By Tomas Mier, Mosaic Staff Writer
“Wakey Wakey.” It’s what David said as he walked into my room at 6:10 Friday morning, 20 minutes before we were supposed to leave to go to Oakland for the Warriors Victory Parade. The night before I had a plan for that morning: wake up at 5:45, put on some sunblock, get some Starbucks coffee and then head out to Oakland.
This would’ve happened if I hadn’t set my alarm to 5:45 P fricking M…
Still half-asleep, David, Rachel, Sara and I headed out to downtown Oakland. People packed the streets. The atmosphere in Oakland felt a lot different. For some reason, I didn’t feel the tension and fear I usually feel when entering the city.
Rachel and I stuck around at the rally area where people with lawn chairs sat out there since 2 AM.
The dedication and love these fans had for their Warriors was incomparable. Many skipped work, spent lots of money, and one guy even flew out from Dallas just for the parade and rally.
By the time I finished my interviews, I was hella hungry. I left Rachel for her to take some photos and I went to look for some food. Luckily, I found one of those Mexican guys who sell the “churros” with tapatío and limón… so much for breakfast.
I met up with Rachel again and went to the press area. We were going to be so close to the stage. I was super pumped.
After sitting in the sun for like forever, the ceremony began and we were SUPER close to the stage. Stephen Curry was like 10 feet from where we were.
As the politicians, owners, and players gave their speeches, fans yelled at the top of their lungs. I was particularly captured by the crowd’s spontaneous yells of “STAY IN OAKLAND!” This team is definitely an Oakland team.
Some players gave speeches and goofed around on the stage. They had fun and that vibe transmitted into the crowd where people punched around a big beach ball.
Riley Curry was one of the stars of the rally. The two-year-old played games on her dad’s phone and was just my favorite person. When her dad came up to the podium, Riley came along and started to sing “Blessings” by Big Sean. Everyone loves that kid, I even saw a sign saying “Riley for MVP.”
Overall, this rally was so awesome. I don’t know how to describe it. It was surreal. Oakland finally has something positive to talk about– their Warriors are the NBA champions.
That’s what stayed with me… along with the sunburns.
By Rachel Lee, Mosaic Staff Photographer
Streamers went flying through the air. Confetti sprinkled down like snowflakes. The sky was covered in a medley of blue and gold. I rapidly shot photos and my shutter went about snapping the momentous occasion.
Today, I had the privilege of attending of the Warriors Victory Parade in Oakland along with David, Sara, and Tomas. Although I’m not an avid Warriors fan, it was still incredibly thrilling to be immersed in such enthusiasm and high spirits. We had an early start and I woke up promptly at 5:45am. After rushing through the bustling traffic of cars and cacophony of screams and honking, we made it to the press check in booth. There was a bit of confusion, but we still were able to obtain the necessary credentials to shoot within the press areas. Tomas and I teamed up in the rally portion of the parade with Rob watching along the sidelines. While Tomas conversed with dedicated fans, I snapped photos with my heavy, telephoto lens. The crowd would light up at the sight of photographers and TV crews and I spent a majority of the morning capturing those moments of excitement. As the day went on and the sun began to beat down on us, Tomas, Sara, David, and I scouted out a prime location for capturing photos and viewing the basketball players. Random men gave speeches on a podium for a good half hour before the players were finally introduced. The crowd went wild for each player and I did my best to capture those genuine emotions (my arms were quite sore at that point). The anticipation built up steadily until Stephen Curry took the stage with his two year old daughter, Riley. “Riley’s dad” (as the announcer had put it) seemed to be a modest man and dedicated father. It was surreal. Seeing this man who had starred in countless games on TV right in front of me was almost unbelievable. I only wished I was a bigger Warriors fan and could truly appreciate the celebration.
The trek back home was a bit exhausting. In the car, Sara went on and on about the once in a lifetime experience which I agreed with before dozing off (along with David and Tomas). When I finally settled back in the newsroom, I was exhausted, thirsty, and hungry. I filled up my stomach with a bagel, popcorn, and water and took a nap back in the dorms.
By Sara Ashary, Mosaic Staff Writer
So we survived a day in Oakland today. For a somewhat sheltered Bay Area teen, I am oddly very proud of myself because Oakland has the bad reputation. Although, I interviewed locals and they were so proud to be from there! I walked with our supervisor Brian and the photographer David around the parade and I saw a bunch of famous people not only correlating to the Warriors but also politicians like Nancy Pelosi. Something that shocked me was that when the police came up on the parade, some people booed! Brian and I got to spend a lot of time together and he gave me some great future advice for a journalist, he also bought a lot of water for all of us, I hope he gets reimbursed.
I was super sleepy the whole day so I went to CVS and bought a Red Bull. I AM STILL SO AWAKE. I guess I am learning some life lessons in the Mosaic….like not to drink Red Bull…ever..like ever. Red Bull taste like thin syrup mixed in with some cough medicine. I will never get how people actually drink that stuff.
It was so crowded… holy guacamole! IT IS A WONDERFUL THING I AM NOT CLAUSTROPHOBIC BECAUSE I WOULD NOT HAVE MADE IT DEAR MOTHER GOD!!!! There were 500,000 people there… can you believe that? I can, because I looked back from the press box and there were people as far as I could see. Crowds of bright yellows and blue cheering on and smiling.
After the parade, the three of us managed to get to the Press box and meet up with Robert, Tomas, and Rachel. And in the moment, I was like “Woah, this is legit.” We were super close to the big stars! Like no joke, Steph Curry was like ten feeet away from me! I had to be very professional and take notes while the photographers took some dope pictures! Okay, can I just say… never ask another journalist for their press pass. I really wanted one so I asked some stranger…and yah it was not a good idea. Either way, it was terrific experience. This was definitely worth waking up five in the morning for!
By Tomas Mier, Mosaic Staff Photographer
Yesterday was definitely crazy. Brian drove Esteban, David, Hannah and I up to Oracle Arena around 3:30. Once we got there, the fans were ecstatic, taking a ton of selfies and yelling “WARRIORS” at the top of their lungs. Despite being two hours before the start of the game, fans lined up at the doors ready to immerse themselves in the beauty of 20,000 seats with “authentic fan” posters and the hardwood floors of the court.
Tickets were sold out. But it definitely took all of them to pack the place. Esteban and I grabbed our press passes and pushed our ways into the arena, making our way down to the court where security guards gave us weird look, I mean, we are high school journalists.
The ESPN game coverage began. Every time LeBron James appeared on the jumbotron the area became one with its boos and obscene hand gestures. Once Coach Steve Kerr came on, or any of the Warriors players, the stadium applauded and yelled in joy.
On the court I saw William Bonilla, sports anchor for Univision 14. I went up to him because I wanted to catch an interview with him for my article on the NBA and the Latino community. Surprisingly, he asked me for an interview. I GOT TO APPEAR ON TV! That was awesome. He even gave me his card.
Throughout the game, at every timeout or between quarters, the Warriors staff didn’t fail to entertain with the “Flying W’s,” the dance and cheer squad, and a team of professional youth dancers.
During gameplay, it felt like the stadium was watching the Warriors right there. They were extremely loud, chanting “DEFENSE” when the Cavaliers had the ball and “WAARRIORS” throughout the game’s entirety.
To not make things too long, the Warriors won and the crowd was as excited as ever. After 40 years, the city of Oakland and the Bay Area was able to take their cars and fill the streets with honking horns and the enthusiasm only a sports team can bring.
It was awesome to stand near crazed fans that have followed the team for the longest time. It showed me that love for sports teams can create an amazing bond with strangers.