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Sunday, October 14, 2012

PAC-12 Power Rankings 10-14-12


1. Oregon – Until proven otherwise – this is the team to beat in the PAC-12. We’ll see if Arizona State can knock ‘em off in Tempe this week. Ducks cannot have lackluster showing, as they’ve had lately against inferior teams, or they’ll get burned.

2. Oregon State – Lost Mannion? No biggie, as Beavs roll into Provo and punish the Mormons. Riley and Co now in the BCS picture. Are they National Championship caliber? Doubtful, but the state of Oregon clearly rules the PAC-12. Utah and Washington up next, Beavs could be 7-0 heading into ASU showdown.

3. USC – Did what good teams do sometimes – let their opponents implode and take the credit. That’s exactly what happened in Seattle. USC sleepwalked through this one. Trojans have CU, Arizona, then the showdown with Oregon. Will need a better effort to beat either one.

4. Arizona State – the 5-1 Sun Devils dismantled hapless Colorado en route to the clash with Oregon in the desert this Thursday. Biggest game for Sun Devils in a while, and they have the guns to pull the upset if Oregon doesn’t show up to play.

5. Stanford – Tough loss in South Bend. Is the Cardinal the team that took Notre Dame to the wire, or the team that bumbled against Washington? We’ll find out vs. Cal this week.

6. Arizona – Idle this week. At 3-3 and with their remaining schedule, they could go 4-2 the rest of the way and finish Rich Rod’s first season with a winning record. This week they feast on an imploding Washington team in Tucson. Wildcats getting positioned for a Bowl game.
7. UCLA – Didn’t exactly dominate Utah, but a win is a win and UCLA is 5-2. A week off before heading to Tempe – where we will find out what the Bruins are made of. A bowl in Mora’s first season looks realistic, but closing out the season with Arizona, ASU, USC and Stanford will make challenging. A “W” has already been pencilled in for the WSU game. Duh.

8. Cal – Can’t really puff out your chest by beating a hapless Wazzu team. They make anyone look good by comparison. Cal should’ve won in a blowout, but they only managed what WSU gave ‘em. Not impressive at all.

9. Utah – Kept the UCLA game competitive, but knowing UCLA it was them playing down to their opponent, a tradition in Westwood. Next loss; Oregon State. Utah does not belong in the PAC-10. At least Wazzu can claim tenure.

10. Washington – Continue to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Every opportunity to challenge USC was bumbled away. The play that encapsulated U-Dub perfectly; the kick catch interference penalty; 100% preventable, 100% moronic. I can’t remember the last time I saw that called, because teams are smarter than that. This team is reminiscent of the Neuheisel teams; undisciplined, only make an appearance for one half, and in serious trouble. Someone needs to file a missing person’s report on Keith Price, STAT. A text book clinic on how to lose a game in every way. The white helmets are a nice touch, too; they scream out ‘we surrender’. Now they get a very good Arizona team in the desert. Uh oh…..

11. Colorado – Blown out by ASU, what else did you expect? USC, Oregon, Stanford and Arizona coming up. Probably the worst CU team of all time. Can someone please explain why the PAC-10 wanted this disaster? Oh yeah, TV money. How thrilling for the fans.

12. Washington State – Watching the Wazzu game, two words came to mind; amateur hour. They used to play football on the Palouse, but not anymore. Every imaginable mistake was made, and that’s just Halliday. Looks like Leach is dumping his ‘sleep walking’ seniors to give under-classmen experience. It’ll pay off, but not this year. Bellevue High could challenge this inept group.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

PAC 12 Weekend Primer - Sept 22



OSU @ UCLA - UCLA is in for a fight in the Coliseum, but they will be prepared for the Beavers. Look for UCLA to continue to impress by playing fundamental, mistake free football – and continue to be the only undefeated PAC-12 team in Los Angeles. Sorry Beavs, UCLA is for real, not so sure about Wisconsin. UCLA 31, OSU 13.

