Below is a response to a letter penned to Seattle by The Oklahoman columnist Jenni Carlson. Read at your own risk.
Dear Oklahoma City,
Truce? I don’t think so.
Here in Seattle, we’ve been watching your basketball team and its slobber-knocking run to an inevitable playoff ouster. We see the joy our former Sonics have created. We see the passion your fans have for this championship-losing bound bunch. We see the arm-waving, cousin-banging Thunder-up insanity of it all.
And we wonder if it’s time you went and fucked yourselves.
You’ve got a great, albeit unaccomplished basketball team.
We’ve got a great football team.
Can we all just agree that you’ll go fuck yourselves?
Sure, there will probably always be some people in Oklahoma City who want to get along with Seattle because they need validation and have a strong desire to be liked and accepted by all of society. They watched a couple years ago when the Thunder lost in the NBA Finals and felt that a future of fateful title defeats might be avoided if a bit of good karma was extended the Pacific Northwest’s way.
Every year, clothing companies mass-produce replica jerseys of some of the biggest names in sports. Every year, sports fans the world around purchase these jerseys. And every year, without fail, a handful of the men who inspire these jerseys fall farther and farther out of relevance, spiraling downward into a pit of despair filled with bitterness and loathing.
We buy the jerseys of players that have been great leading up to this moment or may be great later on. We buy knowing that we’re making an investment in the future that may not pay off. We buy because our fanaticism overtakes our ability to make rational decisions.
Replica jerseys have really only been relevant for about two decades. Prior to the early-’90s, the jersey fad had yet to catch on. But with the advent of cheap polyester and screen printing, lifelike uniforms could be had by the vast majority of us. And thus a movement was born.
An anonymous tipster (okay, this wasn’t really a tip, but I just like saying “tipster”) sent the image you see above of a surprisingly-chiseled Mike McGinn contending with our new favorite enemy, Peter Steinbrueck, for the metaphorical future of the City of Seattle. (The metaphorical interpretation is mine; maybe they’re just playing basketball, who really knows.)
Anyway, the image was apparently created by someone who goes by the name “Sensei 23″ and the general school of thought here was that we could have a good ol’ caption contest with this beautiful piece of art, because who doesn’t love a caption contest?
But wait, there’s more. Our tipster informed me that the best caption(s) will be printed up onto posters and distributed en masse at next week’s Capitol Hill Block Party — your goofy wit may actually make you famous/get you laid/result in thousands of people wanting to meet you! Or more likely just be good for a few laughs. But still, laughter is wonderful!
The best place to submit captions is right here in the comments section of the site. If you’re absolutely opposed to commenting on blog posts, you can also submit captions via Twitter (@alexSSN) or even on Facebook to Seattle Sportsnet, but I’d recommend sticking the captions you truly care about in the comments section here so they don’t get lost in the shuffle.
In addition to the captions themselves, there’s a groundswell of movement around our original hashtag on Twitter, #SteinbrueckFacts, as well as a new hashtag, #BeatPeter. Personally, I really like the idea of the #BeatPeter hashtag because of the sexual innuendo involved, but maybe that’s just me (I’m 12, you know). So be sure to use both hashtags when discussing the upcoming battle for Seattle’s mayorship and keep the social media momentum going.
I believe in you, Sonics fans. I believe in your cleverness, your wit, your wordsmithing, all of that goodness. Do us proud.
Peter Steinbrueck may or may not be a bad guy, I don’t know for sure. But I do know that the 2013 City of Seattle Mayoral candidate vehemently opposes things I enjoy — namely, the return of the Seattle Supersonics — and that’s enough for me to dislike him.
It’s almost not fair to base your entire opinion of someone around their stance on a solitary issue, but I’ve done that because I’m a simple-minded, sports-loving asshole. Does that make me a bad person? Maybe it does. But I think I carry the assholery around with me well enough to justify my stance.
