Thursday, June 7

The Four-Year Post


[Note: I have a buddy from That City. He’s a good bloke. He’s actually more of a baseball guy. But to help me sort through all these thoughts I’m having, I had to imagine That City was full of guys like him that I didn’t know, but due to Historic Events, we totally hated each other. Which is kind of stupid when you think about it. So here’s a fake letter to an imaginary version of a friend who’ll never read it, because what kind of weirdo cares this much about basketball?]

Dear Fake Lance,

I didn’t think the day would ever come. But I think at last, I’ve done it. I’ve reached the last stage of grief. Acceptance.

Now, acceptance is not the same thing as being okay with the outcome. Like I would ever say, “Golly, you know, the way the events unfolded was actually for the best! I’m SO glad that happened! You guys were totally right and it was so wrong of me to feel sad or angry. How petty and foolish I was to want to keep something that was dear to me and my city for 41 years. My bad, guys! Cheers!”

Where was I? Oh right. Acceptance.

Since 2008, I’ve been personally, illogically angry about the Zombies’ each and every success. Which means I’ve been getting progressively crankier for 4 years straight.

Over that time, I wondered how I would feel when, God forbid, THAT TEAM made it to the Finals. Or worse, WON the goddamn thing. I predicted I’d for sure be tooth-gnashingly enraged. Like, full-on, gamma-irradiated property damage mode at the very least. But truthfully, when the posts about the Game 6 results popped up in my Facebook feed, my mental state fell somewhere between resigned and numb, with a dash of “meh” thrown in.

I was disappointed. But I didn’t throw my phone, punch my television or rip my Sonics flag off the wall. I didn’t write a heartfelt note to Howard Schultz on the windows of the local Starbucks using dog feces. Progress!

I’m not sure how or why it happened. It could be that I got tired of being mad. It could be that I finally learned that sports is a business, and fanaticism rewards owners and leagues more than the fan. It could be that I took stock of the things I have in my life, and realized a basketball team was just a bonus on top of that. Whatever trick my brain pulled, it seems to have worked.

Which makes me foresee a day where I can feel something like Normal Seattle Sports Heartbreak, instead of Post-Apocalyptic Seattle Sports Heartbreak. And when that day comes, it’s possible that we might be able to coexist in this dimension. We won’t have to like each other, but we can be cool to each other. As in, walk past each other in the hallway and do that up-nod “’Sup?” thing without talking or stopping.

How do we get there? Some suggestions in my usual bullet-point gimmickry:

  • Let go of our history. The banners, the trophies, the stats, the records. You didn’t live it. And you don't need it. Your present and future are way better anyway, so what do you want with our crummy, tortured past?
  • As soon as we get a team, we promise to graduate our hatred of your team from “Blind, Frothing, Clawing-Through-the-Drywall-Rage Every Time We Hear/See Your Stupid Name/Logo” to your run-of-the-mill, “Can’t Fucking Stand That Team But Hey My Blood Pressure Doesn’t Spike Anymore” levels.
  • Go ahead and leave all your lovely, classy comments about us on your own websites and facebook pages. I mean, they are for you, and you should be able to say whatever you want over there. Just please don’t troll our joints, okay? ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS EXCEPT EUROPA.
  • Acknowledge that the team was not relocated due to low fan support. Fans had little influence on the outcome, and billionaires had plenty. Does pinning the blame on Seattle fans somehow make it easier for you to enjoy your team? Seriously, I don’t know why perpetuating that falsehood is so important.
  • Don’t expect me root for That Team. Ever. It's like telling me "Dude, your ex just won Miss Hawaiian Tropic and she's marrying Ronaldo at Super Bowl Halftime. What do you mean you don't want to watch?" Or to put it in your terms, it’s not like I’d ask you to root for the Longhorns ever, right? So let’s leave it at that.
  • Lastly, realize that there’s a difference between “getting over it” and “moving on.” The former won’t ever happen, but the latter is starting to.
That’s all I got for now. Suggestions welcome.
-Chunk

16 comments:

criminy. said...

this is seriously killing me. i dont know how i would handle them winning a championship.

Paul Merrill said...

Well said. You are obviously a few steps ahead of me in the grieving process, though, because when I saw the top of the Seattle Times this morning my first thought was to never read a newspaper again.

chunkstyle23 said...

If I cancel my newspaper, cable and internet subscriptions, the inevitable future never happens, right?

Paul Merrill said...

That's my plan!

PN said...

How's this grab you: Aubrey McClendon's niece? Kate Upton.

Yep.

Flippy said...

"They say a taste of love is worse than none at all" -- Smokey Robinson

miki dora said...

as a person who lives here in okc i enjoyed your piece. i honestly feel bad for you folks. but the energy that has come into the people around here is just amazing. i know you didnt want to hear that but this whole situation of a-how the sonics were sold and b-the controversy and ultimatley how the thunder have found this kind of success is really wierd. and the team is likeable. they dont act like asses or hotshots. they just do their shit.

Anonymous said...

the thunder will win a championship deal with it seattle
thunder up

Anonymous said...

I've been a sonic fan ever since 1993.I've been through many heartbreaks but this has to be the hardest to the point that it compelled me to leave something on this blog.I don't live in the States anymore but my sonics will always still be in my heart.As a sonic fan, I feel your pain. Watching even for a few minutes of Clay Bennett proudly talking about that team made me really sick. Although I don't root for any particular team, I will be rooting for either Boston/Miami to crush that team.

djohbson405 said...

