B. Jones: Listen Up, Seattlites!
[Edited to add: Never has the blog entry and the comments field been more schizophrenic. Those fearing 20+ messages of nothing but sports talk should take a dive in. --tbo]
First, the link I am referring to; then I add my own half-baked rantings, at best tangentially based on said link:
Do you know what kind of cities have their teams taken away? Cities like Baltimore. Cities like Cleveland. Cities like Charlotte.
"Cities like Los Angeles." Shut up, JJ.
"Cities like New York." That was like 500 years ago, Joe.
"Charlotte got a new team in less than a decade." This is true, Deni, but then it becomes a matter of tradition. Tradition's important for fans of organized sports, wouldn't you agree Deni, even in this entirely fictionalized conversation I'm having with everyone? "Why, yes, TBO, yes, I most definitely agree." Thanks, man.
"But Cleveland and Baltimore both got screwed out of their teams by ownerships who were too greedy to do right by their teams' fans, right?" Yes, very true Stine, quite astute, actually, as it has a lot to do with why I ask the question. But, I'll get to that later. Yes, lyamhound?
"Look, I'm getting the sense that this is gonna be yet another loud blog entry about the Sonics-ownership's threat/plan to take the Seattle basketball teams to Oklahoma City...Well, I don't know how many times I have to say it, but I just don't care about organized sports, any of them. They're a waste of time, and money that could otherwise be spent on the arts, where I happen to dwell most of my actual and mental energy. Let 'em move, I say."
You raise a couple of points here that I'd like to argue against, like, what makes you think that money is gonna go to the arts? Even when this town was rich in imaginary money, the fraction spent on the local arts scene, particularly at the level you and I delve in, was pathetic. What makes you think that's gonna change because Seattle would lose a couple of basketball teams?
But, let's ignore that for the time being, and instead, let's think about cultural currency.
Now, let's think of some cities in the US that are considered cultural metropolises...LA, NYC, Chicago, Miami (particularly Latin culture, but once upon a time, it was a hotbed), Boston (due to the colleges there)...anywhere else? San Francisco, Atlanta...Okay, sure, Detroit, St. Louis, Kansas City and New Orleans are given passes based on their past, by and large, but I'd argue against them being metropolises...All right all right, Cleveland too, Atul, the Rock and Roll Museum is there after all, but again, metropolises. JJ, I do see you over there wanting to pipe up, but let me get to something resembling a point first.
Part of my point resides in the fact that most of the cities we've just named have teams from at least 3 out of the 4 major organized sports (baseball, football, basketball and hockey) housed within their city limits. In fact, out of the first seven cities named, all of them do.
And so does Seattle. Okay, JJ, go ahead.
"Are you seriously calling Seattle a major metropolis comparable to New York? Or Chicago? San Francisco?" No...but it does have the potential to be up in that echelon, and in the not too distant future, also. Besides, 14th national market's nothing to sneeze at...ain't great, but it's not bad. "You're dreaming." Maybe.
What I'm getting at, though, is that having at least three major league teams in your city has just about become part of the criteria in being a proper big city. Even though you wouldn't necessarily call Denver, Phoenix or Houston major cultural hubs, you can't say that they're small potatoes either.
And Seattle can be both. Why settle for also-ran status?
"Okay, but, LA doesn't have an NFL team. Isn't that the biggest of the organized sports? Why doesn't that decrease their cultural status?" Good point, Miss Uz J, but you already know the answer to that. If Hollywood was placed in North Dakota, instead of on the coast, then maybe you could say that LA was a cultural backwater ("You still could."). As it is, they have that, plus two of every other organized sport, so...Pity LA NFL fans, though, they have no history, they have no tradition...
"This has got to be the lamest excuse for kowtow-ing to a bunch of rich white motherfuckers I've ever heard."
Look, A of all, in terms of comparison, would you rather be akin to New York City, or Portland? "Seattle." Good answer, but you know what I mean.
B of all, nowhere did I say that we should cave in to Bennett. Fuck that. I'm saying we should fight for what's ours--what's been ours all along. Here's an organization that is helping us to do just that. Vote for keeping the Sonics, y'all.
The Sonics/Storm are an integral part of what it means to live in Seattle, and the loss of those teams would definitely affect city-morale. Ask the lesbians who support the Storm (or ask the lesbians in the team about how they like the idea of Oklahoma City). Ask the burgeoning NW Basketball talent pool, who hail from the less-priviledged parts of town. Ask random boneheaded sports enthusiasts with blogs. Let's be brats.
What self-respecting big city would allow some out of town Okie to come and take one of its teams away, willingly?
I beg you, let's not make Seattle the first answer to that.