COLO @ WSU – This is what I’d call the crummy game of the week; the impending disaster that is Colorado vs. the completely unpredictable WSU. Neither has any defense, but WSU does have two wins and some pride and there’s no way Leach lets them lose to Colorado – there is no quicker way to get on the hot seat. The only drama will be how long until CU fires the coach. WSU will play down to CU, making it tougher than it needs to be, but they prevail; 24-13.

CAL @ USC I would hate to be the team that has to face USC’s wrath after the Stanford debacle. They will punish Cal for scheduling this. Barkley will have a big day passing – look for 350 + yards passing as USC pads some stats - to get his name back into the Heisman race – not because he deserves it, but because he’s marketable and makes headlines and USC needs good press this week. Sucks to be Cal this week. USC 55, Cal 17

UTAH @ ASU – Perhaps the best game of the week – Utah is coming on, but lost Jordan Winn for the season. ASU is rising quickly and can’t afford to lose this game at home –ASU 29, Utah 17

ARIZ @ ORE Get ready for some scoring. There could be a hundred points scored in this game – unfortunately for Arizona most of it will be by the Ducks. Newbie Rich Rodriguez has to go in to Autzen and learn what all the fuss is about. ‘Cats will be on the wrong side of the equation –Rodriguez had speedster Denard Robinson during his short stay at Michigan- so he recognizes speed – and Oregon has at least four players on offense that fast. Expect a nightmare initiation for Rich - Oregon will hang 40 by halftime and then let off the gas; Oregon 58, Arizona 31.

Preview: Next Thursday Night – Stanford at Washington. Stanford is big, strong, fundamental, confident and healthy and coming off a huge win. UW is none of those. Stanford will pull an LSU on the undersized UW lines and pound them all day and pressure Price in hopes of wearing him out. With no running game for support, it could be a tough day for Price.

UW must create a smart and crafty game plan and resist predictable play-calling. Stanford coordinators are top notch and will make you pay. Hopefully they don’t give up in the 2nd quarter, like they did in Baton Rouge. Stanford is a winnable game for UW – but this team has to start with fundamental football – basic blocking and tackling and pass catching – and they really need to show some strength of character and good old-fashioned fight.

Another embarrassing loss on a nationally televised stage and Sarkisian job security will be an issue. This is a must-win for UW on many levels and Sarkisian knows it. A blow out loss here could be mentally devastating for this team. I’ll be at the game and I want to pick UW, but from what we’ve seen so far, it just doesn’t seem realistic. UW gets an emotional start and leads in the first half, but Stanford’s superiority takes over in the second half and simply pushes UW around – Stanford 34, UW 17.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Heat Scorch Zombies, Crush Championship Run

In case you've been living under a rock - there's big news: LeBron James is finally hoisting an NBA championship trophy! The monkey is off his back. King James has justified himself and taking his talents to South Beach.

Even bigger news though, is that Seattle's most hated man, Clay Bennett, is NOT hoisting a trophy...and that brings a satisfying smile to my face. I'm not excited the Zombie Sonics lost, oh no, I am glad Bennett lost. I want him to savor the bitter taste of defeat for a long, long time time. The same bitter taste he left in Sonics fans mouths. It's called just desserts.

In what was to be an epic finals match-up, I was left with no one to root for, so I chose the lesser of the evils and wished a ring for LeBron. The thought of Bennett gaining satisfaction from his thugged team...is too much to bear. As long as he is the owner, I am motivated to root against that team.

After reading this, I feel even better that Presti is tasting defeat. He built a solid nucleus but really screwed Seattle intentionally. I still cannot understand why Presti would want out of Seattle.

Here's the link to the article - http://mynorthwest.com/384/689920/Tom-Savage-understands-Sonics-fans-pain

The greatest part about the Zombies championship run, for Seattle fans, is the media coverage of the loss of the Sonics and the shady way it went down has been played out across the country. With Sonicsgate airing nationally on CNBC fans across the country now understand the shady, deceitful way Bennett took the Sonics from Seattle. The 'Seattle didn't support the team' nonsense that was spouted by ignorant ilk has been proven to be utterly false, and the fans and media now know it. All of this pro-Seattle momentum is part of a wave that'll likely result in a Sonics team returning to Seattle soon. Thank Chris Hansen and the Sonicsgate guys for all their efforts.

