The final nail in the coffin of East Coast sports dominance was provided by the LA Kings winning the coveted Stanley Cup for the second time in three years with a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers in June, 2014. As a native New Englander, I once worshipped the Boston Bruins, Red Sox and New York Giants but when my beloved Giants moved west in1958 shortly after my move west as a Naval Aviator ~ my allegiance shifted and I saw the handwriting on the wall which has now become reality. The West is now supreme in pro sports with Baseball, Football, Basketball and now Hockey leading the parade ~ and the East Coast is just beginning to sense this truth:
It’s almost emotionally unbearable to witness the carnage that Israel is inflicting on its occupied garrison state of Palestine while the rest of the world looks away. In December of 2013, I summarized my outraged feelings which still remain the same ~ see my article
To a Brazilian, the feeling would be like watching its National Soccer team recently be trounced by Germany 7-1 in the World Cup ~ shocked disbelief.
Now let me set the record straight on another more palpable sports truth ~ It’s all over for East Coast Sports dominance ~ the West Coast is already dominant which will soon become obvious to Boston, New York and the rest of the East coast.
Let’s take it sport by sport:
1. Major league Baseball ~ The best record in Baseball belongs to the surging Oakland A’s (buoyed by Billy Beane’s recent pitching steal from the Chicago Cubs) followed closely by the Los Angeles Angels, San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. Detroit and Milwaukee have decent records in weak divisions. The Yankees and Red Sox are currently tired relics from the past.
2. National Hockey League ~ the torch has been handed to the West and Stanley Cup two time Winner Los Angeles Kings as well as the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks who are close behind.
3. National Football league ~ The super bowl champions Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers are the two best teams in the NFL and continue to set the standard for excellence.
4. National Basketball Association ~ The World champion San Antonio Spurs, as well as the LA Clippers and Golden State Warriors are the class of the west.
My point is that the West Coast has clear superiority over the East Coast in major professional sports ~ which will become more apparent this year when the Oakland A’s will most probably face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.
To avid sports fans, such as myself, the place to be is on the West Coast ~ which I innately knew as a child and have lived as an adult. LeBron James should actively consider this possibility even though he has made the decision to return to his Mid-West hometown Cleveland. However, that may end up being a pit stop on his journey West for there is only one logical final location for LeBron James ~ and that is the Los Angeles Lakers where his star will gain even further luster as well as enhance the ageing skills of his friend and fellow superstar Kobe Bryant.
50 years ago, I would never have envisioned this West Coast dominance but now it’s obvious and somewhat validating since I am the only one in my family to hear and follow the Call of the West as poet Gerald Gould so ably writes;
“Beyond the East the sunrise, beyond the West the sea,
And East and West the wanderlust that will not let me be;
It works in me like madness, dear, to bid me say good-by!
For the seas call and the stars call, and oh, the call of the sky!
I know not where the white road runs, nor what the blue hills are,
But man can have the sun for friend, and for his guide a star;
And there’s no end of voyaging when once the voice is heard,
For the river calls and the road calls, and oh, the call of a bird!
Yonder the long horizon lies, and there by night and day
The old ships draw to home again, the young ships sail away;
And come I may, but go I must, and if men ask you why,
You may put the blame on the stars and the sun and the white road and the sky!” ~ Gerald Gould
To me, my stars were the writings of Jack London (Call of the Wild) which stirred my young active imagination and made it easy to listen to and follow my heart and destiny ~ and. to my delight, the New York Giants followed me to the San Francisco Bay area in 1958. But it was also the spirit of creative freedom, daring and innovation that I correctly sensed on the West Coast compared to the stifling tradition, provincialism and allegiance to the status quo of the East Coast.
The days of Mays, McCovey, Marichal and Cepeda are long past and now it’s Cespedes, Moss, Donaldson, Doolittle, Norris and kazmir who fuel my sports fire for the young, driven and relentless Oakland A’s are now the team to beat in the West.
I’m glad I’m an avid sports fan and I know it’s healthy to stay excited about life and its events even as the Empire crumbles around us ~ for there is something innocent, noble and exhilarating in watching your favorite team endure the exhilaration of victory and agony of defeat ~ which somehow is a not too subtle reminder of what life is really like when we are fully engaged.
“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game” ~ Babe Ruth
About the Author: Allen L Roland is a Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist. He is also a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his web site at AllenRoland.com. He also guest hosts a Truthtalk, a national radio show that airs monthly. He is available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements and private consultations via email at [email protected].