Back in 2006, I was a medical redshirt freshman at the University of Washington (code for, I was in my third of six years as an undergrad). I was in this public speaking class and we were tasked with persuading others to agree with us on a compelling argument of our choosing. At the time, there was quite a bit of hubbub over the Supersonics and their tenancy at soon-to-be-obsolete Key Arena. As an avid sports fan, choosing to discuss this topic made perfect sense to me. The crux of my argument was simple: the citizens of Seattle needed to help generate funding for a new (or renovated) Key Arena based on all the revenue the building — with the Sonics as the primary lessee — brought in.
I wrote up what I felt was a pretty compelling case for my position. I cited plenty of reliable resources, put my passion for the Supes into the speeches I delivered, and absolutely gave the project my all. In turn, I received somewhere around a 2.3 or 2.4 for my efforts.
I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t heartbroken. I was f**kin’ pissed. My TA was an absolute dick. She (yes, she…which goes to show how much of a dick she really was to earn the title of “dick” as a woman) hated sports. It was evident in her disdain for all the athletes in my class. It was evident in her loathing of all the other guys who wrote up topics concerning sports. And perhaps it was most evident in her figure. She was amorphous. Looked like she’d been hounding the doughnuts at the breakfast table. A blob. Ugly.
Now in fairness, I had half-assed my way through college up to that point. I’m a fairly smart individual, but I had zero motivation when it came to school. I skated by, coasted.
But this was different. I put my heart and soul into a project and got shot down. All because this granola-munching hater had no hand-eye coordination and wouldn’t know what to do with a ball if it hit her in the face. She gave every male who had a sports-related topic a crap grade. We all finished within .2 of each other on the GPA scale. It was a conspiracy. And she was the ring leader.
Five years later, I still hold a grudge against this beast of a woman. But at least I can take solace in the fact that I was right and she was wrong.
After the Sonics left town in 2008, the value of Key Arena plummeted. The announcement last week that Key Corporation would be dropping their sponsorship of the former Coliseum only solidified what we already knew: Key Arena, minus the Sonics, is pretty damn worthless.
Further hammering home the point was the fact that Key Corp, which had doled out $1.3 million per year in naming rights fees when the Sonics called the building home, had only been asked to chip in a measly $300,000 annually from 2009 onward. In 2008, Key Arena was considered a financial burden on Seattle with a $75 million debt to its name. Assuming no other net gains were recorded at the facility, and assuming the $300,000 naming rights fee lasted from here until eternity, it would have taken 250 years for the city to pay off their debt on the building with that income. Great f**kin’ plan.
Remember that fateful day when ex-mayor Greg Nickels and his moronic cronies got up in front of the media and announced that they’d “reached a deal” to let the Sonics leave town? They pledged to us that they’d get millions and millions of dollars from Clay Bennett as part of the terms of this supposed buyout, which in turn they would use to pay off Key Arena’s debt. Well guess what? We never saw more than a fraction of the money we were supposed to receive in that deal because the city never could pass legislation to renovate the arena. That was one of the terms of the settlement. We had to approve some sort of plan to renovate Key Arena and only then could we cash in on our wager. We had Bennett at least somewhat cornered and yet we let him off the hook. All because our elected officials suck ass.
The city, of course, will have you believe that Key Arena is thriving in spite of the Sonics currently playing their home games at Oklahoma City’s Ford Center. They’ve released all sorts of documents that propagandize the building’s current “successes.” The venue made more money in 2010 than in 2009, for example. Their current 2011 slate looks promising to the point of out-grossing 2010’s figures, for another. Whatever. It’s all rhetoric. And the money coming in doesn’t even compare to the money being made when the green-and-gold were suiting up 41 times each year and drawing fans on a nightly basis. Oh, by the way. Smucker’s Stars on Ice will be in town on February 25th. Get your tickets now.
So what does all this really boil down to, anyway? Well, I’m glad you asked.
The fact of the matter is this: we were lied to. We were deceived, betrayed, Benedict Arnolded, whatever you want to call it. Our government “leaders” bent us over, sodomized us, then reneged on all the promises they sloppily spit out over the past couple years. Many of us knew at the time that we were being lied to, but now the evidence has come to fruition and there’s no longer any denying that fact. Even the most idiotic, pretentious, douchebaggy, sports-hating hipster would have to agree that this didn’t work out for the best. And yes, idiotic, pretentious, douchebaggy, sports-hating hipster, I still hate you. You helped perpetuate the team’s departure by buying into the untruths that those jerkoff city council members were ejaculating all over your willing face. Grab a towel and wipe the lies off your chin. You look ridiculous.
I suggest we resolve this by loading Nickels into a cannon and launching him into the Pacific Ocean as soon as possible. It sounds ridiculous. It isn’t, really. Humans have been shot out of cannons before. Why Nickels should be any exception to this phenomenon is beyond me.
I also think we should T.P. Nick Licata’s house on a nightly basis. It was councilman Licata, you’ll recall, who said the Sonics had “close to zero” cultural value to the city of Seattle, then basically captained the fight to shoo them off to Oklahoma. We haven’t really heard much talking from Licata since the team left. So at least he’s smart enough to keep his mouth shut when the going gets tough. Dick.
And worst of all, we currently have leaders in place who have distanced themselves entirely from the fight to salvage Key Arena and bring back the Sonics. Don’t think we haven’t noticed that, Mike McGinn. While you’ve been busy blowing tax dollars on bike lanes all over Seattle, the rest of us have been pining for an NBA franchise in this town. You haven’t done jack to make the Coliseum better (I’m just gonna call it the Coliseum from now on, since Key Corp has abandoned us), you haven’t done jack to make Seattle Center better, and you certainly haven’t done jack to return 41 years of professional basketball history to its rightful place in the heart of downtown. You have the chance to be a hero, but so far you’ve been nothing more than a goat. What will your legacy be? Ask yourself that question when you’re cycling down the street one day.
I know some of you are sad the Sonics left two-and-a-half years ago. I know some of you are sad that they’re still gone today. But being sad doesn’t help anything. I wasn’t sad when my TA kicked me in the nuts five years. I was mad as hell. And that’s the way I’ve approached Sonicsgate.
It’s time to end the pity party and start demanding results from the people who we’ve elected to produce results. So far, they haven’t done sh*t. They haven’t made sh*t for money off a Sonics-less Coliseum, they haven’t repaired sh*t on the decaying Coliseum, and they haven’t delivered sh*t on any of the promises they’ve made to us in the past few years. These sh*theads are worthless. And we’re letting ’em be worthless. That can’t happen. Not in America.
(Cue the Star Spangled Banner and the flag dropping down in the background…okay, we won’t go there. That’s what they’d be expecting, anyway.)
Look. We’ve been f**ked by these jerks. F**ked every which way. They’ve treated us — their constituents, their electors — like cheapo prostitutes.
Enough. We deserve better. We’ve longed for better. We’re not getting better and we’re letting them neglect us of better.
It’s time. Time to f**k these f**kers back.
Stop lying to us. And give us back our Sonics.
*P.S. Alaska Airlines just agreed to pay the University of Washington $700,000 annually for the naming rights to the court inside Hec Edmundson Pavilion. That’s more than twice what Key Corp was paying to sponsor a supposed professional basketball facility.
*P.P.S. The New Orleans Hornets just met critical attendance thresholds that legally obligate them to call the New Orleans Arena home for at least one more year. That leaves the Sacramento Kings as the NBA’s only potential candidate to relocate at season’s end.
*P.P.S. Note the title of the image at the top of this article.