The Zombies played well, but not well enough. They came up against a buzz-saw in The Heat, a team that knew they'd never be able to live with the fall out of another loss in the finals. This season was all about the ring, and now they can cross that task off their NBA bucket list. Ther Zombies were the sacrificial lambs....this time.

You could see it in game four; the Heat simply broke the Zombies will, making the game five blowout not so much a surprise, but a foregone conclusion. The Zombies hung around, but somehow you just knew this night was LeBron's night. That game face, that I-won't-be-denied will, that Jordon-esque desire.

Ironically, the Zombies lost four straight games - after the Sonics Rally took place in Seattle. Karma? Hmmmm....

Congratulations King James, today you are a champion and you've earned it, so savor it. As for Clay Bennett; enjoy the taste of defeat. You've earned that as well. Savor it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

OKC Owners: The True Bad Guys in 2012 NBA Finals

This is a re-post of an excellent article By Mike McCall from The Advocate.


As sports fans, we like it when matchups break down along clearly drawn lines: good guys versus bad guys, David versus Goliath, our country versus their country.

At first glance, the NBA Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat fit the bill.

There’s the Heat, aiming to take over the league behind LeBron James, who joined the evil empire after calling a live TV special to betray his home state and leave the Cleveland Cavaliers.

On the other side, you have the white knight Thunder led by Kevin Durant, an unassuming star who was still buying T-shirts at WalMart even after becoming a millionaire, and who announced his contract extension with the Thunder in anti-James fashion, through a simple, gracious tweet.

Essentially, James, Dwyane Wade & Co. are the Monstars from “Space Jam,” while Durant plays the Michael Jordan role as leader of the Tune Squad. As if that line between good and evil wasn’t clear enough, the Heat even suit up in classic bad-guy colors — black and red — and a logo emblazoned with fire.

But look beyond the on-court show, and it’s harder to tell who the good guys are.

After all, the Thunder’s feel-good story is built atop a lie.

If not for a deceitful purchase of the Seattle Sonics, the Thunder wouldn’t exist. In 2006, a group of Oklahoma City businessmen led by Clayton Bennett and backed by the wallet of Aubrey McClendon bought the Sonics. They immediately promised to fight to keep the team in the Pacific Northwest.

But they didn’t. They half-tried to build a new arena in Seattle, but they always planned to move the team. McClendon even said so in a 2007 interview, for which he was fined a whopping $250,000 by the NBA.

Then there was Bennett’s famous e-mail that he was a “man possessed” and would “do everything we can” to accomplish his goals for the franchise.

In court, Bennett made the laughable claim that his goal was to stay in Seattle, even though his e-mail was a response to his partners asking how soon they could move the team, and even though he contacted the NBA about relocation soon afterward.

Perhaps the Sonics never would have left if the city had provided a new arena, or if the mayor hadn’t chosen to settle a lawsuit just hours before a verdict that could have locked the team into its lease in Seattle.

But the bottom line is that Bennett and his gang are low-down, dirty rotten thieves who stole Seattle’s team.

That’s why the Thunder’s owners are the only true villains in the building during the NBA Finals.

Sure, James, Wade and Chris Bosh have done their best at times to be hated, but in reality, LeBron’s televised break-up with Cleveland raised millions for charity, and the trio opted for lower salaries for the chance to play together.

Maybe that doesn’t make them angels, but it shouldn’t make them demons either.

And maybe the Thunder’s owners pilfering a franchise so the NBA could thrive in their town doesn’t make them evil.

