It was like catnip to South Bay sports fans this week, when Oracle CEO Larry Ellison loudly proclaimed his interest in bringing an NBA team to San Jose.
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed was not to be outdone. He went and got the owner of the Oakland A's, the team with full-blown ants in its pants to relocate to San Jose, to give his introduction at Thursday morning's State of the City address. And the introduction was so flattering and sycophantic that Mayor Reed might still be washing lip balm off his rear end.
You can watch the entire State of the City address online, that is, if you're looking for some sort of self-punishing, painfully boring Ash Wednesday atonement ritual to put yourself through. I would not recommend it as entertainment. Between the Pledge of Allegiance, the Invocation, and several introductory video montages, this thing takes longer to get going than that fire cauldron at the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies.
Neither A's owner Lew Wolff nor Mayor Reed made any direct, specific reference to the A's baseball franchise, or any kind of pro team relocating to San Jose. But Mayor Reed still acknowledged the elephant in the room with a little opening-joke wisecrack. "We're all kind of wondering just when your next investment in San Jose might get underway," Mayor Reed said to Wolff. "Give our regards to the Commissioner, would you?"
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig is involved in the deciding whether to allow the A's to move into the San Francisco Giants' designated geographic territory, which covers San Jose.
In his introduction, Wolff compared Mayor Reed to Thomas Jefferson. Yes, the author of the Declaration of Independence and third President of the United States Thomas Jefferson. Baloney detectors were beeping even harder when Wolff said in his intro, "History will validate that Chuck Reed was the right leader for San Jose during these tough times."
By "right leader", he means "guy who would do me a big favor".
And Maybe Lew Wolff is doing Mayor Reed a favor here, too. Because San Jose voters might notice who introduced Mayor Reed's speech more than they noticed, say, the10 to 15 percent pay cut he asked city employees to take during the speech.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who will not get out of bed for an 8 a.m. State of the City address. I don't even care if there are going to be bagels.