When I was a kid, I wasn't too into sports. My dad had my bros and I play in the local YMCA (or was it B&G Club?) basketball teams when we were 6 or 7. I was horrible. I remember crying in a game because I got called for a foul when I CLEARLY did not; the other guy flopped.
I remember watching ball games with my dad, though I didn't quite understand what the big deal was. Instead of saying "swish!" on a, well, swish, Dad was say, "tswa," as, apparently that is how you say "swish" in Chinese.
I seem to remember seeing the Sonics win their championship in 79 when I was 7. I don't remember things that well in my childhood. It's becoming more and more clear that I actually have a lousy memory for things.
What I do remember was being in second grade, in Miss Jones' class (who would die sometime in an auto accident or something), giving a Show and Tell presentation of my favorite new posession, the 1978-1979 World Champion Seattle SuperSonics book!
Just flipping through it now, I see the uncomfortably short shorts, the flowing locks, the incredible aerial photo of the SODO looking north in 79, and my name scrawled on the inside of page 2.
I remember being in front of the class, at the same school that Haley now attends, talking about a picture of a scrub, Lars Hansen, "slamming dunk" the ball. I remember saying "slamming dunk" and realizing how dumb that was.
Later in life I started watching the Mariners and learning about the art of baseball. The M's were terrible, but I enjoyed the process anyway.
Then came 1984. I was in the throes of middle school, and my obsession was the Seahawks. I would stay at a friend's house for a sleep-over and we'd stay up naming all the players. One of us would give a jersey number, the other the player. We could name them all. I'd watch a game on Sunday, then dread doing my homework in the remainder of the day.
So by now, I was interested in all of Seattle's major sports. As I got older and the teams would get better or worse, I didn't go to many games, but I loved watching them on TV and reading about them the next morning. In college, I'd listen to Sonics games as we didn't have cable, and, even then, the games weren't on TV as much as they are now.
In the 90s, as George Karl was in town to coach the Supes, I became obsessed again. It helped that Dad's business did some advertising on KJR (who broadcasted the Supes then) and we would be invited to their suite from time to time. Watching games from there was always fun.
We also had the extreme good fortune to catch the last Supes vs Bulls Finals game in Seattle (before they went to Chicago and lost for good). I can't even tell you any details about it (bad memory, remember?) but I do remember that after the game, I was hanging out my dad's car window, screaming with the fans on the street and just loving life.
I remember how upset I was when they traded Shawn Kemp for Vin Baker. I remember how upset I was when they traded the Glove for Ray Allen. I remember how upset I was when they traded Ray Allen for Jeff Green. All this time, I consider myself a passionate Sonics fan, but not the guy who goes to games, or owns jerseys, or writes his congressman to stop the move.
I guess the reason I'm writing this is to say that I care. I spent some time reading Bill Simmons' columns (here and here) on the Sonics' mess. Basically he asked readers to write in and apparently he got about 5000 emails on the Sonics from all around the world. Some of the emails brought tears to my eyes and made me realize just how empty winter will be around her without the Sonics to watch every few nights.
Heck, even tonight, I got to go on a double date with Marci and another couple and, wouldn't you know it, there were TVs in the bathroom over the urinals! I knew the Supes were playing Miami at home tonight, and, while peeing, I got to see the halftime score (46-41, Heat). If I was at home, I would've watched (they lost), but the point is, I suppose, that I love this team. Sure, they suck. Bad. But, when they're on, I'm watching.
Anyway, take some time to read the emails in the links above. Spend some time watching Sonics highlights on YouTube. Watch Kevin Durant when they play next.
Remember the Supes!