But it sure as heck doesn’t make them the good guys.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Epic Finals? Not for Sonics Fans



It's a sad day to be a Super Sonics fan. This years NBA finals is an absolutely epic matchup and has all the makings of a classic series.
The young, hungry Zombie Sonics versus the veteran Heat. The team built around the quite Kevin Durant, the Sonics first-round pick and the face of humbleness, vs LeBron James who not-so-quietly 'took his talents to South Beach" and middle-fingered Cleveland in the process.

As a former Seattleite and permanent Sonics fan, this is an especially tough series. The promise of an instant classic, for which I cannot root for either team. I have no dog in this fight and it looks to be a classic fight. Both these teams are dripping with motivation and talent and it'll be wither Durant coyly raisint the trophy of LaBron finally getting the curse off his back. The winners in all of this will be the fans who will bear witness.

No outcome will be satisfying for us Seattleites. If the Zombies win it's that should be the Sonics celebrating and if the Heat win it'll be I can't root for the Heat. I can't pull for a team and a player that screwed over Cleveland - a place that is already the poster child for hard-luck sports fans. I know too many Clevelanders and I feel their pain: they were so close...just like Seattle should be.

There's no winning in this Finals for Sonics fans, sadly, but the rest of the country is about to be treated to one of the best match-ups in years. I imagine every Clevelander is pulling for a Zombie sweep - and they should. I certainly don't begrudge those that root for the Zombies; they have a great team and vocal fans (just like Seattle, which Charles Barkley called the toughest place to play in the NBA beause of it's notoriously rabid fanbase) and the Heat set themselves up to be perfect foil. They have the sunshine, the beaches, the all start roster and most of a county rooting against them.

As much as my interest in the NBA has waned, this is a Finals matchup that should make any apathetic fan sit up and cheer for someone. It makes it even worse for Sonics fans; we're forced to choose between what was wrongfully ripped away, or those clowns from South Beach, and that's really no choice at all. It's a shame, really.

Good luck to both teams, may the series be injury-free...although I would be fine if Clay Bennett pulled a groin.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What if the Zombie Sonics Win a Title?

The sad reality is that if the Zombie Sonics win a title, no one outside of the Dust Bowl will care. Sure, everyone likes Durant and Westbrook, and the team is talented, for sure. The problem is that they have zero fans outside of the little outhouse on the prairie. Want proof? Go look in sports forums on CBSsports and ESPN where fans can contribute. Very little traffic compared to the popular teams, and this is a team contending for a conference title.

Seattle had an established national fan base - not on the scale of the Lakers or Celtics or other bandwagon teams, but they definitely were a visible team nation-wide. The Zombies - just aren't and may never be. Any title they would win would be tainted by the stink of the move. If the team had moved because of fan apathy in Seattle, that would be one thing and would justify the team moving to a better situation. But that was not the case at all. That's just the spin given to the gullible OKC fans by Bennett to appease their guilt. The attention starved folks of OKC will always try to spew that - and every time it only proves thier sad ignorance. Bennett worked the system in concert with Sterns guidance to screw Seattle over - that's why the issue will never die. It's an injustice. Anyone who says Seattle didn't support the team is flat-out ignorant - but in reality they'd prefer ignorance over the truth in order to justify having a team.

Let me simplify what Bennett did...

Bennett basically went to another town, followed a kid riding a bike. When the kid parked his bike to go into the store, Bennett stole it, brought it home, and gave it to his kid. To justify what he'd done, he said the other kid wasn't using it anyway. That's his logic. Anyone who embraces that kind of logic has much bigger problems, like being a textbook sociopath. It's also pretty damn creepy.

Ask Kevin Durant about the fans in Seattle in the last game there. He was leading the chant for Save Our Sonics. That move will always taint the franchise. If they win a championship - folks like Bill Simmons will talk about how Seattle deserved the team and title, not Bennett. It'll bring up other issues like the silly 'shared title' nonsense - again creating sympathy for Seattle and painting bennett and his ilk in a bad light.

