It would be nearly impossible for me to write anything sports related today and not discuss - at least briefly - our newly crown World Champion San Francisco Giants. With an exciting win in extra innings over the Detroit Tigers last night, the Bay Area claims another championship to its already impressive sports dossier.
This comes in combination with a huge season from the A's. I was pulling for them. Big time. I really enjoy seeing Bay Area sports teams successful, and I was bummed when Oakland's season came to an end.
But more than just eliciting personal feelings, the A's season and, to an even greater extent, the Giants' season should excite me as a 49ers fan. I want the Bay Area to be a sports haven where all the teams compete and are successful, because that shifts the focus of the entire world to the 49ers. When the 49ers are doing well, things are peachy in San Francisco. At the end of the day, I do believe it is a Football town. But when their success is coupled with success in Oakland (from all the teams there) and San Jose (lol hockey), the light of the 49ers shines just that much brighter, because it is now the focal point of a region that boasts an impressive docket of sports teams.
For this very reason, I am begrudgingly celebrating the resurgence of the NFC West. I mean, I obviously want the 49ers to win every year - and if the other teams need to suck in order for that to happen, then so be it. But, if you could promise me that the 49ers would win the division every year, then I would want the Cardinals, Seahawks, and Rams to be all tied for second and one game back of the 49ers. The better the competition around our team, all the more the glory for us as fans, the athletes, and the coaching staff.
Having the 49ers play the Cardinals on Monday Night Football, therefore, is amazing to me. To be frank, I'm not sure I would have it any other way. Giants? Saints? They are last year's news: playoff opponents in a season that thrust the 49ers back into relevancy. But when the 49ers have a strong rivalry going with the Cardinals and the Seahawks, the whole division benefits. And, well, when the NFC West is better, and Oakland is boasting some success, the 49ers can look back on their sterling history and ask "how can we add to that?"
So here's to all the teams on the West Coast. May they find levels of success that augment the 49ers'. May they major players in a sports game that can have an eastern bent. May they make staying up until midnight to watch a game a regular occurrence on the East Coast.
Except the Dodgers. Screw those guys.