from time to time. You have some cocktails, a laugh, and a good time is had by all. It’s a menagerie of riches. You tell her she is just as important to you as your new girl as you cross your fingers behind your back. After the deed is done you send her home with promises of good times to come and an empty dream. You share a kiss with your new squeeze and gaze out of the penthouse window as your old partner walks off into the cold and across the burning bridge. The bouts of grief and regret have come and gone. Because if she is going to oblige… Why not?