Monday, January 25

1979: Good year for Sonics, bad year for robot-related deaths

For most of us here at Supersonicsoul, 1979 will always be remembered for one thing: the year the greatest basketball team of all-time won Seattle's first championship.

For those with robot-phobia, however, this date back in 1979 marks a far different kind of anniversary:

January 25, 1979: A 25-year-old Ford Motor assembly line worker is killed on the job in a Flint, Michigan, casting plant. It’s the first recorded human death by robot.

Robert Williams’ death came on the 58th anniversary of the premiere of Karel Capek’s play about Rossum’s Universal Robots. R.U.R gave the world the first use of the word robot to describe an artificial person. Capek invented the term, basing it on the Czech word for “forced labor.” (Robot entered the English language in 1923.)

Williams died instantly in 1979 when the robot’s arm slammed him as he was gathering parts in a storage facility, where the robot also retrieved parts. Williams’ family was later awarded $10 million in damages. The jury agreed the robot struck him in the head because of a lack of safety measures, including one that would sound an alarm if the robot was near.

So the next time you're watching those '79 highlight reels, be sure to raise a glass to the first victim of the Robot Apocalypse.

The Voice of the Sonics

R.I.P Bob.

Wednesday, January 20

Great White Dopes?

Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2010 Seattle Super Honkies!

Please let this be a joke.

According to the Augusta Chronicle, someone is starting an all-white basketball league:

Don "Moose" Lewis, the commissioner of the AABA, said the reasoning behind the league's roster restrictions is not racism.

"There's nothing hatred about what we're doing," he said. "I don't hate anyone of color. But people of white, American-born citizens are in the minority now. Here's a league for white players to play fundamental basketball, which they like."

Lewis said he wants to emphasize fundamental basketball instead of "street-ball" played by "people of color." He pointed out recent incidents in the NBA, including Gilbert Arenas' indefinite suspension after bringing guns into the Washington Wizards locker room, as examples of fans' dissatisfaction with the way current professional sports are run.

"Would you want to go to the game and worry about a player flipping you off or attacking you in the stands or grabbing their crotch?" he said. "That's the culture today, and in a free country we should have the right to move ourselves in a better direction."

(found via Huff Post).

White, American-born citizens are in the minority now? Really? I had no idea 75 percent was a minority. Then again, math was never my best subject.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to strap on my Chuck's and get down to the gym for my tryout with the Albuquerque All-Whites.

Wednesday, January 13

Nenad Now!

The folks behind the Sonicsgate documentary have come up with a great prank to play on The Team That Must Not Be Named.

EA is bringing back NBA Jam and letting the fans pick the rosters. Now, suppose instead of Durant, Green and Westbrook, the Sonix were represented by Thabo, Nenad and Harden?

If you'd like to help make this Dream Team a reality, just head over to the NBA Jam website. Voting ends January 18th, so make every click count!

Saturday, January 9

R.I.P. Bob Blackburn

Bob Blackburn, the original voice of the Seattle Supersonics, passed away Friday at the age of 85.

For many of us, Blackburn's friendly voice welcomed us into the world of Sonics fandom. He was the voice of the '79 champs and along with Wayne Cody, Ivar Haglund and J.P. Patches, represented the best of Old Seattle, a town that was on the rise, but never took itself too seriously.

He will be missed, but never forgotten.

Friday, January 1

Danny Fortson: Cyborg Smasher!

In 2006, cartoonist extraordinaire Rafael Calonzo, Jr. and writer/comedian Paul Merrill created "Danny Fortson: Cyborg Smasher", a two-part comic series based on former Seattle Supersonics forward Danny Fortson.

(Originally published in 2006 on

"Danny Fortson: Cyborg Smasher"
Issue #1

(Click on pictures for larger images.)

"Danny Fortson: Cyborg Smasher"
Issue #2