Friday, July 4, 2008

A Chunk of My Childhood Has Been Stolen


Reposted from YesButNoButYes.

From the Sports Desk

It’s over. Kaput. The Kirstie Allie has sung.

My beloved Seattle Supersonics have been high-jacked from the Emerald City by corporate scum and are moving to Oklahoma City.

Even though the theft has been in the works for quite some time, I still didn’t think it would happen. How could it? How could Seattle, a bustling metropolis with a history of being a great sports city, lose a team to a three horse village in Oklahoma?!?

This shocking and embarrassing decision does feel like a significant part of my childhood has been stolen.

There is no point in rehashing a point by point timeline of how this travesty occurred. It’s been written about ad nauseam. Here’s the Cliff Notes version. Schmuck on wheels Howard Schultz, who owns Evil Empire Starbucks, bought the Sonics like a spoiled brat buys a new toy. He was jealous that the Seahawks and Mariners had new stadiums built and threw a petulant tantrum that he didn’t have one. Then, Schultz decided that he wasn’t enough of a multi-billionaire and as going to sell the Supes to the highest bidder. This turned out to be some jackasses from Oklahoma led by rotten Clay Bennett. Bennett is a dishonest snake who said he was going to make a “good faith” effort to keep the Sonics in Seattle. This was what we call a lie. (Numerous emails show this.) There was no real effort, just a few smokescreens that the discerning people in Seattle saw through immediately. Then there was a few lawsuits, some court proceedings, we lost, and now the Sonics are going to Oklahoma.

Caught up? Good.

Now, here is why this relocation will not work. Once the novelty of a new sports franchise wears off, the Oklahoma City community is not big enough to support a losing team. The team will continue to lose. Sonics players have already expressed they don’t want to go there. Some are keeping their kids in Seattle so they can go to schools with running water. You think Kevin Durant will sign a contract extension in Oklahoma? Please. Good luck luring free agents there.

That hobbit-like NBA Commissioner David Stern allowed this to happen is shameful. This will be his Watergate. His Monica Lewinsky. His “Cop Rock.”


Going to Sonics games is one of my fondest childhood memories. Not only did I follow the team since I could talk – maybe a little before that – but I had 12 game ticket packages through high school. It was all I could afford. I would head to the park and ride and hop on the bus to downtown Seattle. How I conned my folks into letting me do this as a 15-year-old, I still don’t know. In my backpack I had whatever book I was reading, the latest Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated – had a subscription to S.I. since I was 13 – a hand-held radio with headphones to listen to the pre-game with Kevin Calabro, a 17 pound Discman and about a dozen CD’s to listen to on the way home. From the bus station I would hop on the Monorail into Seattle Center. Usually I would grab a chili dog at Orange Julius in the Center House, then I would meet my older cousin Mark and his buddies that have driven down from Bellingham. It was a magical teenage experience.

For me, not having the Supes to root for is like being told you can no longer watch “The Empire Strikes Back” or eat Lik-A-Maid. It makes me sick.

(Man, I could really go for a Lik-A-Maid right now.)

I hope you, dear readers, will do the right thing and boycott Starbucks as a result of this injustice. Especially those of you in the Northwest. Walk across the street the Seattle’s Best or Tully’s. If you see Howard Schultz in the street, express your First Amendment rights and let him know how you feel. Kid you not, if I saw the bum I would spit at him. That would make me feel better than the venom I am spewing in this rambling, incoherent diatribe. He sold out the great city that made him obscenely rich and screwed the community with their pants on.

Sending the Sonics to Oklahoma is a fools errand. It cannot work. It will not work.

Rot in hell Howard Schultz.

Rot in hell Clay Bennett.


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