Tag Archives: Chris Hansen

For the Love of the Supersonics

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There is no foolishness like that borne from love. Love blinds us, weakens our souls, cripples our ability to think clearly. We can’t reason when in love. We fail to rationalize. We are at the mercy of a knee-buckling, heart-fluttering, lip-quivering emotion. We’re happy, sad, angry, elated, and deflated all at once. Love, without question, is the most painfully thrilling sentiment of an otherwise immaterial existence.

Perhaps equally as absurd as love, itself, is the notion that our inferior beating hearts could be bamboozled into dedicating such a powerful feeling to an entity as impassive as a ball. A stupid ball. That bounces and bounces until it is launched at a cylinder outfitted with cloth netting, then bounces some more.

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Karate Emergency, Ep. 44: Barbershop Quintet


shermanjones

The resident 12th Man Maniac is fired up about the Seahawks defensive schemes, so we corral a former member of the team’s defense to weigh in and bring some levity to a heated debate. Marcus Trufant and Terry Hollimon from The Barbershop make an impromptu guest appearance and join the show to share their vast football knowledge with the masses.

Plus, the Huskies set out to do something this weekend that most of us have only ever witnessed on Xbox, and Chris Hansen is keeping the dream alive in Sodo.

All that and more on this week’s Karate Emergency!

Paper’s Petty Personal Vendetta Impeding SoDo Arena

occidental

For years, The Seattle Times and its editorial board have held a personal vendetta against Chris Hansen and his proposed Seattle arena.

Through the use of one-sided attacks on a plot of land owned by Hansen in an area ripe for infrastructural rejuvenation, to the scribing of non-sequitur op-eds on supposed “alternatives” to the SoDo project meant to distract and deceive, the Times has employed nearly every unethical tactic imaginable in an attempt to block the construction of a venue intended for multipurpose civic use.

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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.

Four Years, Two Months, and Nine Days

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.

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Where There’s A Wheel, There’s A Way (or, Overcoming Doubts About An Arena, a True Underdog Story)

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.

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The Official Seattle Sportsnet Arena Poll

There has been a lot of misinformation surrounding the general public sentiment towards Chris Hansen’s Seattle arena project. Much of that misinformation has stemmed from poorly-worded and what many consider to be biased — yes, biased — polls.

To clear up any confusion, we here at Seattle Sportsnet have decided to issue a poll of our own. We want to see how local citizens really feel about this new arena that could one day house our beloved Supersonics, as well as an NHL team, concerts, conventions, other sporting events, parties, and other fun things that make life worth living.

This is a simple poll. It’s multiple choice. You can either vote “Yes” or “No.” It’s that easy. Here you go:

A Step-By-Step Guide to Ruing the Day

“[Chris Hansen] will rue the day he builds an arena in SODO.” -Seattle Mariners President Chuck Armstrong, April 4, 2012.

rue /ro͞o/ (v.): to bitterly regret something and wish it undone. Ex. The man rued the day he built his arena in SODO.

You have questions, of course. We all do. Chuck Armstrong has publicly gone on record stating that Chris Hansen will rue the day he builds an arena in SODO. But what does that even mean? How does one go about ruing a day? What processes are involved? What actions need to be taken? Where do we start? What outcomes will emerge?

First of all, calm down. I know you’re worked up over this. I’m worked up over it, too. I’ve never rued a day in my life. I’m completely in the dark on how to do this. But if Armstrong says Hansen will rue the day he does right by us fans, then screw it, we’ll all rue together. It’s time we prepared ourselves for this collective ruing.

I’ve done some research and found this, a step-by-step guide on how to rue a day. Don’t thank me. I’m here for you. And we’re in this together. But I apologize in advance. It looks like whoever put this guide together based it off a crude rendition of a New Kids On The Block lyric template. So please excuse the mess as you read through. Enjoy.

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Why The Mariners Are Being Dickheads About The New SODO Arena

Read the Mariners’ letter expressing concern over the new SODO arena.