No one cares about OKC outside thier borders, but the Sonics were loved all over the country - I know because I've met and worked with folks from all over the USA - not one person has supported Bennett. Those that are on the fence, I give them the Sonicsgate video and/or explained how it all really went down. That's enlightenment, folks

I met two guys from Norman a couple weeks back - we discussed the Sonics - they were big Zombie Sonics fans and said they thought Seattle didn't support the team. They don't feel that way anymore after seeing Sonicsgate. One guy emailed me saying how bad he felt and was gonna root for the Spurs now. He went on to say they believe the players are miserable in OKC and expects them to bail outta there. He said there is nothing for them to do there. That's not my opinion, just what an OK guy told me.

No matter what, OKC cannot win. They are a tainted franchise. Their fans persistant desire to remain ignorant about the facts will not ever change that. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt, kids.

Oh, and keep your bikes locked up. You never know when creepers like Bennett are lurking about. Go Spurs!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Let's Go Spurs!

There's a great saying in sports; "act like you've been there before." It means show some class. Have some humility.

Being a loyal fan there is only one team I root for when it comes to playoff time: any team playing the Blunder.

So....GO SPURS! I don't hate the Blunder, I really don't. But as a Sonic loyalist, I cannot ever root for Clayton "The Douchbag" Bennett to win a trophy. Not after the garbage he pulled in Seattle. In a dream scenario, I want Bennett experience the heartbreak of a crushing game seven defeat - and then never making a serious run again. I want him to live to be 150 years old with that feeling in his fat gut. Then he'll know how Sonics fans feel.

Bennett tanked the team in Seattle to build a winner for OKC. Everyone knows it and the evidence is overwhelming. Blame Schultz all you want, he's certainly culpable as well. He made a huge profit while Bennett exploited a vulnerable situation to get a team to the dustbowl.

You always here the OKC ilk shouting "Seattle didn't support the team" which has been proven beyond any doubt to be completely false.

Then the OKC ilk shout "should've built an arena if you wanted them to stay." Well, Seattle did that too. A mere8 years prior to Bennett's purchase.

Then, once you've outmaneuvered them with reason and logic, they reach for the "get over it" routine. It's the same as "because I said so" or "just because." Anyone with an IQ greater than a tumbleweed knows you go there when you have no game, credibility or debating skills. Once you get to this point, any chance at reasonable banter is lost. Fine. OKC has the Zombies, so they've won that battle, but the hearts and minds of the public can still be won or lost. OKC may never win that battle - not with Sonicsgate out there. But they have the team.

So, why does Warpaint clothing of OKC print an inflammatory t-shirt aimed at a humiliating an already helpless fan base in Seattle? How is that cool or necessary? At first the printers defended the shirt. Eventually after enough justifiable outrage, the cowards backtracked quickly - taking the product off-line after receiving death threats...proof that Sonics fans are still a very passionate and dialed-in bunch.

Zombie Sonic fans dismiss any logical debate about the move of the team and always default to the demans tha we get over it - but then come right back begging for our attention. We argue, you want to stop; We stop, you want to argue. The Zombie's are in the playoffs, what do you want from the Seattle fans? Cheers? Acknowledgement? Not gonna happen. Not untilo you acknowledge that the team you're watching for was paid for by blood of the Sonics fanbase when Bennett tanked the team and tried to disguise it as 'rebuilding' when the benefits of rebuiilding would only be reaped in OKC while Seattle fans were left with the shell of a team and then no team at all.

Back to the shirt - why print inflammatory t-shirts? You have to know it's only going to paint Seattle in a sympathetic light while shining the spotlight on the injustice that was done to the City. Where's the common sense? This keeps the Sonics in the media and the further along the Zombies get, the more likely it is that the story of the Sonics move will gain more attention, and when all the facts are put on display, it'll look very bad for Bennett and Stern.

Should we print up a picture of Chesapeake Energy as a ship heading towards an iceberg? Nah. As much as Aubrey deserves that - it was his own professional shenanigans that destroyed the company. But, no thanks. We'll pass on making those t-shirts.

When your rooting for a team that's making a potential championship run, show some humility, show some class. Act like youv'e been there before.

