Figuring out who is the most consistent franchise in the Bay Area may seem easy at first, but when you think about it, there are plenty of things to think about.
It is both about long-term balance as well as how well the team is doing currently. While some teams like the Giants have won two championships in the last three years, they still did not strike me as consistent.
For that reason, I went ahead and made the case for the San Jose Sharks.
Although they are one of the newest franchises to the Bay Area, the Sharks certainly have made their mark. They have played 21 seasons and have failed to reach the playoffs just five times.
In fact, they are currently on a streak where they have made the playoffs for nine straight years. Yes, they have not won a Stanley Cup (yet), but they have come close a few times by reaching the conference championship in 2004 and 2011.
Even better, their longest playoff drought is a mere two seasons, which has occurred twice. Talk about a spoiled fan base.
No other Bay Area team even comes close to that type of consistency.
Perhaps your best bet for most consistent could go to the Oakland A’s franchise. Since 1970 they have not gone more than six years between playoff appearances. They have made the playoffs 17 out of 45 years since moving to Oakland which turns out to be about 37%. Still, they do not go into bad droughts, and that is always a good thing for fans.
In fact, it is the Sacramento Kings organization (which includes when they were the Rochester Royals and also the Kansas City Kings) who gives the Sharks the best run for their money, topping the A’s. They have made the postseason 29 out of 56 total season for a rate of 51.7%.
The problem is they have not made it to the playoffs for seven years now, dating back to the 2006-2007 season. While the Kings enjoyed plenty of success with head coach Rick Adelman at the helm from 1998 to 2006, they have been unable to rekindle those glory days.
Then there are the San Francisco Giants. They have won two World Series’ in two of the past three years, but did not even make the playoffs during the season between the two championships. You could argue in baseball, it is a bit harder to make the playoffs, but even then the consistency is not there.
Then we have our two Bay Area football teams in the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders. While the 49ers were able to dig themselves out of irrelevancy and are now a top dog, the Raiders continue to struggle, although things are slowly looking up for them.
We can talk about all the championships the 49ers won in the 80’s and 90’s, but the problem is there is a whole history before that where the franchise was mediocre at best. From 1946 to 1969 the team only made the playoffs twice. Also, most recently, they had a playoff drought that spanned from 2003 to 2010, thus killing any thoughts of consistency.
Lastly we hit the Golden State Warriors who have been anything but consistent. Before the eight-seeded Warriors defeated the Dallas Mavericks in in a thrilling upset in the first round they had not been in the playoffs for 12 seasons. That was back in the 2006-2007 season. It took them another five years to make it once again, and once again losing in the second round.
As you can tell, the Bay Area is chock full of great franchises, even if a majority have relocated from the east coast.
Still, the fact that the Sharks have accomplished so much in so little time shows what kind of organization they are running. Now the only thing left is to win the Cup!