Category Archives: Sonics

The Fleeting Disappointment of Defeat

nuggetsI’ll never forget the first time I ever witnessed one of my favorite sports teams endure a bitter, unexpected defeat. The date was May 7th, 1994. It was a Saturday and I was at a friend’s house. He was the catcher on our Little League team, the Orioles, and I was one of two pitchers on the squad. We’d played a game that morning, and immediately after we went back to his place to watch basketball.

Our beloved Sonics played the Denver Nuggets that afternoon, game five of the NBA’s Western Conference First Round Playoffs. The series was tied at two games apiece. Seattle had taken an early 2-0 series lead with the home court advantage. Games three and four, however, went to the Nuggets in the altitude of the Mile High City. A return to the Pacific Northwest signaled the final bout of the five-game matchup. As the number-one overall seed, the Sonics should have easily dispatched the lowly Nuggets, winners of just 42 contests in the regular season. And yet on this particular day, it wasn’t meant to be.

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Hey, Oklahoma City: Can you stop being passive-aggressive jerkoffs now?

sonics-fans-6df4c655b796c3beBelow 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.

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Top 11: Worst Seattle Sports Jerseys You Can Possibly Own

Men-s-Nike-Seattle-Seahawks-15-Matt-Flynn-Limited-Steel-Blue-Team-Color-NFL-JerseyEvery 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.

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Caption Contest: The Sonicsfication of Peter Steinbrueck

McGinn vs Steinbrueck Jump ball

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.

 

#SteinbrueckFacts

steinbrueckfactsPeter 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.

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The Long Haul: What’s Next for the Future of the Sonics

adam_silver_nbaI 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.

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Thank You, Chris

chrishansenWith 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.