So today was the day where I really had to acknowledge that the next two weeks will, in all likelihood be more stressful than the last two weeks. It is overtime and we are behind. Even if we claw out a win we can count on it being an ugly one
Maintaining momentum is critical in the short term. If people start to move on or give up hope the attitude becomes contagious. @SonicsArena made it clear that they don’t want to quit and we have to look no farther than Sacramento to remember that when the core of a fan base continue to cheer loudly despite adversity it can create an enthusiasm and alter expectations in a way that becomes self-fulfilling.
For the next two weeks the purchase of the team will be hotly contested. On the Sacramento side they will do everything they can to give the perception that this is already done. Whether they are 50% or 99% right does not really matter. Our Seattle leadership will not rest until the vote is cast. They continue forward with building permits and other substantial expenses. Clearly they believe that the opportunity to get this team or at minimum create a path towards another team exists.
During this period we need to be really active but also smart. Balance our aggression and enthusiasm in a way that does not become overtly hostile or driven by anger. I am asking participants on this board to be careful in their dialogue and to flag quickly insults that get out of hand, open hostility or things that are just plain incendiary in nature. It will be really hard to manage and we need to set the example and police ourselves. Remind each other to tone it down when the emotions get carried away or the behavior trends towards the inappropriate.
I’m going to remember to have fun with it. I’m working on a big party with some of the guys who performed at the rally and want to continue to have pride and enthusiasm in being part of this effort.
In the longer term I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH how much this setback increases the need for us to stay mobilized and focused here locally. The real potential has emerged for Chris Hansen to own the team in Sacramento next season to see if Kevin Johnson can deliver on all his promises for a building by 2016 or alternatively be looking for a replacement franchise in a future year.
This potential extension of the timeline makes it even more important for us to sustain local momentum and influence to avoid problems at home. The Mayoral primary becomes critically important. Incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn, Councilman Tim Burgess and Councilman Bruce Harrell all supported our Arena in various fashions and I will likely be endorsing one of them prior to the primary on August 6. It would send a terrible message and be a big blow to moral if one of our supportive candidates does not make it through.
Primaries lack visibility and generally feature a much smaller than average voter pool. With a strongly split field there is an expectation that as few as 16,000 votes could get a candidate through to the general election. Every person who contributes here needs to realize what a difference they can make and be ready in August to rally around our candidates in a loud and impactful way. We need to deliver 10,000 votes at minimum. If people commit now to taking leadership in bringing their peers to vote we can certainly do that.
I have been told on multiple occasions by a variety of players what an amazing difference the fans can make. No game showcased our impact greater than game 7 of the 1996 Western Conference Semi-Finals. I was at that game and I counted down Karl Malone on every free throw. I screamed until my voice gave out and then I screamed some more despite the pain until the building was literally shaking and nobody who was in that building could doubt that we affected the outcome of the game despite never setting foot on the floor or touching the ball.
It is time to cheer loudly.