Oh, wait....you haven't. But Seattle has.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Does Seattle Need the NBA?

The Zombie Sonics.

The greatest nickname a team ever received, and it came straight from the media. I smile when I hear that because it shines the light on the wrong that Stern and Bennett did to Seattle and the unending support Seattle fans receive, and an acknowledgement of how they were jilted.

With the recent airing of Sonicsgate on CNBC and the drama unfolding in Sacramento with the Maloofs, Seattle is once again being targeted as a possible destination for an NBA’s Kings. Let’s face it, no one wants team relocation, a pain all too real for Sonics fans. With the Maloofs broke and the arena deal now allegedly dead, what’s next? Are the Kings Seattle bound?

Chris Hansen has offered up an arena plan for Seattle. Better yet, he owns the land for the proposed site, a major step forward when compared to Clay Bennett’s laughable, designed-to-fail plan. It’s reception has been warm by the city council and, even more so, by the Seattle media who are ravenously hungry for any sports news to report. If the arena plan pans out, and I believe the location is a perfect, this has all the potential for two new teams in Seattle; one from the NHL (Phoenix Coyotes?) and the return of the NBA, the Kings being offered as the most logical choice, given their vulnerability and tenuous situation in Sacramento. All of this suggests the stars are aligning for a return of the NBA to Seattle. Is this real? Is it another carrot-on-a-stick top leverage Sacramento into ‘playing ball?’ Who knows. If a team is truly destined for Seattle, I gotta ask the obvious question;

Is this really a good thing?

Having lost the Sonics, the NBA has faded in relevancy to me. I did not drift to the Blazers as Stern expected, I just...don’t really care anymore. The blame for that indifference falls squarely on David Stern and his ego. I miss the Sonics to this day, but somehow I am not at all excited about the prospect of a team relocating and then rebranding themselves as the Sonics. It rings hollow, like a bait-and-switch. “Hey, if we move a team and put ‘em in the green and gold, Sonic fans will be fooled into believing! And that leads to Seattleites, who were already burned once by the NBA, badly, handing more money over to the NBA.” I have a problem with that. Will we get used to it? Maybe. I am also used to $5 gas, the recession and never ending Tim Tebow drama. None of those are particularly enjoyable.

Will I feel bad for Sacramento? Sure, but the Kings relocating to Seattle is nothing like the blatant lying game Bennett played when he thugged Seattle’s beloved team of 41 years. With Sacramento, a buyer would buy them with the sole and publicly acknowledged intent to move them. No lies, no ruining the team and alienating the fan base to further the real agenda. No appalling deceit.

In a way, the NBA owes Seattle a team, and Clay Bennett, shamefully sitting on the relocation committee, should be doing everything in his power to right that wrong. The problem is that his involvement will immediately open those old wounds and shine the light back on his disgraceful actions with the Sonics. If he is like Stern, he’ll put his ego first. There will be no expansion teams. Not with the current state of the league. Some 18 teams are claiming to be losing money, adding another team to the league is not a practical reality.

If the Kings or any other team moves to Seattle, I am not sure I can embrace them. Not after what the league did to the City. Not after creating this void. Not after assuming the fans would just blindly return, like zombies.

I guess they’d have to be called the Zombie Sonics.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Seahawks Sign Matt Flynn: Still No Sign of the Sonics

While everyone was waiting to see who would win the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, the Seahawks made a big splash in free agency by signing free agent quarterback Matt Flynn away from the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. Flynn's deal, with incentives, will pay him up to $26 million over three season, with $10 million guaranteed.

What's not guaranteed is the starting job. Seahawk coack Pete Carroll refused to name Flynn the starter over the much-maligned Tarvaris Jackson, saying the starting job will be won in training camp. Reading between the lines, Carroll is saying "get used to riding pine, Tarvaris." It's safe to speculate that Flynn will be the starter and Seattle will likely look for another quarterback in the draft to bolster that position, the teams most glaring weakness following a 7-9 finish to the 2011 season.

