Some of these are easy. And then some of them, like this one about the Sharks, you feel this way…
Because really, what do you think of when you think of the Sharks now? Their games are always on the latest, their jerseys aren’t even that cool anymore, the broadcast has finally given up on trying to claim The Tank is the loudest building in the league (it’s filled with Silicon Valley residents, so how could it be? If you want noise from them try and actually talk to someone on their favorite coffee shop instead of making sure everyone sees you writing on your tablet), and Joe Thornton is old. They play in perhaps the shittiest division in the four major sports, one that let an expansion team run right over it, and they’re just kind of there, like that one shop or business in your neighborhood that you never see anyone go into and yet never closes. Are the Sharks a mob front? Might explain the bail bonds ads behind the bench.
The Sharks, for perhaps the fifth or sixth season in a row, we’re able to just Dead Sea float their way into a comfortable playoff spot without really doing anything. Every year they’re just smart enough to let the irretrievably dumb teams sink past them while an extraordinarily lucky team goes on to win the division. The Sharks haven’t won the Pacific, in whatever form, since 2011. And more over, it hasn’t mattered a fucking jot that they haven’t. You couldn’t name the teams that did win the division in those years, because they never went fucking anywhere. Probably because it’s always the godforsaken Ducks, and we know what a waste of time that is.
The Sharks came into this season with a unique strategy. They wanted to bring both Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton back, but when Marleau decided to high-tail it for the far more annoying but interesting Leafs, they just took all the money allotted for both and handed it to Thornton. At age 37. “Shit…well, we don’t know what to do with this now so here, you take it!” Maybe the Sharks could have used another d-man…or a d-man, who could actually move? Y’know, to replace the fossilized Paul Martin? Maybe another winger who isn’t a raging scumbag like Evander Kane? Just a thought.
The Sharks did that thing they do every year, sometimes in the fall but sometimes in the spring, where they rip off a winning streak, causing everyone to say, “Oh fuck, that’s right, they exist!” And then we go back about or day and lives, because we know that they’ll lose in the second round before anyone has a chance to really discover a flying fuck about them. What’s your most memorable Shark playoff memory? Losing four in a row to the Kings, right? Maybe Duncan Keith’s teeth? Do you remember they were in the Final two years ago? Of course you don’t. If somehow you do, and you don’t, do you remember anything that happened in the Final? Nope, you don’t. You were watching the Cubs.
That’s the Sharks. You know they’ve played 82 games, and you know they’re in the playoffs, and then when it’s over basically all it is is a record on HockeyReference.com. They exist on paper and nowhere else.
They are rumored to be the likeliest destination for John Tavares, a man determined to play out the rest of his career in the biggest set of shadows possible. Long Island was ok, but Brooklyn definitely wasn’t, so let’s head to like the fifth or sixth desirable location in the Bay Area to live out the rest of his days. If the Sharks ever moved to Oakland he’d demand a trade to Arizona. Or Bolivia.
There he can find a team where everyone who matters is over 30 and been rumored to be leaving or traded for at least five years. And it turns out Brent Burns is just a bearded, better clothed Dustin Byfuglien, as neither has any idea what they’re doing when they’re not shooting the puck. Joe Thornton now has no knees, probably crumbling under the weight of his gross fucking beard, and is still going to eat up most of their cap space to get them 50 assists that won’t matter in the least. Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture will each get their 25+ goals, and then in the spring will turn to each other and ask, “Why did we even bother?” They’ll continue to call up players with ridiculous fucking names like Joonas and Barclay and Timo because it’s tradition at this point, and then for the next five years you’ll hear Sharks fans (you won’t because you don’t know any and if you do you’ve definitely thought about burying a stapler into their nasal passage) “Man, if Ryker or Antenna or Prius can develop into a 30-goal scorer…” And then they never do and then end up in Colorado or Vancouver simply because someone had to.
The Sharks might be the least interesting team in any sport in that place. The A’s at least changed the whole way all of baseball was run. The Warriors might be the best team ever. The Niners are either hilariously bad or now promising with an actual QB and nothing in between. The Raiders are leaving. The Giants have the best park in the league. The Sharks…have that sharks’ head? Yeah, I don’t know either.
Let’s put it this way, the Sharks were the last team to make Ryan Getzlaf look like a force in the playoffs. And that was 10 years ago. That was their window, and they fucking blew it to Ryan Getzlaf. Perhaps this is exactly what they deserve for the next three decades.
So long, San Jose. You definitely completed the schedule.