Between January 1995 and October 2010, while the Internet was insinuating itself into every corner of daily life, cellphones were transforming into indispensable techo-tools, and O.J. Simpson was looking for the real killers, the Bay Area sports landscape was a nearly barren wasteland when it comes to what matters most: championships.
Check it out now. After 16 years during which the only championships were won by the San Jose Earthquakes, the Bay Area is experiencing a boom the likes of which it has rarely known. On the heels of the Giants' second World Series triumph in three years, the 49ers are headed for the Super Bowl. On Jan. 1, Stanford won its first Rose Bowl since 1972. The A's were the surprise story in baseball last season. Even the Warriors are good.
"It's a golden age," said veteran sports executive Andy Dolich, who has worked for the A's, Warriors and 49ers.
It could be built to last. Both the 49ers and Giants are led by 25-year-old wunderkinds, Colin Kaepernick and Buster Posey. The A's and Warriors have that up-and-comer look. Are we embarking on an age more golden than any other in Bay Area sporting history? And, after 16 lost years, how did we get here all of a sudden?