As the season progressed, the Seahawks showed great strides all over the field, except at the QB position, which consistantly hurt the team down the stretch. Of course, no one really expected Tarvaris "Stop Gap" Jackson to be the teams savior, but rather a utilitarian rental car until the real replacement could be found. Tarvaris likely will replace the departed Charlie "Clipboard Jesus" Whitehurst as the designated clipboard holder. No word from Tarvaris camp on the status of his beard.

Through all of this, there is still no sign of the Seattle Supersonics in Seattle.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

No New Teams? No Problem.

It looks as though, at least for now, that Seattle will be without the NBA and the NHL for a bit longer. The Kings have allegedly figured out a way to stay in Sacramento by, among other things, giving up parking meter revenue for the next 50 years.

The Phoenix Coyotes have also apparently found a local buyer that wants to keep them in the area, even though they are floundering there and have been for some time. Last but not least, there are allegedly multiple buyers interested in buying the Hornets with designs on keeping them in New Orleans.

A couple of things to consider in these situations; first, no owner is going to come right out and say publicly that they want to move the franchise – something we learned from Clay Bennett who, with the help of David Stern, created the perfect blueprint for uprooting and removing of a franchise; say the right things publicly, but do the opposite privately. Stern will not publicly support or acknowledge the desire to move franchises. He will play them for all her can and then use the possible threat of relocation as the carrot on the stick to get what he wants.

Secondly, no smart exec is going to go public with their interest in selling or moving a local team to another market. That will only serve to piss off and alienate the local fan base and support will quickly erode. You can’t afford to do that if you want to maximize your current market’s resources. Do the Kings, Hornets or Coyotes really have interest in Seattle? Who knows. It appears not, but those that are really in the know aren’t going to go public with their intent while trying to close a deal close to home. Remember; Bennett pretended to go through the motions in Seattle, albeit clumsily. We all knew his intent was to move the team, so while commiserating about possible available franchises for the Seattle market – and even the reality of an arena deal – the real intentions will be known only by a very select few – not the general public.

So, in the meantime, sit back and let the chips fall where they may. Let Seattle’s opportunities arise organically. If cities like Sacramento want to keep a team by overpaying, leveraging their future, and over valuing the franchise – let them. That’s bad business. It certainly makes for feel-good headlines for Kevin Johnson in the short term. But the price will be paid for a long time after those feel good headlines are memories.

No teams? No problem. Wait for the right opportunity at the right price. This is not Seattle’s loss, it’s the NBA and the NHL’s loss. They need to earn their way into the marketplace, not be treated like they are a gift to the community. There are football, baseball and soccer to pin your hopes on.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Boycott Seattle Times' Steve Kelly

In the latest article by Seattle Times columnist Steve Kelly, "It's Time to Forgive David Stern", Kelly urges Seattle fans 'to forgive NBA Commissioner David Stern', who's involvement was paramount to the theft and relocation of our Supersonics. Stern is not the only villain, there's plenty of blame to go around, but his involvement and influence were key factors in making it happen.

It's one thing to ask the average fan to forgive Stern because of his many failings; the bumbling CBA debacle, the failed business models, the meddling in a legitimate trade between the Lakers and Hornets, the revolving door of franchises under his watch, etc.

But to ask Seattleites, who supported the Sonics for 40 years only to have it ripped away because of his influence, to forgive Stern, is simply unconscionable. Steve Kelly is out of touch with the wants and needs of the Seattle sports audience and has been for some time. This piece of shameful, self-serving propaganda is too much.

In the comments section of the article the overwhelming sentiment against his position is staggering; I would conservatively guess it is north of 95% against his point of view. Stern neither warrants nor deserves 'forgiveness.'

Kelly does not represent the fans in Seattle, at least not when it comes to basketball. It's time for him to go. It's time to bring in someone who is in touch with the pulse of Seattle's sports wants and needs, someone who reflects the consensus, not someone who wants to make friends with the villain, and that is exactly what Kelly is doing. It serves his needs well as it leads to NBA coverage and a holiday card from the Commissioner. Well, there's an old saying, Steve; "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." Stern is public enemy #1 in Seattle.

