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Saturday, May 1
Paul Merrill, Peter Nussbaum and Rafael Calonzo (aka Chunkstyle) grew up together in Maple Valley, WA.
Their first basketball memories were watching the Sonics win the Championship in 1979. They were seven years old and got to stay up late on a school night to watch Brent Musberger call the game on tape delay. They remember Lenny, and Jack, and D.J., and The Wheedle. They all had “WORLD CHAMPS” t-shirts, and commemorative books, records and beer steins.
They stuck with the team in the 1980’s, while most of their friends (and most of the newspapers) jumped on the Seahawks bandwagon. They worshiped at the Church of Karl (with the holy trinity of Kemp, Payton, and Det) during the boom-time 90’s. In the 00’s, they’ve suffered through the dismantling of a near-championship team, a nasty strike, and a decade of some of the crappiest teams in franchise history. And, of course, they were heartbroken in 2008 when the team suddenly vanished.
So why do they still care? Why do they still watch old games on YouTube, study the boxscores, and bitch about Wally Walker? No one knows for sure, but it might have something to do with those little seven-year-olds in the Supersonics shirts, who got to stay up late on a school night.
Either that, or they're just gluttons for punishment.