You may remember my grandfather, Jonathan Livingston Seagull. He was a worldwide literary phenomenon in the early 1970s. He and my grandmother settled down in Berkeley to join the “Free Fly Movement,” which was all the rage in the skies above the Cal campus.
When my egg cracked, my dad taught me to fly by following the BART tracks over to the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum before it was Network Associated, McAfeed, Overstocked, O.Coed and Ring Centraled.
We would fly over to the Coliseum around the seventh inning for the early-bird specials with my feathered friends from all over the East Bay. We had great perches to see quality baseball and peck over leftovers from the fans that bailed early.
My editors have been bird-dogging me for an updated COVID-19 bird’s-eye view of the Bay Area sports scene.
My wings have seen better days, so I asked my daughter, Cee Cee, to gather her flight crew, take wing and report back.
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
My wingers will always call it the Coliseum.
Looks like the A’s are going to be a solid contender for postseason play in the shortened, 60-game season.
When the A’s opened up at the Coliseum July 24, we were surprised to see the skinniest crowd of A’s fans ever. It took us a while to understand that they weren’t people, just cardboard cutouts. What’s a gull supposed to do? We now use the faux fans for target practice, if you know what I mean.
The Gull Coalition decided 14 years ago that the Coliseum was the place for us. Howard Terminal is noisy, full of toxins, and cranes the size of, well, cranes. It would be easier to build a hummingbird nest out of crushed Schnitzer steel than a new A’s ballpark at Howard Terminal. If the multibillion-dollar project ever becomes a reality, we can save A’s owner John Fisher a few hundred million dollars right from the start.
We can fly – no gondolas for us!
For many years, this “Mistake by the Bay” was our favorite. The wind made it into our own amusement park ride. The gusts were fun to ride and the cold always forced fans to leave early without birdie bags, leaving more gull grub for us. It’s gone now, as are the Giants, 49ers and memories of John, Paul, George and Ringo. There isn’t even a plaque to mark the spot of so many great gull memories.
A few years ago, I was listening to a Giants game on my iPeck and heard Jon Miller and Dave Fleming talking about us arriving early. They were debating the proper name for gulls as a group. Jon asked Dave, “Are they a flock, gaggle, gang, bunch or herd?” Dave was stumped. Gentlemen, we are officially a colony. Our colony is enjoying games from McCovey Cove when the Giants’ Navy sails, rows, paddles or motors in for a fan-less game. They drop enough from their various watercraft for a passable seafood sampling.
We are now comfortable with soaring to Santa Clara. Lucky for us, we have GPS (Gull Positioning Systems). There is a plethora of palate prizes at the Pants Palace. We bring extra wing lotion for day games. The upcoming season is going to be a challenge without knowing what percentage of 49ers Faithful will be allowed to watch games in person. We will be squawking for Jimmy “G for Gull” as he leads the Kittle Krew to another winning season.
We couldn’t even get a sneak beak into the new home of the Warriors. Wow, this place is going to be the goose that lays a Golden State of Eggs for years to come. The flight from Berkeley to China Basin won’t be too difficult, especially because we don’t have to take the bridge or BART.
Andy Dolich operates Dolich & Associates, a sports consultancy in Los Altos.