Where is Kelly's column calling out Howard Schultz to pitch in for an arena? Hmmm?

Seattle does not need to extend an olive branch to David Stern. It’s the other way around, Kelly. Figure it out on your way out the door.

PLEASE LEAVE YOUR THOUGHTS ON KELLY AND HIS COLUMN HERE! They will be forwarded to the Seattle Times.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Possible New Arena in Seattle, but Does Anyone Want the NBA Back?

It's been a while since I've posted. Since the Blunder are doing so well I can't goof on them anymore. But now there is movement in the Seattle arena situation and it's getting interesting.

There is a buzz around Seattle after confirmation that a new arena deal is being discussed, for real this time. Christopher Hanson, 44, a former Seattle native and current hedge fund manager, is behind the project. Hanson bought a piece of land in the SODO area (South of Downtown) and is targeting it for an arena location. This provides any proposed arena with a real location and gives this proposal a chance at success. Details of the financing are still being worked out, so there is a long way to go.

Hopefully, Hansen and his group will avoid asking for any public financing assistance, a topic that will roil the blood of Seattle residents, still bitter about the loss of the Sonics three years ago. In the grim economic reality of today, it's not a good time to be asking for public money for arenas that are used to lure professional sports franchises to town, especially the NBA, run by David Stern - public enemy number one to Sonics fans after his involvement in helping Clay Bennett take the team from it's home of 40 years.

Three years after our beloved Sonics were ripped from the city that supported them for 40 years, the NBA is now beginning the courting process. In Stern's arrogant fashion; he won't dare admit his huge mistake, nor will he acknowledge how the league desperately needs a city like Seattle back in the fold, not the other way around. No, instead he goes his usual route of arrogance by saying the league 'is open to discussions'.

What a douchebag.

Three years have gone by and I don't miss the NBA at all. I really don't. Without a team to root for I find myself seeing the league in a different light. It's really just a business. That's what they said as the team was leaving town. It's how they justified it. The message was loud and clear - don't get attached to your teams. Come and support them blindly, spend all your money to support them, but do not get emotionally attached.

Is there any other way to support them, other than emotionally? It's that exact passion that drives the fans - to connsume. The NBA wants it both ways; be passionate about spending your hard earned money, but don't complain when we want more and take your teams away. You can't have it both ways. This vaccuum the leagues (Mostly the NBA) are creating is alienating fans. Making the league's demand of 'come and spend more' expopnentially more obnoxious, is the perception that the NBA's product has become weak and uninteresting.

Supply and demand anyone?

Some fans may come back; many, like me, won't. Color me bitter, jaded and uninterested. I'm not the only one. If you read the fans' comments in the Seattle Times article, the vast majority had no interest in the NBA returning - and Seattle was a huge basketball town for many years. Could it ever return to it's glory days? It's possible, but it'll never be the same. We'll always be the city that lost the Sonics.

I get it. It's a business. But that business model took our team of 40 years away, alienating the fans, like me. I didn't look for another team to follow, or jump on the Heat bandwagon, or look for a way to get my basketball fix. I simply lost interest. Putting a team back in Seattle will make neat headlines, paint Stern as some kind of make-good icon and put Seattle back on the NBA map, as it should be. Sure it'd be nice, but it'd be false and hollow. The NBA needs Seattle, not the other way around.

Make no mistake, Seattle now becomes the threat and the leverage the NBA will use against other franchises that don't toe the NBA line by offering billion dollar palaces up to the commissioner. See Sacramanto as exhibit A. The only way Seattle gets a team is via location. There will be no expansion with the league already losing so much money.

Unfortunately, I don't have an NBA appetite anymore, and righting a wrong by bringing a league as messed up as the NBA to Seattle, won't erase the bitterness, create an appetite for the game, or heal the wounds it created. My interest in the league is long gone and I don't see it returning, even if it returns to Seattle. Too little, too late.

More to come.