Ratto: So ends a great decade, if you sweep off the rubble

6 trophies later, the good old days are finally in the past

Ray Ratto
December 16, 2019 - 1:14 pm
Ratto: So ends a great decade, if you sweep off the rubble

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Madison Bumgarner left town Sunday night, five years and $85 million richer, and to a team that will continue to beat his old team on a regular basis. The Oakland Raiders left one final gob of spit on their second tour of their first home, and will never come this way again. The Golden State Warriors got face-smacked by the Sacramento Kings, scoring the fewest points ever in this aggressive non-rivalry. The San Jose Sharks look very much like a non-playoff team for the second time in this decade and third time this century. Even the San Francisco 49ers cacked up a lead to the Atlanta Falcons, and though that last one is easily overcome, it was a well-earned way to juice up one of the darkest weeks ever in Frontrunner Central.

After all, when you lose a team, a local icon and a dynasty, people are bound to notice. Raider fans noticed, and people are still cleaning up the trash from their sendoff to Derek Carr. Giants fans noticed and are preparing to make Twitter a bad place for Farhan Zaidi to visit. Warrior fans… well, they have basically ordered a tactical retreat to 2011 and will return only when it’s safe to come out again.

There is nothing to do about this, either. There are, of course, good things to be found if you need victory to improve your self-esteem. The 49ers, yes, and the A's, and the hyper-persistent Stanford women's basketball team all get your attention.

But this has still been a difficult stretch for large hunks of the audience, and the Bay Area is going through a jarring transition as it tries to cozy up to the 49ers and A's. We've known about the Raiders for years, but going out as they did poured a bag of road salt in the wound nonetheless. We've known about the Warriors for months, but watching it happen is far more jarring, and watching Steve Kerr choke down his revulsion on the postgame presser even worse. And Bumgarner, we suspected that as well, but nostalgia-soaked Giants fans kept holding out hope that the good old days could never die. Hell, they wanted Kevin Pillar to stay.

Point is, this was a great decade for this area, and now it's pretty much legless. We'll see what the 49ers are truly about in the next several weeks, and we want Game 163 to lead to Game 164 for a change, but there were six parades and very nearly a seventh (I don't know if outsiders could have gotten permits to see a Stanford women's championship, but we could try) and without knowing the future the possibility of a trophyless Twenties… well, we're getting ahead of ourselves. What fans have today is no more Bumgarner, no more Raiders, no more dynastic Warriors, and a potentially futureless Sharks. The cupboard isn't empty, but Sunday reminded us that with only 15 more days left on the calendar hanging from the side, the good old days finally are in the past.

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