"Oakland's Warriors," Seven Days, 6/24
The Warriors Belong in Oakland
The San Francisco 49ers are the best example available of an owner and his ego driving the team quickly toward mediocrity. By insisting that they must be in Silicon Valley, where the Big Money lives, at all cost, they have lost their home field advantage and alienated both their historic fans and the community around the new venue. The Warriors absolutely belong in Oakland. The fans in Oakland have paid the price with fanatical support, despite forty years between championships. Now is certainly not the time to move. The Oracle is the best home court in the NBA. The players know it, the owners know it, and now the national media knows it.
Adam Silvers' greedy babble was all about the corporate elite flying in for the NBA finals and having the same experience they get when they fly into Dallas for the Super Bowl at Jerry Jones Stadium. You do not need all of that to have a great arena packed with loyal, loud, devoted fans every night. That's like building a retail outlet and buying enough land to adequately park customers for the Christmas sales. Those spaces are unused for about 350 days a year. Not a wise approach. I am also a longtime sports fan who truly believes in mojo.
The Raiders enjoyed twenty years of winning, sellouts, and some of the greatest games in NFL football history at the Coliseum. They then decided in 1982 that they could make more money in Los Angeles and moved the team. That did not work out and they came back. It did not work out because the Los Angeles Coliseum is so big that it is a neutral site at best. The LA fans are also a fickle bunch who show up for the hot games, but week to week, they do other things. Lastly, USC is the number one football team in LA and that is not changing anytime soon.
You will notice that since the Raiders returned in 1995, they have lost their home field mojo and have yet to reclaim it. Most of the so-called "big games" they have had at home since 1995, they have lost. Back in the day, on a gray Sunday morning in the fall, knowing the sun will shine around 12:30 p.m., as a Raiders fan, you could taste and feel the anticipation and energy of great football in the air. That is no longer the case. Perhaps they can get it back, but the Warriors should not make that mistake. They will never have the energy of the Oracle in San Francisco.
Gary Patton, Hayward
The Players Know It, Too
And let's not forget that Klay Thompson and Steph Curry each gave a shout out to Oakland and Lake Merritt: Thompson pointed to the apartment building across the lake where he lived as a rookie and Curry said he also lived by the lake and used to walk around unnoticed. Harrison Barnes said he still lives in Oakland. Most of the Warriors reside in the East Bay.
Maybe the most important comment came from Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, who said it was the fan support for the team at games at Oracle Arena during the 2013 playoffs when he played for Denver that made him want to join the Warriors (that and playing alongside Curry, who he noted at the time was "more popular than God").
The crowd at the victory celebration was diverse and reflective of the fans at Oracle — Asian, Latino, Black, white, young, and old — rabid fans who make superstars like Iguodala want to be here (in Oakland). That will be lost in 'Frisco. The Warriors' ownership really should reconsider the move to The City and stay in The Town.
Paul Burton, Oakland
"Superhighways in the Sky," Feature, 6/24
East Bay Parks Are Suffering, as Well
As daily hikers in the East Bay, we have certainly noticed the increase in planes flying straight down the ridge of the East Bay hills over Tilden, Sibley, and Redwood parks. Dozens per hour, so low you can read the writing on the sides. Really disturbs the peace. Thanks for the article.
Marcy Helm, Oakland
We Need a Compromise
Thanks for the article. I really appreciate the depth of coverage. I live in Bolinas, where we experience jets flying over all day, every day. My two-year-old daughter notices them every time they fly over. Some are higher, some are lower as they converge onto the SFO landing pattern. When it's quiet, the sound of the jets is more obvious, making it more of a disturbance. It's astonishing that the FAA doesn't even analyze impacts in places with a low baseline [of noise] since these are the places where the impact is perceived to be greatest. I always wondered why they didn't move the flight path farther west over the ocean. Now it makes sense: It's restricted military airspace and I have witnessed military aircrafts doing exercises there. Great things happen when people work together. I hope these agencies ditch their egos for the betterment of themselves and others.
Doug Lee, Bolinas
Would You Rather Drive?
People want benefits without costs. No matter how you do something, all they see is the bad side. Ooh, the hell of planes in a highway in the sky. Ooooh, the hell of planes dispersed on separate paths. Geez, I want to visit my father in Atlanta.