I bring all this up in light of recent events that occurred on Twitter, events that were chronicled in print by KIRO Radio here and Seattle Weekly here. In reading over the published CliffsNotes version of a social media movement that transpired over the course of an evening in which I watched all of a SyFy Network original movie entitled Blast Vegas (starring Frankie Muniz, aka Malcolm in the Middle), you’ll find that the hashtag #SteinbrueckFacts is now going on 14-plus hours of relevancy, relevancy that may (or may not, we’ll see) have peaked last night when the topic began trending locally. Oh, Twitter.
I know how you feel, Sonics fans. I feel the exact same way. We’re frustrated, exhausted, angry, disappointed, all of the above. Why should we care about the NBA anymore? Why should we give a damn about David Stern and his godforsaken league? All valid questions. All valid reasons to walk away from this situation that won’t seem to find its happy ending.
Frankly, it would be easier to quit at this point then continue investing our energy in a dream that may never become a reality. It would be easier to throw our hands up, turn our backs on the Association, and be done with pro basketball altogether.
With all due respect to Steve Ballmer, the Nordstrom family, minority stakeholders, ex-players, political figures, activists, media members, and anyone else who has helped lead the charge to bring the Sonics back to Seattle, I have to dedicate the following letter of thanks to one man, Chris Hansen. Without Chris, none of this “Bring Back the Sonics” mania even exists. Without Chris, we aren’t sitting here trying to wrap our collective heads around the real possibility that we may get our beloved green-and-gold-clad squad back. And without Chris, we lack the most important thing we need to keep the memory of our team and the prospect of its return alive: hope.
I still remember the day that Chris Hansen came riding into town on a proverbial white horse, seemingly out of nowhere, determined to bring the Sonics back to our fair city. It’s been more than a year. The first time I wrote about the guy was February 9th, 2012. I didn’t even know him, but I wanted to hug him. He got me believing in something that had been comatose, on life support. Who knew if the Sonics would ever come back? It had been three-and-a-half years since they’d left and the political climate from both ends of the spectrum — in Seattle, and with the NBA — was far from favorable.
But then this dude, this hedge fund manager, this guy no one knew — Who? Chris Hansen? The Dateline guy? The predator catcher? — changed all that.
I can’t be more clear about this. I don’t care what Chris Hansen does from this moment forward. I don’t care how he’s gone about trying to get our team back. I. Don’t. Care. The fact is, he’s made one hell of an effort. He’s put this entire town, this entire citizenry of basketball fans, upon his shoulders and carried us to this point. He’s done what no one before him could do. He’s made those who wanted to say “No,” say “Yes.” He’s forced non-believers to believe and believers to believe more. He’s been, if nothing else, inspirational.
It doesn’t all come down to today. Today, the NBA owners decide whether or not the Sacramento Kings can be relocated to Seattle. A vote in favor of relocation would pave the way for Hansen and Co. to buy the team, unencumbered, from the Maloof family. A vote against relocation would essentially allow for a Sacramento-based group led by Vivek Ranadive (and, let’s face it, mayor Kevin Johnson) to seize the team from the Maloofs, assuming the Maloofs would be willing to relinquish their asset to said group. A vote for the latter is what’s expected, the latter that likewise favors the opposition. Regardless of what decision is voted upon, however, there will be backlash. So no, this won’t be over on Wednesday. Not at all.
But let’s say the vote, as anticipated, were to favor Sacramento, not Seattle. And let’s say that the NBA, as anticipated, tried their hardest to get the Maloofs to sell the Kings to Ranadive’s group. Let’s say expansion failed to appear as a viable near-term option. And let’s say that, by Thursday, the situation looked bleak, at best. If Chris Hansen were to give up at that very moment, I wouldn’t blame him. I’d be a little surprised, but I wouldn’t blame him for walking away. And when I looked back upon Hansen’s legacy, I’d be happy for what he gave us over the course of a year-and-a-half. Because he’s given us a ton.
