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News and Features
November 29-December 5, 2006

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2006 Holiday Gift Guide:
Hall of Shame Gift Guide | CD box sets | Book gifts | Politically incorrect DVDs | Holiday movie preview | Holiday event list


Suddenly, everybody wants to move their team to Silicon Valley. We say: Bring it on! New logos all around!

Silicon Valley has never been taken seriously when it comes to pro sports. Granted, there's some reason for that—San Jose bumbled its beloved major-league soccer franchise pretty bad. We've done a good job making this Sharks territory, but most of America still doesn't even seem to count hockey. Meanwhile, baseball, football and basketball—the Big Three—just seemed out of our league.

But suddenly, it's raining deals! Can't take the A's in San Jose 'cause of the Giants' territorial rights? No problem, we'll stick 'em in Fremont and call 'em the Silicon Valley A's of Fremont or the San Jose A's of I-880, or whatever! Who cares what they call 'em, as long as we get 'em, right?

The 49ers have caught Silicon Valley Sports Fever, too. They know they've got nothing to lose if they move to Santa Clara—what, San Francisco is going to join the Raider Nation? Right. So that's just what they say they're going to do.

Of course, everyone assumed all these announcements were just tactical maneuvers by the owners to squeeze what they wanted out of San Francisco and Oakland. But so far, nobody's backing down.

It made us wonder: How far can this sports craziness go? Will the Golden State Warriors try to build a stadium at Santana Row? Will the Harlem Globetrotters make a controversial move to Los Gatos? Come one, come all, we say! We've got new team names for everyone!

The Hall of Shame Gift Guide

With that in mind, we thought we'd kick off our annual gift guide this year with a salute to an actual major-league franchise that we had, and that will forever kick it in our hearts.

Since the team that used to be the San Jose Earthquakes just won the Major League Soccer championship as the Houston Dynamo, what better assemblage of gifts for local soccer fans could one muster up than a few Houston-related items? Quakes fans now can understand exactly how the folks in Quebec City felt after the Nordiques moved to Colorado and then won the Stanley Cup. So give your local superfan friends a copy of the Houston Chronicle that came out on Monday Nov. 14, the day after they won it all.


And while you're at it, have Brian Ching and Brian Mullen sign it for you while you weep that they are no longer the Earthquakes. Ching had the 2006 MLS goal of the year.

MLS Cup program

But it doesn't stop there. Those same two players also put their John Hancocks on this copy of the MLS Cup program, which would also make a spectacular gift for disenfranchised Quakes fans.

'Go Orange!'

Yep, it's no more blue and white for these boys. It's full-on orange. Need a towel to throw in? Well, this Houston ditty would make for a perfect gift.

autographed tee

Except for a few players, the team is exactly the same team that played here in San Jose, so give an autographed T-shirt to all your San Jose Earthquakes fans.


Since the San Jose Mercury News would never have given the team this type of coverage, add this shot to your Quakes fans' gift bag.

According to Major League Soccer's website, a celebration hosted by Houston Mayor Bill White was held at City Hall on Tuesday November 15 from 5 to 7 pm Central Standard Time. Dynamo officials said that the celebration had a "block party" feel, with live music and vendors. White and Dynamo president and general manager Oliver Luck spoke at the event and the players were present. The celebration was huge. "It was amazing to see how Houston came together to support the team," said Houstonian Daniel McDonald. "We hope this is a signal of more championships to come. I'm already looking forward to next year."

Quakes at Christmas parade

When the Quakes won in 2003, what did the city of San Jose do in support? They stuck the team in the Christmas parade. That's it. Nothing else. It was embarrassing. Houston obviously gets it, so what better way to wrap up this gift guide than with shots of the champs themselves, coached by local boy Dominic Kinnear.

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