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America's Next Biggest Warriors Fan: 1st Place

This is it, the final winning essay in the Golden State of Mind essay contest, "America?s Next Biggest Golden State Warrior Fan." In total, we received 9 entries and to give every one of our entrants their props and due time in the spotlight, we're going to post their essays in full in their own separate posts. We want to extend a special thank you to all of our entrants. Reading your essays was a blast and we enjoyed each and every one of them.

Congrats to all our winners, please email us at with your address so we can mail you your prize.

Here?s our 1st place winner, yohan

So Bad It?s Good

Back when Mickey Johnson was lightin? it up for Warriors because no one else could, I tuned in a game to check the score while my cousin was visiting us in the Bay Area from SoCal. We were both kids, and he wasn?t much into sports, so out of curiosity he asked me "Where do the Warriors play? I mean, are they the Detroit Warriors or what?" (being from LA he was obviously used to people rooting for out-of-town franchises). As a fan, that question just struck me as ridiculous at first, but then when I had to reply "Golden State" and then explain what part of the golden state and why they?re called that, I realized that his question was not nearly as ridiculous as the answer. Nothing is easy for a Warriors fan.

But such is the beauty of it. Essays on the Yankees, Celtics, and Cowboys are saccharine; essays on the Warriors are edgy. To reminisce about the Lakers is "Adam-12" or "Emergency"; to reminisce about the Warriors is "The Wire" and "Rescue Me". Following winners is living a fantasy; following losers is living.

So as in life, which has occasional grand moments but mostly small ones, I then as a Warrior fan take heart in the little things (even more of a necessity considering I fell into Warrior consciousness the year AFTER they won the championship): Rick Barry?s sing-songy poem published in The Warrior Way magazine/yearbook about that previous championship year, my dad agreeing to drive me out to the Levitz furniture warehouse in South San Francisco to redeem my ticket stub for a free team photo of that mythological squad, seeing Jo Jo White and Phil Chenier wearing the golden circle on their chests on the downside of their careers (how fast both the mighty team and its new former-champion players had fallen), Bernard King and Lloyd Free offering fleeting hope in the wake of Joe Barry Carroll for Parrish and McHale, being in attendance the only night in his career that Larry Bird was held scoreless courtesy of Larry Smith, hearing Al Attles in the background bellow ?no foul? at his players during the waning moments of another pitch-perfect Bill King radio broadcast?

and the vision of two old reliable fixtures in the Oakland Coliseum Arena in the 70s and early 80s?the ancient malt vendor whose stooped-over 80 pounds struggled to hoist the sample carton shakily in the air, and the muscle-bound security guard with his short sleeves ripped halfway up to his shoulders?passing each other behind the floor seats at one end of the arena, the enormous security guard giving the old vendor?s malt carton a high five. Two characters on the far ends of life, not a single feature that would define either of them as the status-quo, both of them coming together at the Coliseum.

With apologies to Rick Barry, that is the true poetry of the "Warrior Way".

GSoM Comments
  • The Coliseum does bring out people from all walks of life!
  • Well written. Great line, "Following winners is living a fantasy; following losers is living."
  • A profound look at the Warriors from the mouth of a fan that has clearly been in the mix for a long time. There's a certain glory in pulling for a losing team. Yohan captured it eloquently.
  • Yohan truly knows the Warrior Way.
yohan was on point with this essay. We all loved it and could relate to it. For the final prize, here?s Jessica, "For that awesome essay, here?s your 18-inch Thunder Doll!"


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