I don’t think Chris will give up, though. I don’t think he’ll quit. Not until the Sonics are more than just a memory. Not until there’s an NBA team inhabiting our city once again. What Chris Hansen and his cohorts have done is beyond amazing. They’ve given us hope, yes. But they’ve also given us clout with a league that turned its back on us just a few short years ago. They’ve given us a voice, they’ve made the world take notice. We’ve scratched and clawed our way back to relevance when it comes to professional basketball, and that’s thanks in large part to one individual who was brought to action by his own bubbling source of civic pride.
Maybe that’s why it will be damn near impossible to ever speak one ill word of Chris Hansen. Because unlike so many other guys who have propped themselves upon pedestals high above us average Seattleites, Hansen is one of us. He cares about this cause as much as we do. He loves Seattle as much as we do. He’s as average as they come, as average as the rest of us, and yet above-average in so many ways. As far as I’m concerned, this guy can do whatever the hell he wants. He’s a saint in my book. He deserves a holiday in his honor. Preferably something in August, because August needs a goddamn holiday. Who wants a day off in August? I know I do. Saint Hansen Day sounds like a good way to spend a summer afternoon.
No matter what happens today, tomorrow, next week, next year, next decade, I have two words for you, Chris: Thank you. You’ve made all of this possible. You’ve brought a legion of fans together. You’ve united a city. You’ve given us passion, you’ve given us fuel, you’ve given us reason to believe. We owe you a gigantic debt of gratitude and I can’t tell you how much all of this means to us. We are the Sonics, all of us. You, me, every fan emblazoned with the Seattle skyline in a green-and-gold semi-circle. Until our ballclub returns, this team is thousands upon thousands deep.
As they say in one of my favorite movies, Remember the Titans, “attitude reflects leadership.” You have led us remarkably. And we are one badass group of basketball fans.
Thanks, Chris. Go Sonics.
Because you need this awesomeness on a Monday.
Has anyone seen Kevin Johnson’s Sacramento arena plan? Does anyone know if it actually exists? Has anything been written down? Drawn up? Are there blueprints? Has a location been settled upon? What the hell is the deal here?!
As the mayor of his hometown, Johnson has held press conferences on consecutive days to let the world know two important things:
1) He has a plan, which allegedly involves a lot of money and a new arena, to save the Kings.
2) That plan involves at least 21 investors, some of whom are whales.
Unfortunately, neither of those nuggets of information add up to much substance. Which leads everyone to believe that Johnson may just be talking out of his ass to save face in the wake of an inevitable defeat.
Got rid of every player on the Kings roster. Except Isaiah Thomas.
Got Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, and Ray Allen in exchange.
IT’S A NEW BEGINNING, SONICS FANS!
*Disclaimer: Please understand that this trade would never happen. Ever. The moral of the story is that the NBA is coming back to Seattle, the Sonics are alive again, and playing with ESPN’s Trade Machine is once again relevant to us. Enjoy it, Sonics fans. We’re back.
The accountant who leases the office space in my company’s building has never said much more than a casual “Hello” to me in two-and-a-half years. I always politely greet him in return, and we’ll occasionally share a “How ya doing?” followed by a “Good, good. You?” We may have exchanged comments on the weather a few times, and perhaps even celebrated the occasional TGIF moment as we’ve checked out for the weekend. But in all, we’ve never really talked about anything of substance.
There’s a clerk at the grocery store I stop at on my way to work. He’s silver-haired, probably in his early-fifties. I’ve watched him interact with other patrons, as well as his coworkers. He has a sense of humor and a gregarious personality. He’s likable and appears to be well-liked. He can deliver a joke and is quick with a laugh. We had never spoken before, until one day when I stood in the aisle perusing cold drinks and heard to my left an abrupt, “Hey!”
Damn you, Daina Falk. Keeping people up all night, getting their hopes sky high, making us think the Sonics might be coming back to Seattle. And she may be correct after all. We don’t know yet.
