Warriors Parade: The team brought the win, fans brought the joy
Tuesday was pretty damn near perfect in downtown Oakland at 73 degrees when the Town came out in blue and gold force to welcome their back-to-back champions home.
Most reports anticipated a crowd size of about 1 million fans. The sardine-packed parade route and 30-minute lines at BART ticketing machines after the last float passed 13th and Oak streets seem to back up original estimates. Some lined up as early as 6:30 a.m. to get the good spots, but there was a non-stop flow of people coming in long after the event got underway. Swarms of merch-wearing parade-goers huddled together in shady areas of side streets trying to catch a break from the beautiful, but hot, sun.
There were plenty of families with kids in tiny Curry jerseys and groups of partiers that seemed to have taken their pregame routine pretty seriously. Despite the heat, the crowds and the excitement, people were super friendly and just stoked to be there – to be part of the infamous Golden State Warriors fan base and witness local history in the making. It felt like all of Oakland closed down business for the day, offices set up rooftop parties and construction workers donned team shirts with hard hats as they watched from scaffolding above.
“Nobody’s working today,” said one grandfather standing with his whole family at 19th and Webster streets.
Bellies were filled with bacon-wrapped hot dogs and beer, and the air had a distinctly sweet, California green flavor. One pendant-selling entrepreneur couldn’t resist the jab as he worked the crowd, but hell…what’s sports without a little smack?
“If you want to be an official fan instead a of a bandwagon motherfucker, get your flag today.”
The day’s experience largely varied depending on where on the route people were situated. Some got Draymond Green’s “mood” on a hot mic, some got Steve Kerr strolling the streets and signing posters with a beer in a hand and others got Jordan Bell swigging off a bottle of Hennessy while he ran around and hooted fans face-to-face. Everybody left pretty happy, especially Bell.
Did you say three-peat? Longtime Dub fans Matt and John took a minute from the parade to reminisce about old timers like Chris Mullin and Sleepy Floyd and consider if the team could do it a third year in a row. Their answer was a resounding “hell yeah”, although they wouldn’t make a prediction on whether we’d face the Cavs yet again.
Until next year…