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The Waiting Game

Is it any kind of milestone when you can say "only three days until we have one month left to go?"

I'm ready for this to be over.  Sad to see the wind coming out of the sails for a lot of good and reasonable Sacramento posters and feel sorry for the angry voices that are replacing them.

The cumulative news of the last 10 days has been really decidedly been in our favor.  We have amazing new pictures of our building and tickets lists, while they found out their offer is low and have been presented with a series of real and difficult issues to overcome - land use and timeline obstacles.  Their city manager has stated clearly that he is not certain that he can meet next week's deadline.

While I would certainly welcome Shirey coming out next week and announcing "We did not complete the package in time.  We are going to have to concede this until next year." I do not think that is likely to happen.  Too much is at stake and the fight/rhetoric will to go on to the very end.

If Sacramento were to simply fail to reach a competitive bid and concede, I could envision fans on both sides benefiting from a real transition period.  Sacramento would have chance to say goodbye and begin to process the anger and sadness that I expect will come anyway.  We could acknowledge that the team was coming, begin to look towards ticket sales, plan schedule and get excited.  Surely it would be better one way or another to have a firm answer sooner?  All of us could part ways on our message boards and not torment each other further.

If Sacramento's government were to concede the loss that move would be forever questioned.  Their fans would be unlikely to peacefully accept that everybody had done all they could and failed. Instead they would be angry and use the remaining couple months of team coverage and media attention to lash out at the politicians who had disappointed them for not using the remaining time in any way possible.  For a solid month the angriest among them seem to be the ones driving commentary and potentially driving a shift in blame towards politicians who had actually done the most for them, simply because they had fought a losing battle.  We saw some of that here in Seattle where Greg Nickels got by far the lions share of the blame for being the most visible proponent to concede despite fighting the battle months longer than others in council, legislature or the governors office.

I doubt any of their elected officials want to spend the last month of Kings season enduring a review of the handling, expense and situation that led up to their concession.  The media would would be given the perfect opportunity to look much more closely at mistakes made or resources wasted in what turned out to be a losing cause.

Clearly fan resentment and anger towards Seattle are building and it makes sense for the powers that be in Sacramento to encourage that sentiment.  They will analyse everything we do to death, highlight every bit of fan activism and do everything they can to burn up the public appetite for this story in the media so that there is no public appetite for the stories after it is done.  In doing so they remove the risk that blame that will have an opportunity to turn inward.

I remember it clearly in our case.  After the frenzy of the trial and literally dozens of articles with peoples opinions either way the media and the people were just worn out on the story.  It felt like it had been extensively covered when in fact all the stories focused on the battle between OKC and Seattle.  Nobody really had the energy to look back and review the internal actions and circumstances that had gotten us there.

They will roll something out next week.  Carmichael Dave will declare it "competitive" and this whole saga will continue until 4/19 with the anger and the bitterness building until then.  By the time it is done everybody will be so burnt out that the elected officials, the media and all the people involved will "need a couple of months to decompress" after which they will move on to other topics.

I would not expect anything less than a fight to the  end by the fans or leaders down there.