With its sixth and seventh consecutive victories this afternoon, Oracle Team USA is on the verge of what is, without exaggeration, one of the great comebacks in sporting history. That much one has to admit, regardless of your position on yachting, Larry Ellison, or the America's Cup.
But, just as the years of Cup strife and the unpleasantness of the organizers pushing the event shouldn't deduct from Oracle's on-the-water brilliance, that brilliance shouldn't eclipse San Francisco's Ghosts of America's Cup Past -- and Ghosts of America's Cup Future.
That's the subject of this week's SF Weekly cover story -- which you can read here or pick up on the racks tomorrow.
In the meantime, Oracle and Emirates Team New Zealand are on tomorrow for a deciding showdown -- for all the money. It required numerous wind delays -- several of which curtailed races the Kiwis were leading. And the wind delays themselves are the legacy of the May Team Artemis disaster in which sailor Andrew Simpson was drowned. But, truly, it figures to be an epic sporting moment.
Let's respect it as that.
Let's not start making half-cocked economic analyses.
Sadly, that has been the tendency. The amazing Oracle comeback, coupled with at least seven wind delays, has stretched this America's Cup into a Wagnerian cycle. It figures that die-hard fans and media members would be scrambling for hotels.
It does not necessarily figure, as KTVU reported yesterday, that a boost in the city's economy is "evident" due to a scarcity of hotel rooms.
At this point in the year, it's always difficult to get a San Francisco hotel room. It's not hard to keep track of such things; in fact the city controller does it for you.
September, 2007: 87 percent
September, 2008: 87 percent
September, 2009: 87 percent
September, 2010: 88 percent
September, 2011: 91 percent
September, 2012: 90 percent