The Mariners don’t want Chris Hansen to build a multi-purpose, state-of-the-art arena — an arena that is ultimately destined to house both an NBA and an NHL team — in their backyard. Unfortunately for the Mariners, Hansen has already purchased land immediately south of Safeco Field, in the heart of Seattle’s SODO district. Hansen also has the blessing of the City of Seattle and King County in building his arena, as well as public backing from Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and County Executive Dow Constantine. So to say the odds are stacked against the Mariners wouldn’t be inaccurate.

Why the Mariners have chosen to issue a letter to the aforementioned parties expressing concern over the proposed site of the arena makes sense from a business perspective, but is absolutely idiotic from a marketing and positioning (i.e. Public Relations) standpoint. Why? Good question. I’ll do my best to answer that.

But first, let me just state the obvious. The Mariners are f**king dickheads. They’ve been dickheads for quite some time. It’s evident in the way they’ve treated their fan base for so many years. For every positive, there are two negatives. “Hey, guess what, guys?! Instead of landing that free agent that would put us over the top, we reinvested in our Nintendo gaming stations and promotional bobbleheads. Enjoy the crap out of that shit!” F**king f**ks. We’re not f**king short-bus riders, you douchebags. Stop treating us like we lack the mental capacity to understand what you’re doing. It’s cheaper to pour a couple thousand dollars into a tiny wooden statue built in Ichiro’s likeness than it is to go out and sign Prince F**kin’ Fielder, we f**kin’ get it. Don’t f**kin’ lie to us to make up for it. F**k.

That said, the M’s organization is full of good businessmen. The thing about good businessmen is that they’re savvy. The Mariners are savvy enough to have put a fence around the SODO area and absolutely owned that shit since moving to Safeco Field in 1999. You know why there aren’t too many bars in SODO? Because of the Mariners. You know why restaurants aren’t zoned in SODO? The Mariners. You know why SODO is still a boring-as-shit neighborhood? The motherf**king Mariners. And do you know why the Mariners have made SODO that way? Because they want fans to focus solely on the concessions inside their own venue. They don’t want people going over to Pyramid, for example, and spending money. No, they want fans to drop $9 on a domestic light beer in The ‘Pen. It’s a business move. A short-sighted business move, but a business move nonetheless.

You can see why, from a business perspective, the Mariners’ thinking isn’t too stupid. If fans have nowhere else to go, they’ll end up inside the gates of Safeco two hours before first pitch pounding costly Bud Lights. Makes sense, right? Well, it WOULD make sense if the team were winning and had an absolute foothold in the area, but that isn’t happening. Which is why I say this line of thinking is so ridiculously short-sighted.

Take a look at a city like Boston, for example. The area around Fenway Park is thriving with establishments that have no affiliation with the Red Sox organization. These establishments essentially profit off the Red Sox, however, because of all the fans who frequent the area for games. Aside from having a winning product on the field, why do fans come to games and in turn frequent the area? Because of the gameday experience. The gameday experience in Boston is second-to-none, which is why people go. Even if fans can’t get a ticket into Fenway, they’ll head to Yawkey Way to absorb the ambiance and enjoy life. Worst case scenario, they pony up at a bar one Kevin Youkilis home run away from the Green Monster. Not a bad consolation prize, right?

The Mariners don’t see it that way, though. They see competing establishments as a gigantic threat to their revenue. Have they even considered the gameday experience outside their gates? Not really. They lack that intuition. They’re naive. But do we really expect anything different? This is an organization that has mitigated the future for failed playoff runs time and time again. Their lack of commitment to the gameday experience surrounding Safeco is essentially the short-sighted equivalent of dealing Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek for Heathcliff Slocumb. To them, fans are only worth a damn if they’re locked up inside the palatial prison that Safeco Field has become. As soon as fans step outside those turnstiles? F**k ’em.

