Thursday, July 3, 2008

On Losing the Sonics

One of the more challenging but honest-to-God rewarding parts that I've experienced in my relationship and marriage is developing an appreciation for what the other person is deeply interested and involved in. This is not easy for me. I am admittedly tunnel vision, and tend to be fairly selfish. But over the past few years, I've come to a fairly significant new understanding of sports --- primarily, basketball.

In the past two years, I've even actually, for the first time in my life, enjoyed myself at basketball games. We've gone to a handful of Sonics games together, and I've been standing and cheering at close games, and Brian has tried to impart his encyclopedic knowledge of every player across the NBA. I fade in and out, and in all honesty, most of the time I really don't know what is going on. I couldn't point out a foul if my life depended on it. But that's not even the point. I have seen what an impact something as "silly" as an NBA team can have on the lives of people. I used to think sports was just (oh, I hate to admit this in a public forum) a silly meathead Sunday afternoon activity, but I have come to realize -- only through marriage and a lifetime commitment -- that I was wrong. Sports is ultimately very central to the lives of many people -- and like music, or jewelry making, or a dog, they can be very life/soul enriching.

I went to dinner last night to celebrate my good friend Amber's wedding coming up this weekend, and five of us girlfriends from freshmen year of college were sitting around drinking wine, having a gaggingly airbrushed moment of reminiscing. And I'm fairly sure that I interrupted the scene, when, just hours after the Mayor Nickels' sellout announcement, I found my blood rising as I explained to them my feelings on the subject. They looked at me like I was batshit crazy... like I was a Brian trapped in Krista's body...a terribly frightening thought.

I'm not even sure what to be more mad about. The fact that we just personally lived through a dime store crime novel with a heavy handed punch line that money is the only thing that talks? Or by the fact that our governor wouldn't even glance at perfectly viable attempt to keep our team here, making her, by all accounts, a lazy bitch? Or by the fact that if I have a little boy someday, he'll be jipped out of sharing a special experience (many, really) with his dad because of arrogance, deceit, and greed. I don't know who to hate more... Howard Schultz, Clay Bennett, or David Stern. They are all ill-intentioned creepsters who should all be worrying about burning in hell...or at least about reincarnating as blind cave salamanders.

And Mayor Nickels? He is a buffoon - a total dumb dumb. I can't even wrap my head around the logic to agree to this settlement. The economic impact alone of not having an NBA team will undoubtedly wipe out whatever minuscule profit he thought his city was making in this 45 million dollar deal. I highly doubt our city will see an NBA team again, at least anytime soon. But at least we have the Fun Forest, Celine Dion, and a bloated, couperose-inflicted city leader in which to rest our city's economic hopes!

If this announcement would have been made two years ago, I would have watched my soon-to-be-fiance's face drop -- I would have seen the disappointment on his face as he wonders what he will replace this interest in his life with, and I wouldn't have even understood it for two seconds. But today, after a wild ride of engagement and almost a year of marriage, I feel his disappointment and anger. It'll still be easier for me (than him) to chalk this one up to another adventure in post-nuptial life, but at least I now have a glimpse into the magnitude of some fans' emotions, and of this city's latest historical event.