Ask a group of Sonic fans what was the best year in the team’s history, and you’ll receive a number of answers, depending upon the generation of the respondent.
Ask that same group the worst year in team history, though, and you’ll receive one answer: 2008.
And so, dear readers, we are left to reflect upon a year of melancholy, bitterness, vitriol, and more homoerotic jokes involving David Stern and Clay Bennett than I care to remember.
It begs the question: Where do we go from here? What is the point of a website devoted to a team which no longer exists? Are we to become the 21st century version of Horse & Buggy Weekly or Typewriter Monthly?
A new year means resolutions, whether of a dietary nature, attitudinal, or what have you. A resolution, in and of itself, is a reflective gesture, as by definition it is a response to events which preceded it. A vow to lose weight is precipitated by a year’s worth of poor eating habits. A promise to appreciate one’s spouse implies the lack of appreciation in the previous year.
Likewise, any resolutions your faithful narrator embarks upon this January come shackled to failings from 2008, and, like any good relapsed Catholic, it is never difficult for me to find failings in my actions.
First, I resolve to tone down the anger a few notches. In Lieve Joris’ The Rebels’ Hour, her Congolese subject, Assani, reflects on the contrast between his mindset and that of his colleagues. While they were always optimistic about future activities, he was skeptical. The difference being, of course, that he was prepared for disappointment, while they were blindsided by it.
I think a bit of skepticism in this situation is fitting. My disgust at David Stern for the past 12 months is rooted in my belief that he is a good and honest man, but why should I expect that of him, any more than I should expect it of any person in power? Stern is going to do what’s best for Stern, and what’s best for him is what’s best for his ownership cartel. The fact that he’s a manipulative con artist is just part of the deal, and getting angry about it is as productive as using a paper towel to mop up a flood in your basement.
That’s not to say that I won’t continue to point out what’s happening league-wide with attendance, or television ratings. As I see it, no one else is talking about it, so what does it hurt if I do? But, rather than get worked up to a Dennis Green-like level by it, I’ll try to maintain some sense of decorum.
We’ll see how long this resolution sticks, and if I fall off the rails in mid-February after a David Stern press conference, feel free to castigate me in the comments.
My next, and final, resolution is to attempt to paint some better pictures of Sonics from the past. Not necessarily the Sonics everyone knows about, Haywood, Sikma, McDaniel, and so forth, but people such as Art Harris, or Bob Rule, or Tommy Kron, men who made an impact on Sonic basketball, then disappeared into the mists. A collection of stories – both on- and off-court – would make for a nice chapter in the history of the team. I’m not saying it makes up for not having an actual on-court product to root for, but it does put some salve on the wound as it were.
So there you are, two resolutions for SuperSonicSoul’s resident curmudgeon: A sunnier disposition and the capacity to remember the past.
And, perhaps, a steel girder to fall on Clay Bennett’s car in the Ford Center parking lot. That wouldn’t be so bad, either.