Watching the Sharks was exhausting last night. I stayed strong through the second, third, and three periods of overtime, but in the fourth period my eyelids got heavy.
It was like the game was never going to end, and my jokes during the third period about how this game would go to at least five or six overtimes seemed destined to come true.
When the Sharks finally lost in the fourth overtime after falling a man down on their first penalty in any of the extra periods, it was sad. Sure, it was great to watch two masterpieces from goaltenders Evgeni Nabokov and Marty Turco. Nobody who watched the game will forget the Sharks offensive onslaught in the first overtime, or the Stars’ counterpunch in the second extra period. And whenever a game in any sport stretches into the next morning where the game is it’s fun (especially to see the crowd shots of nervous, exhausted adult fans next to kids in Stars sweaters, ecstatic that they’re up so late on a school night), but it was tough to get too excited about history (or even the fact that I could now finally go to bed), especially when the Sharks represented the Bay Area’s last best hope for a championship for a long time.
The Giants, whether they want to admit it or not, are rebuilding; the A’ are enjoying a great start, but are too young to seriously think of winning the American League pennant; the Niners and Raiders are still trying to shed the image of being the most dysfunctional franchises in the NFL; the Warriors as presently constructed would probably face just as difficult a struggle to make the playoffs next season as they did this year.
In a place so deprived of an elite team it’s fans have almost forgotten what watching one for an entire season looks like, Bay Area fans now have to wait for another Sharks season to come around before they have a chance at any sort of title, besides maybe “First Selection in the NFL Draft.” Maybe it’s a good thing the next NHL regular season starts roughly two weeks after the end of the Stanley Cup Finals.