You are all haters. If you would of took care of business while you still had a team then you would of never lost them. I suggest you watch how Oklahoma city supports our team so you will know how to do it if you ever get another chance.

BonusGeek said...

I hate it for die hard fans of pro teams that leave town. The rank and file couldn't care less and aren't effected when a team bolts, but the die hards are left with a bitter taste in their mouths. At some point you have to move on but not until they are crushed but whoever wins the East!

Justin Townsend said...

Hey djohbson405 (did you mean to type "djohnson405" when creating a user id for the sole purpose of posting lame, mean-spirited comments on a Sonics blog?), come back after the team has been in OKC for 41 years and then we can talk about how well the fans in Seattle and OKC supported their respective teams.

PS. *would have

Anonymous said...

Seattle sucks

EvinOKC said...

I never watched pro basketball much until the Thunder came to OKC. On a whim I got season tickets and split them with family. Over the years I've become a die hard fan and my boy has grown up watching the team. Now he yells and cheers and gets mad when I make him go to bed for the Celtics games. Im truly happy for the Thunder but watching my boy I realize what you lost and why it sucks so bad! If he lost his team it would be gut wrenching for me. I truly hope you get a team again. Any fans who keep a blog up four years later are obviously true fans in my book! Hopefully you get a team again soon so I can travel to Seattle for a Sonics Thunder game!

Unknown said...

I am a huge OKC fan and although it hurts to see ppl saying bad things about my team, but I really understand your feelings. It's so right that sports is just illogical and emotional - and I think that is at least partly because that's our spiritual ballast in this cynical world. We all want to see our favorite team win the whole thing over and over again, as much as we want to have all our dreams come true. So we don't want to face the fact that sports is all about business, money and winning the championship, as much as we don't want to face the fact that this sinful world always crushes our beautiful dreams and bright hopes. When my beloved dream was snatched away from me after many years' efforts, I began to vehemently hate the sins of the world. And when some sinner came along and coldly snatched your beloved team away and even bragged about that, even I can't help hating him and his sins. It's a very odd feeling; on one hand I don't want to see this sinner gets the championship trophy, but on the other hand I want to see the OKC players' efforts pay off.
Yeah, the OKC players. Unlike many other teams', they are humble, hard-working, and there are solidarity and friendship among them. They don't brag after winning the western finals, they don't think they deserve the championship, and the stars work hard like they have no talent at all(the coach said that). This is truly rare in today's corrupted NBA. That's one of the primary reasons of why I love OKC - because the players have great characteristics. So please don't hate them, for they had little control of all these things happened to Seattle...even though we all have to hate the management.
If someday, OKC's going to be moved again(it could happen as it was in Seattle, for this is a sinful world), or even win a championship after that, I don't think I can imagine that scenario or can handle that well, if it really happens. It was like being forced to abandon my dream to do my most hated job and have ppl who contributed to my loss commend me for this. So I can't hate you guys in Seattle for wanting OKC to lose. I just hope your wounds could be healed someday and you can get another team - a really good one, better than Miami and Celtics - that can win multiple championships(even over OKC). I don't know if these could happen, and I don't know if OKC's going to win a championship, but God knows everything and watches over everything, so let Him fulfill His good wills for us. For there is really little we, as fans but not billionaires, can do.

Ida Huang said...

I am a huge OKC fan and although it hurts to see ppl saying bad things about my team, but I really understand your feelings. It's so right that sports is just illogical and emotional - and I think that is at least partly because that's our spiritual ballast in this cynical world. We all want to see our favorite team win the whole thing over and over again, as much as we want to have all our dreams come true. So we don't want to face the fact that sports is all about business, money and winning the championship, as much as we don't want to face the fact that this sinful world always crushes our beautiful dreams and bright hopes. When my beloved dream was snatched away from me after many years' efforts, I began to vehemently hate the sins of the world. And when some sinner came along and coldly snatched your beloved team away and even bragged about that, even I can't help hating him and his sins. It's a very odd feeling; on one hand I don't want to see this sinner gets the championship trophy, but on the other hand I want to see the OKC players' efforts pay off.
Yeah, the OKC players. Unlike many other teams', they are humble, hard-working, and there are solidarity and friendship among them. They don't brag after winning the western finals, they don't think they deserve the championship, and the stars work hard like they have no talent at all(the coach said that). This is truly rare in today's corrupted NBA. That's one of the primary reasons of why I love OKC - because the players have great characteristics. So please don't hate them, for they had little control of all these things happened to Seattle...even though we all have to hate the management.
If someday, OKC's going to be moved again(it could happen as it was in Seattle, for this is a sinful world), or even win a championship after that, I don't think I can imagine that scenario or can handle that well, if it really happens. It was like being forced to abandon my dream to do my most hated job and have ppl who contributed to my loss commend me for this. So I can't hate you guys in Seattle for wanting OKC to lose. I just hope your wounds could be healed someday and you can get another team - a really good one, better than Miami and Celtics - that can win multiple championships(even over OKC). I don't know if these could happen, and I don't know if OKC's going to win a championship, but God knows everything and watches over everything, so let Him fulfill His good wills for us. For there is really little we, as fans but not billionaires, can do.