I think that for the most part both Seattle and Sacramento have done a good job keeping it civil. The fans and media seem to generally like each other and seem to have a level of mutual respect that makes interaction (most of it offline) a fairly easy thing.
Perhaps that is why it is so glaring when participants throw class out the door and take a shot at the rival city.
We are used to it with shock jock masquerading as community advocate Carmichael Dave. Dave is well intentioned but operates under the believe that it is OK to be an ass so long as the borish behavior is part of a self promoting quasi-radio schtick. I would liken him to that guy in the bar who claims "I'm not a racist, I just like telling ethnic jokes!" It's all good until you find out that he is coaching your kids softball team and sharing his bigotry with with the boys.
I've been GREATLY disappointed in Sacramento leadership for continuing to empower a guy who lacks so much basic courtesy and class. He is quick to use harsh language to belittle anybody who disagrees with him and sets a terrible example for those who look up to him. Having been put into a position of leadership he should understand that when he mocks people for their physical appearance or tosses slurs in the name of humor he is sending a message to many followers that this behavior is not only acceptable but productive. It escalates because of his presence and is terribly disruptive and hurtful to the human beings involved on all sides of this complicated issue.
Sadly similar is the rhetoric of Mayor Kevin Johnson who seems to share the desire to make this a battle of city vs city. A few weeks ago Johnson and his propoganda machine Think Big issued a report declaring "Sacramento is a better market than Seattle" This week he followed that statement by calling out the fans and supporter of Seattle as having failed to support our team and making it fairly clear that Seattle deserved to lose its team while Sacramento did not;
“Either a team is not being supported by the fans or a corporate community or they cannot build a building. That in fact is the reason they left Seattle. They weren’t getting the support they needed and they couldn’t build a building.”
I cannot tell you why the mayor of a major city would stoop to these tactics and accuse us as fans of not supporting our team. Johnson is a knowledgable NBA insider who is familiar with the Seattle situation and understands that the team began to force its departure more than 3 years before its arena lease expired. These comments implying a failure of Seattle's citizenry should be beneath his office. The fact that he is endorsing open competition between the cities is at worst a sign of desperation and at best indicative of an undisciplened or chaotic public relations campaign.
If Seattle fans were to follow Dave's example we would revel in every victory and rub relocation in the face of Sacramento fans if and when it happens. In the meantime there is continual temptation to lay out the facts to Kevin Johnson on why I think my city is better than his just and to ridicule Carmichael Dave, gloating each time Chris Hansen shows that he is ahead in this game. Human nature and competative spirit make me want to step up to the challenge, giving them a taste of their own medicine by pointing to the facts that Seattle is a larger market with a vibrant economy and the team under contract or let him know that "If your team leaves I guess we'll make sure to remind you that the only reason it happens is because your fans and city weren't good enough!" After all the winner gets to write history don't they?
But that isn't right. When the emotion settles I know that those comments are beneath me just as they should be beneath the mayor. I do not fundamentally believe that anybody benefits from such a comparison and I know that I do not set a good example for my followers by encouraging attacks of a city that is scrambling in desperation.
Sacramento is a great city with great fans, just like Seattle is. I wish their leaders would focus on proving its worth and taking care of their own deal instead of taking cheap media shots at our region and fans.