Regardless, the daughter of NBA agent David Falk got everyone all riled up on Tuesday night with a tweet announcing the sale of the Sacramento Kings to the Seattle-based group led by Chris Hansen.
The tweet issued by Falk had been deleted as of this morning (only furthering the conspiracy theories), but read as follows:
“So I hear that the Seattle Kings is officially a done deal! The Maloofs finally sold the ailing Sacramento team. #NBA”
This, naturally, created chaos. The following is a timeline of the tweets and events that ensued, attempting to logically examine, well, chaos.
The “rumors” that are circulating come via Daina Falk, @thehungryfan. Who does have some clout…
— Seattle Sportsnet (@alexSSN) January 9, 2013
Daina Falk is the daughter of sports agent David Falk, according to my trusty news source @curtis_crabtree.
— Seattle Sportsnet (@alexSSN) January 9, 2013
If you would have told me on July 2nd, 2008 that in four years, two months, and nine days, Seattle would be celebrating the Supersonics, I would have laughed at you. The Supersonics were gone, taken from us on that very day. And September 11th, 2012? It was a date so distant, so irrelevant to anything more than, well, you know, and so seemingly non sequitur to NBA basketball that it would have made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.
If you would have told me on July 2nd, 2008, that four years, two months, and nine days in the future, I’d be celebrating along with a community of passionate, tight-knit, basketball-loving, Sonics freaks, I’d have scoffed. Because on that day, way back when, we weren’t that. None of us. We were just…individuals. Who had been hurt. Badly. And didn’t know what to do with our introverted pain.
If you would have told me on July 2nd, 2008 that our community would grow closer over those four years, two months, and nine days, I wouldn’t have believed you. Seattle sports fans had scattered amidst the wreckage of a professional basketball franchise departing our region, distanced ourselves from one another as nearly every one of our local teams staggered to finish their respective seasons of misfortune, and grown apart while losing divided us. We didn’t know what to do with ourselves. Our situation was miserable. We were miserable. And nobody wants to share misery with the equally miserable. So we wallowed alone, miserably.
Seattle has a knack for approving stupid municipal projects. It’s basically our forte. Take, for instance, the Great Wheel. The Great Wheel, for those of you who don’t know, is a brand new Ferris wheel located on Seattle’s Pier 57. It’s huge and it’s stupid.
Sure, the Great Wheel might very well be a lot of fun. I suppose if you’ve spent the $13 — yes, THIRTEEN American dollars — to ride the Wheel, you’ll probably enjoy your trip up and around its axis. But for the rest of us, the Wheel serves as an example of this city’s utter idiocy when it comes to making decisions.
First off, congratulations to Clay Bennett and Aubrey McClendon, owners of the coveted second-place trophy. That’s fantastic.
Second, to my man Brian Davis, former Seattleite and employee of Fox Sports Northwest who left to become Oklahoma City’s play-by-play guy — stay true, Big Dawg.
Third, to all the players who tried really hard: good effort, good job.
Fourth, shout out to the kids in Africa rockin’ the 2012 Oklahoma City Thunder NBA Championship gear. Enjoy that shit.
And finally, to all the fans out there who don’t know what it feels like to win a title, I give you this:
That’s how it’s done.
Thank you, Miami Heat.
Give us our team back, David Stern.
The following is a piece I was graciously asked to write for allucanHEAT.com, a Miami Heat site on the FanSided.com network. You can check out the article on allucanHEAT by clicking here, or simply read on…
First of all, I don’t give a damn about the Miami Heat. The Big Three, in particular, annoys me.
LeBron James? He’s an aloof weirdo incapable of normal social interaction. Sure, he’s athletically gifted. But ask him to tell you something honest and he’ll likely panic and jump out the window instead. You can’t trust a guy like that. When he said he was taking his talents to South Beach, he didn’t mention anything about interpersonal skills.