So what does all this have to do with their concerns over Hansen’s new arena? Frankly, they don’t want a competitor like Hansen (et al) to have any say in what goes on in SODO. This isn’t a parking concern, or a traffic concern, or any of the other bullshit outlined in that letter you all had the pleasure of reading. This is a concern over another influencer in the vicinity. It’s like when motherf**king Kirk McCray moved in on Winnie Cooper and Kevin Arnold had his influence on that smokin’ hot babe reduced as a result. Before Kirk McCray, Kevin was the man. THE MAN! After Kirk McCray? Well, Kevin wasn’t nearly as important as he used to be. The Mariners don’t want Chris Hansen and his arena to be their Kirk McCray. And SODO is their Winnie. They own that shit right now. They want to keep it that way.

(Side note: That’s a Wonder Years reference for those of you completely in the dark on that analogy.)

If you’re a Seattle sports fan, this is some bullshit. The Mariners are trying to control your destiny for their own sake. They’ve owned you for 35 years and they want to keep owning you from now until forever. I love that team, but I hate the organization. You can separate one entity from the other. It’s okay to do that. Don’t be blinded by their rhetoric. They’re messing with you, me, and every other fan out there. For the first time, they just happened to cross a line of common decency (a line they were always treading, by the way) in threatening an arena that would all but guarantee the return of the Sonics — OUR SONICS! — to their rightful place in this world of ours.

We could handle it before. The zoning BS. The lack of bars, restaurants, and any discernible gameday experience. The losing product that has plagued us for more than a decade (with two decades of collateral from their conception to back that, no less). But trying to block a do-gooder from doing good for all of us fans? You’re just slapping us in the f**king face at this point, you jerks. You just tore up our schedule, kicked us out of History, and sent us straight to the Ridgemont High principal’s office. In the paraphrased words of Jeff Spicoli, You dicks. You loathsome, jackass, worthless, unsuccessful dicks.

Leave us the hell alone. Back the f**k off. And let Chris Hansen build his arena. For us. The fans. The people you should be looking out for.

Understanding The Economics of Seattle’s New Arena Using the Analogy of Pimping

Imagine, for a minute, that I am a pimp boss. I run this town. I oversee all the pimps on these streets and offer them my protection. I also coordinate their hos. Here ho, go to this pimp, he’ll treat you real nice. That’s how I do it.

Now imagine that you are my top pimp. You’re damn good at what you do. You take your hos out to the track on Pacific Highway South and pull in thousands of dollars every single night. I don’t know how you do it, I just know that I get my biggest cut from you, so in turn, I like you. We get along, you and I. I’m a fan of yours. You’re good to me, I’m good to you, it works.

Now let’s pretend that we just got this new chick. She’s fine. Real fine. She probably shouldn’t be doing this, but we don’t tell her that. This girl could be a model if she wanted to be. But for some reason she wants to turn tricks. So whatever, it’s cool. We can help her out. We’ll call her Brandy.

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Screw It, Seattle: It’s Time To Get Excited

I’m wearing a Sonics sweatshirt today. It’s green, it has a hood, it zips up, it’s nice.

I wore a Sonics t-shirt yesterday. Grey. It’s my favorite shirt. I wear it every week. There’s a faded stain underneath the screen print that most people don’t notice. I get a little self-conscious about blemishes on my clothing, but this one doesn’t bother me so much.

I have a trash can in my room. It’s a Sonics trash can. Right now it’s lined with a plastic shopping bag from Target. This morning, I noticed the bag was obscuring the green-and-gold logo on the exterior. I rearranged the bag. I want people to see that logo when they walk in.

I have a hoop on my bedroom door. When I dunk on it, I’m Shawn Kemp. When I shoot jumpers, I’m Detlef. When I kiss it off the glass, I’m G.P. When I miss, I’m Sene.

I like to search “seattle sonics” on YouTube and see what comes up. I like to mutter “Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuupersonics” quietly under my breath when no one else is around. I get a little excited when I overhear names like “Eddie Johnson” in casual conversation.

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