In trying to follow the Sonics this off-season, I’ve often tried to search for a metaphor that best explains how unnerving the past few months have been.
In a perfect world, all of our energy would be focused upon the six draft picks the team holds in next week’s draft, in addition to the future of the existing roster. Trading Chris Wilcox or Luke Ridnour, looking at mid-level free agents, and so forth ... that’s what fans do in the off-season, and, in some ways, it makes the off-season almost more enjoyable than the regular season.
Obviously, that has not been the case this spring and summer. With the trial hanging over our heads, it’s difficult to muster the energy to study possible draft picks. In a way, it’s akin to being a child at Christmastime, but a child with parents on the verge of divorce. He tries to care about the flyers that arrive in the Sunday newspapers, wants to figure out which Star Wars action figures he hopes to get, talks the talk with his friends at school, but all along an immense cloud of sadness follows him as he walks to and from school.
Mind you, I’m not trying to ask for sympathy here. After all, this is a sports team we’re talking about, not something that will cause irreparable harm to our collective psyches the way a divorce would to a 12-year-old.
Still, I think it’s the best metaphor to use for the situation here (and, to be fair, I’ve heard this metaphor from some our commenters previously; so, whoever came up with this, consider this your acknowledgement (update: it was mcwalter)). And, just like in a divorce, even if the judge tells the parents to stick it out for two years, it’s not as if those two years are going to be sunshine and lollipops.
No, we just want to get past it, to get on to being just plain, old regular fans again, like all the other fans in the neighborhood.