A Quick Dove's Cry for Seattle
Consider this the flitting Sonics post for all non-Seattle residents. Also peep Shoals' thoughts below
So much electronic ink has been spilled on the Sonics affair that saying my piece is probably the most superfluous and egocentric thing I can do. Nonetheless, the whole situation makes my stomach drop. I come from a state where the only championship-winning pro sports team in the last millenium, the Minnesota Twins, was almost contracted a few years ago. Timberwolves fans have been exodus-ing by the 1000s over the past four years. And even the beloved Vikings are constantly being talked about as potential candidates for reestablishing an NFL franchise in LA. Oh, also, OUR MOTHERFUCKING HOCKEY TEAM was moved to Dallas in 1994. Think: transporting all of the croissants in France, to Italy.
Bottom line is that I want to echo what everyone else has been shouting to all of the non-residents of New York and Boston: It could happen to you, and F that.
For the first 23 years of my life, I knew exactly one person from Seattle, but I believe--and feel free to back me up here--that everyone who grew up in the 1980s who paid any attention to basketball felt some odd connection to the Seattle Supersonics. I think it was the colors. They drew you in the same way the LA Rams and Milwaukee Brewers 1980s uniforms did, on some weird synaesthetic experience. I remember seeing that green and gold on an Xavier McDaniel basketball card I received when I was eight years old, and I remember liking that card so much that I would carry it around with me places. There is something about that color scheme that I strongly believe resonates with our childlike nature.
When Shawn Kemp came on the scene, we--Sports Illustrated for Kids devoted readers all of us--lost our minds. We had never seen anything like that before. Sure, Jordan was superhuman, but he was also too fucking smart. He could pass the ball and play defense and motivate his teammates. A Shawn Kemp dunk, on the other hand, took no thought to process. Again, it touched at some automatic emotional component inside of us that had been present since we were babies. Shawn Kemp dunking was the physical manifestation of that green and gold.
So, a thousand pardons for the sopping cliche, but for my generation of sports fans: losing the Sonics = losing youth.