Professional football was out of California in 1995. And it was bittersweet.
The Raiders moved during the summer, and the celebration I believe must have rivaled those in France and other parts of Europe in 1945. The move should have been met with a ticker-tape parade. A huge cloud was lifted off the shoulders of the Southern California sports fans. The worst fans in the history of the world no longer had a team to cheer for.
At least not here. The Raiders were back where they belonged in the Detroit of California. (Oakland's true nickname, mind you.)
True, the inbred Raiders fans still drove around town in their jacked-up trucks, voicing their social protests via Calvin pissing stickers, we were not forced to have NFL games blacked out so that 40,000 pieces of evidence to the missing link could watch their favorite football team.
But there was some sorrow. The Los Angeles Rams folded, like a real-life version of Major League. And the fans who followed the team were unable to follow that new expansion franchise in St. Louis.
Even if they did try to use the same logo.
Those fans received some unlikely help from our enemies in New England. For years, the Celtics and Lakers had one of the top rivalries in sports. The Red Sox tormented the Angels franchise since 1986.
But it was the New England Patriots who gave some closure to those Southern California football fans with one playoff run.
The Patriots knocked off the Raiders and then the St. Louis FC in one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history.
While many of us will never witness our team win a Super Bowl championship in our lifetime, this was damn close.
So for one night -- in the New York, New York piano bar -- we celebrated with our chowder brothers. And it was good.
Oh yes, it was good.