First let me say that I remain a huge fan, friend and supporter of Chris Hansen. As I have gotten to know him I have been impressed by his strength of character. He is for the most part tremendously levelheaded. He appreciates the people around him, is known by all his friends to be a loyal and generous guy. He is kind to people whether they are rich or poor, successful or not. He is very humble.
Today he admitted a mistake and we got to see that he is not perfect. He's a regular guy playing a huge, high stakes and high emotion game and in this case I am disappointed because frankly I thought he would never go here.
This whole process is one that happens at a quick pace and under a tremendous magnifying glass. The same passion that drives us to love our cities and our teams creates a tendency to be reactive when the emotions are highest. The sense that we are in some epic battle leads us to want to fight and take decisive actions that many times we would regret later.
I cannot count how many times I have done something quickly that proves to be a stupid mistake. I make a comment or a headline, write an article or take some other action that the message boards, opposition or media get to run with in a way that I did not anticipate, let alone intend.
There have been many more times where my blood was running hot and I wanted aggressive action to fight for the win. I have more e-mails than I can count that I drafted in the heat of the moment, calling attention to actions of Kevin Johnson or casting accusations that I know to be true to an extent but were more sensational than substantive. I have on at least a dozen occasions drafted public disclosure requests, started to contact arena opponents in Sacramento or considered opening new Twitter or Facebook accounts to deliberately rile up or misdirect the opposition.
I thought it would be me who made a stupid mistake like this. Taking some action when I was angry that I could not take back after it happened. Sometimes I re-read things that make tons of sense at the first draft and realize that I was just a "send button" away from ending my relationship with dozens of valuable people or destroying my reputation in this city.
Through some combination of good luck and good advice I have survived with some bruises, but my character and reputation mostly intact. I am eternally thankful for all the people who have heard so many of these suggestions from me and said "I think you need to reconsider that approach Brian."
Chris Hansen has been one of those people. His character through this process has been impeccable and even at the height of the battle, with about $100 million dollars at stake he never wavered that Seattle would operate with integrity. He never told me what to do or gave me direct instructions but if I started to go down an aggressive road of "playing offense" somebody would usually reach out and let me know that it just was not appreciated and that Chris Hansen did not carry himself that way.
So I'm disappointed that Chris made a mistake. I don't blame him for it because with so much at stake I know I would have made a similar mistake but I It is disheartening that that the people around him were not there to hold him back in his time of high emotion. Because of that all the good intentions and actions over a space of months and years are tarnished by tonight's revelation and will take some time to be repaired.
I'm disappointed but not disheartened. I am encouraged by his ownership of the mistake and really hope that going forward he will get more significant advice from the people around him, holding back from emotional and stupid mistakes like this one.
We all make mistakes. I have made some huge ones in this process and the most empowering part of it is realizing that my friends and supporters accept those mistakes, forgive me for them and move on.
Sorry to my friends in Sacramento. I didn't want to be part of this type of thing.
With that said I am moving on.