Few locales offer as much competition in the world of professional sports as the San Francisco Bay Area.
Pro football, baseball and basketball are all here.
Major collegiate athletics are here. As are fringe sports like the AFL and Pro Lacrosse.
Of course, the San Jose Sharks are here as well, and are the best of the lot.
Many of the Bay Area sports teams have proud histories that include championship seasons.
The San Francisco 49ers were the team of the 1980's.
Who can forget about the Bash Brothers, the Eck and of course Reggie Jackson with the Oakland A's?
Once upon a time, the Raiders had a "commitment to excellence."
The sports landscape can change as fast as the fog can move through the Golden Gate.
The A's traded away almost their entire core, except for Eric Chavez, of course, who is untradable—thanks to an inverse relationship between his pay and his performance.
The San Francisco Giants enter the post-Bonds era with a shortstop who hit below the Mendoza Line in the minors and half of the roster currently getting membership letters from the AARP.
The Golden State Warriors may or may not make the playoffs, and if they do its almost impossible they will see the Dallas Mavericks again, so a first round exit is more than likely—it's imminent.
The Niners and the Raiders. Ugh.
The Sharks give the Bay something to be proud of.
An amazing streak to end the season, multiple MVP candidates in Big Joe and Evgeni Nabokov, and stellar front office work by Doug Wilson are just part of the reason that fans have come out in droves to support their hockey team.
What is more is that the people of the Bay Area are ready for a championship. Their last sip of the sweet nectar called victory was in 1995—how many Steve Young concussions ago?
Now is the time and fans of the Sharks can feel it.
This is the year; if the Sharks can't do it, no one else is going to.