Dear Sonics Fans,
All the time invested, all the hard work. All the funny looks from co workers and family and even other NBA fans (in NYC, Portland, LA, SD, you name it). All the self-questioning, and for some damn reason, perserverance. Maybe it was Shawn Kemp or Gary Payton that made us continue this trek. Maybe it was you guys here on SC.com.
The political side of this thing for me started well before I ever came to SC.com, and well before SOS was ever invented. SonicsFansUnited was started on the PI boards, just ask Dead Ball Foul or Dick Tate or whatever he is calling himself these days. :) Heavy and others came over from the PI boards.
Before coming here we had already flown a banner "Go Sonics: Fire Wally Walker" with our fan donations, and were politically charged as a result. I look back at that now, and I look back at Wally Walker's amazing contributions thereafter toward getting a new team here, and I have to wonder if we were right in calling him out so publicly that way. Wally clearly has a ton of heart and has worked tirelessly since to help us get a team back. He deserves huge props, now, despite whatever occurred before.
At the time I felt like SC.com didn't have the same political nature, and would not be able to pull off any of these political antics that I so enjoyed. But I was so wrong. Since then, what we have done here is simply incredible.
It was really hard for me to put my scruffy-ass face on TV. As Softy stated at the courthouse rally, "buy your Save Our Sonics T-shirts from the guy over there, he's the one that looks like Tom Hanks in that Cast Away movie..." Softy was very much on the mark... I looked like a mini Squatch. Still do.
So being on TV or in the news was never that fun for me. But there were plenty of opportunities to do it, as often no one else was willing to step up. Brian and Steve were very often occupied elsewhere. We were the hardcore fan contingent, and we had to have some voice. Griff and others said no way, no cameras for me. Someone had to do it. I apologize because I know I'm not that video-genic. ;)
I strongly value our contribution to the SOS fight, even though we lost in the end. I feel strong in that we put out our best, we did everything we could have done to keep the team here. I can look back on those days and say I have no f*cking regrets about my contribution. And I can tell you that is way better than having regrets.
Today, there is some kind of pulling the sword from the stone analogy here. We tried with all our might to keep our team here, but failed. Chris could have failed numerous times in this not-so-pretty fight, but he persisted again and again, in a most graceful and artful way, to navigate the treacherous Seattle political waters and help foster a fruitful decision. It's almost as if there was only one guy in the entire world that could have pulled off this stunt in the face of such ugliness... the now-standard Seattle anti-sports / anti-everything negativity.
This event, and Chris himself, seem magical to me today. I am still having trouble believing this is true, and it's been many hours now since it was announced. Logically I see that we will have our new teams in time. Your perserverance and positive attitudes will help the cause as a whole.
Please know that we will need much patience before this is truly over... we still need to get a team, and this could be a very difficult matter over which we have mostly zero influence.
Hang in there Sonics fans - we know you are tough. Celebrate this amazing win but know we have more waiting in store... please keep the faith and your strength, we will need it.