Wednesday, May 30

It's All Gaard's Fault

Apparently, if the Sonics leave town, you can place the blame squarely on the shoulders of KIRO-TV's Gaard Swanson.

Yes, the man with too many vowels offended Clay Bennett by stating to an Oklahoma City station "nobody cares about whether the Sonics stay in Seattle." (The quote is courtesy of the The Oklahoman, a paper owned by Mr. Bennett's wife, with a tip from a commenter). Mr. Swanson's quote was held up by Mr. Bennett as an illustration of how the Seattle area is apathetic about retaining the Sonics.

You know how when you pull up to a four-way stop and there's no one else around, and you just kind of slow down but never come to a complete stop? In the Northwest it's called a "California" stop, but I've also heard it called an "Oklahoma" stop.

I guess when Mr. Bennett said he intended to use 12 months to explore the situation here and look for alternatives, he meant an "Oklahoma" 12 months, which is really 7 or 8 months.

I suppose I should reserve judgement and toss aside this rhetoric as just, well, rhetoric. And that Mr. Bennett is just saying all of this to ratchet up negotiations with the state so that an arena deal gets done in time for October. And, if all of that comes to pass, most of this talk will be water under the bridge when we're sitting in our $125 seats in the third level with binoculars watching Kevin Durant dunk on Greg Oden as the Sonics cruise past the Blazers for their sixth straight NW Division Title.

And I suppose that continuing to berate Clay Bennett serves no purpose than to irritate his seemingly thin skin. After all, it is difficult at this point to determine where the truth lies - is he truly this frustrated, or is it just posturing?

But I can't help but being a little bothered by Mr. Bennett's continual complaining about the situation here. Yes, the city and state are obstinate in getting a deal done, but he had to have known how difficult the situation was when he entered into it, did he not? Did he really think that Howard Schultz was an oveslick city incompetent and that all this situation needed was a shrewd cowboy from Oklahoma to git 'er done? That the region would just rubber-stamp whatever proposal he threw at them in slobbering love-fest to honor a team that had just held them up for a similar ransom 10 short years ago?

Sorry, but I just do not buy it. I'll wait to reserve judgement until the situation is resolved one way or another, but at the moment, it sure appears that Mr. Bennett's trip to Seattle was truly an "Oklahoma" stop.

19 comments:

t dawg said...

You forgot one thing there, "That the region would just rubber-stamp whatever proposal he threw at them in slobbering love-fest to honor a team that had just held them up for a similar ransom 10 short years ago?"

You should have added "and hasn't done anything of merit on anything remotely resembling a consistent basis since."

Let's be honest here, a HUGE reason for the lack of public support/outrage/etc is the consistent mediocrity of the product that has been put in front of the Seattle fans.

Is it any wonder there is little support? It wasn't that long ago the Mariners and Seahawks both faced a similar public apathy. In fact, the teams essentially switched roles. The Sonics rocked the 90's, the M's the first half of the 2000's and the Seahawks now pack a rabid base of fans-- more than a few of which would love to see the Sonics rise back out of lethargy and mediocrity...

A legitimate and intelligent businessman would take that into consideration and look to create a product worthy of attention, adulation and monetary consideration, knowing full well if he did, the city and state would eventually come around.

The key, of course, is that the potential gains in Seattle are much MUCH higher than in OK City, or even KC.

How this doesn't merit consideration from Bennett means to me either he A) doesn't believe he will ever put out a good product and he just wants to make as much short term money as he can or B) he completely lacks foresight, or C) he never intended for anything other than bringing a franchise back to the midwest, and decided ours was the one to steal.

None speak well of him as a businessman... and all piss me off to no end as a Sonic fan.

Anonymous said...

^^^ I'm starting to lean toward option C

anyone have this guys email so people can harrass him?

Drastic said...

*this guy = Gaard Swanson

Anonymous said...

This whole thing has lacked logic from the beginning. Seriously, taking the Seattle green-n-gold glasses off and really looking at it from the outside, who in their right mind would want to pull out of this market, when it outranks OKC in, well, basically every possible way? The only answer that does make sense is he's been hell-bent on taking the NBA to OKC, and the Seattle opportunity was too great to pass up. He's made this half-assed effort that was doomed to fail, yet he's done just enough to where in a court of law, the term "good faith" will stand up.

Anyway, I think "C" above is correct. He'll lose a lot of money up-front when they move, but that's part of the hit that his group is willing to take, obviously, to get this thing home. It's clear now that this guy is not only determined to move to OKC, he's obsessed. That's the one lure we can't fully comprehend, the idea of being a "GOD" in his homeland. Who knows, maybe he's got the desire to be a mini-Paul-Allen in OKC? To be the guy who when he walks into a room of millionaires and billionaires, he's the one they want to talk to because he's the one that brought the NBA to OKC? There's no other answer. Logic has taken a vacation on this one.

Sonic Man said...

I have pulled my support for Clay Bennett and have written an article about it on my blog. Check it out and tell me what you think.


http://supersonics-fan.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

has anyone discussed the fact that when the first arena deal was done, it was touted as a win win for both the sonics and the city? the construction costs were split and the profits were split. sure, it was based on selling out the luxury boxes but that was easy before the mariners and seahawks had luxury boxes to sell as well.

the city basically sabotaged this deal by giving away stadiums to both the seahawks and the mariners. how could anyone expect the sonics to compete with two stadiums full of luxury boxes the city paid for?

I'm not for public funding of pro franchises and voted no on both the seahawk and mariner stadiums. but I will never forgive the city/state government if the sonics leave town.

the sonics built their stadium the right way with no public financing. and then the city changed the playing field. all three stadiums should have the same lease arrangement. seattle basketball fans deserve much better treatment.

P Nussbaum said...

I don't know that I would blame the city or state all that much for the Sonics' situation. They gave in public opinion for the Mariners, and the Seahawks' deal had a lot of private money. The Sonics are just in the position of being the 3rd of 3 teams looking for a handout, and they picked a rotten time to do it - they've had losing seasons more often than not in this century, so people aren't too keen on giving them a big pile of money.

Anonymous said...

as I recall, the public vote for the mariners stadium failed. even with the incredible finish to the '95 season. the state called an emergency legislative session and passed it anyway using public money while retaining no profit.

the seahawks stadium vote and marketing campaign was financed by allen. but the stadium was built with public money with all profits going to the seahwks.

I still think the city/state screwed the sonics with these giveaways. with a little foresight, they could have seen it would sabotage their own investment in the key arena deal.

anonymous #12 said...

The Kingdome was falling apart.
Key Arena has a bad lease.
BIG DIFFERENCE!

I hate Howard Bennett & Clayton Schultz!

Anonymous said...

dude. anybody got this guys email so we can spam the hell out of him???

Anonymous said...

Listen, if it's only about money then "Sonics go, get out of here." Yes, I know it's always about the money. That's why I don't want or am willing to spend money on professional sports in my hometown. I'll watch college sports until that is only about "GREED."

Anonymous said...

the above comment sounds like this gaard guy. hes definitely tryin to defend his point and trying to make it appeal to us. yeah, the nba is a business and is about the money but isnt it also about the entertainment. lebron scoring 29 of the last 30 to win game 5 of the eastern conference finals, michael pushin off byron russell and sinkin the j, and hopefully soon, luke ridnour dishin it over to ray allen who swings to rashard lewis who passes to kevin durant who lobs it to chris wilcox for the alley oop with time expiring in game 7 of the nba finals. notice the word soon. this does not mean next year or even the year after that. just soon. unless they are the oklahoma city bombers by then. then you can scratch everything i just said.

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