Friday, July 25, 2008

Death of the Seattle SuperSonics

When your pushed, killing is as easy as breathing.” -John Rambo

Uber capitalist Clay Bennett sure knows about that. In under two years he organized the Death of the Seattle SuperSonics. Sure, with the support of the NBA (which is key), but mostly it was his muscular vision to bring pro ball to Oklahoma City come Hell or high water. He was undaunted by the Save Our Sonics movement or Seattle’s so called Scorched Earth Policy and in the end he intimidated Seattle. Swiftly defeating an inexperienced group of guerrilla fighters much like Shock and Awe during the invasion of Iraq. There are many similarities between Bennett and Dick Cheney. Sheer power. The will to go through with each man’s personal obsession no matter how unpopular it was and how many people it winds up hurting.

July 2, 2008: This is a dark day for Seattle. The Sonics are gone. No more history. No more basketball. No more fun. Sure you can put a price on food and farmers markets but what about fun? Fun needs a lobbyist. Who cares about basketball? We have bigger things to worry about like schools and gas prices and recycling. That may be true but I prefer to think of it this way: I was made for dreams and looking up to god-like figures. Price tags and monetary value cannot be put on sports heroes and little kids dreams and all the good that pro ball brings to youth culture and the community in general.

Front page of the P-I: “Starbucks plan to close 600 stores” and that is fitting because the CEO of Starbucks Howard Schultz sold the team to some goddamn outsider group that had a whatever-gets-you-through-the-night policy to bring an NBA team to OKC. History will be rewritten. Does anyone remember where the Utah Jazz were originally from? Probably not. Bennett said he will have our banners redone and rehung in OKC. This is a sort of ethnic cleansing American style. Bennett's press conference in OKC looked premeditated with the NBA logo hugged up against the letters OKC as if it had been planned two years ago and Bennett's’ tie was matching the color scheme...and I couldn’t help but thinking the boys of Seattle will grow up to watch the Storm and have sex changes and play below the rim.

July 3, 2008: Thunder rumbling and rain has been pounding the city since the terrible news came down last night. P-I’s front page headline “Hoopless in Seattle.” There is no joy in mudville today. Where is the Glove this morning and how does he feel? And what is the Reign Man Shawn Kemp thinking? On the radio earlier this week Kemp said “back in the day no one expected a new arena if they were losing.” That is logical and now things are turned around and weird. Why the fuck does Stern want the NBA in the 60 biggest city in the country and not in the 13th? Is this his 50 state strategy? It is a bad one. Makes no sense. That would be like if Barack Obama decided to abandon Seattle and Washington (his biggest financial support from all 50 states) and move all his resources and attention to West Virginia. Why go where no one cares about you or at least understands you?

I found this piece published by Reuters citing OKC as the 5th worst hell on earth. It brought me a kind of morbid happiness if only for a few seconds.

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Had a bad vacation? It probably could have been a lot worse, with men's portal coming up with a list of the top 10 hells on earth to prove how much more dire it could have been.

This list was compiled by AskMen and is not endorsed by Reuters:

5.Oklahoma City, United States

Type of hell: Natural disasters

Located in the direct path of "Tornado Alley," the worst time to visit would be from March to August. Tather is pretty much expected. The severe weather season makes Dorothy's Kansas look positively calm, with Oklahoma City being the city worst affected by tornadoes in the United States.

July 8, 2008: I have slept straight through the last two days minus a few meals here and there and tonight finally Val and I went down the street to the Attic for some Coors Light. I am guessing that I am depressed. My head has been pounding for the last three days and I am feeling sorry for myself. Woe is me. I was mad at myself for feeling a bit aimless and down, but then I thought “old sport don’t beat yourself up during the grieving process.” A lot has happened since the team moved to OKC. A day is not enough. I mean “it” happened two days before Independence Day so I could only really soak it in for one day and then had to gear up for a day of drinking and blowing stuff up.

On the 4th my good friend Seamus took out the windshield of a car across the street with some illegal fireworks but that was the good news: a couple inches higher and he could have blown up the family’s house across the street. An errant bomb shooting into your living room is something families in Baghdad have come to be prepared for but not Seattle. The next morning Seamus said “that could have been a horrible thing that would have scarred the whole party” Yep I said, like one time at a house party when the back deck full of people collapsed. We were in the kitchen and all of a sudden it was like the titanic was going down and people were clawing at the side of the house, hand rails and anything they could get their hands around trying to hang on. Blaine and I started throwing pots and pans out the window. We figured if the ship was going down we should probably lighten the load.

You never know how your going to feel until the horrible thing happens. Some said,”you knew it was going to happen” referring to the loss of the Sonics but that did not mean much to me. I saw a picture of Russell Westbrook our... oops that was a slip they are no longer our team...Westbrook was wearing a blue tank top with white letters that said Oklahoma City. Jesus that will be tough for the rest of my life every time I see an Oklahoma City jersey it will be like the tightening of the screws in my back every single time a reminder of the loss. It will represent failure for a city and a community. I grew up playing basketball and the Sonics were a big reason I bounced a ball everywhere I went as a youth. And no more Kevin Calabro the best voice for the game I have ever heard. These are scars that will not fade any time soon. We will see what it is like to live with them. The voice of the Sonics Kevin Calabro is staying put in Bellevue and he will become the new voice of our MLS team Sounders FC, but he said something on Softy’s radio show that stuck with me “We are staying here in Seattle because of the attitude of the people and the laid back lifestyle, a live and let live mentality.” So we will see where that leads us.

I took the picture at the SOS rally in front of the Federal Courthouse in downtown Seattle.

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