An epiphany is never something I thought would occur to me when it came to my emotions towards Howard Schultz. I have no love lost for this man – He is one of the largest reasons that the Seattle Supersonics, one of the most important things in my life and something that even defined me as an individual, is no longer a part of my life.
Howard Schultz, Seattle’s coffee baron, sold the Seattle Supersonics down the river. I don’t think this is anything that is arguable.
So when my English professor here at the University of Idaho made us choose a topic that we personally felt strongly about to argue for, there was little to no thinking for me before choosing this topic. The challenge, however, was that is was to be a Rogerian argument. An argument that forces me to put myself in the shoes of the other side, in this instance Mr. Schultz, to understand why they think what they think or do what they do. Sounds an awful lot like the root definition of psychology, doesn’t it?
Personally, I’m afraid it’s worked a bit.
Ultimately, I believe the goal of this type of argument is to become more open minded in order to find some kind of compromise. In this case, a compromise would be a solution.
My fervor in my hatred for Howard Schultz has been tamed because of this. But please, my friends, do not get me wrong. I will still never so much as step foot in one of those Starbucks stores, Howard will never see any of my hard earned dollars. I will not pay for Sonics blood.
My hatred for Schultz is lessened because quite frankly I’m just burned out on the issue, which I came to a realization of as I labored to write the final of my short essays on the project.
At some point and time the incessant finger pointing and whining has to stop – and this is coming from a primary offender.
It’s time for Seattle Supersonic fans to pool their resources and efforts towards solutions. That solution is one that we are all aware of – The return of professional basketball to the city of Seattle. It’s a future that is not only possible, but likely.
Bottom line is, anybody who knew why this team left knew it wasn’t because of bad fan support. The team was losing money because of the NBA’s economic requirement that a team have a world class facility with the bells and whistles to succeed (I hash all that out here). The Seattle metro area is one of the top 20 television markets in the United States. It is a straight up idiotic business decision for a professional sports league like the NBA to not want a franchise in Seattle if the region can provide an Arena acceptable enough to house a team.
There are many organizations and individuals that are already working to make that happen.
The Seattle Supersonics Historical Preservation Society(or Sonicsgate) is constantly at work putting the word out there of what happened to Seattle, and has made it perfectly clear that the precedents the NBA has set leave the door open to bring a franchise to Seattle in much the same manner.
The Green and Gold coalition is working to bring awareness to Seattle metro area residents of potential movement on the front of getting a new facility as well as educating the public on the potential benefits of having a new arena in the area.
Snohomish County State representative Mike Hope(R) has proposed a plan he intends to draft legislation on that could potentially fund the public portion of construction on a new building.
And, finally, there is the man himself. Gary Payton, the Glove, who at every turn and every change he gets, insists that he is committed to doing whatever he can to bring our Supersonics back. It can’t hurt to have a sure fire Hall of Famer on your side.
But we can’t do this without help. And it’s going to be largely people that we hate, and still point fingers at for taking our team away in the first place, that can make this happen.
- Esteemed commissioner Stern is the gatekeeper to any such decision. He just led his league out of a potentially crippling lock out to address the issue of his many small market teams losing dollars. He was also the man that stood in front of the Washington State Legislature and said in so many words that he would not balk at removing the Seattle Supersonics from the Seattle. And that’s what he eventually did.
- The Washington State Legislature, and Governor Christine Gregoire. Local politicians moved at a snails pace when it came to movement on the arena funding front when the team was still in town. Constituents felt that more money for sports wasn’t in the cards. That is going to have to change, and it’s up to us to do it.
And then we go back to Howard Schultz….Where it all began. Howard Schultz has done everything he can do within the realm of human possibility to put as much distance between him and the Seattle Supersonics(see for yourself).
But can he help? Maybe. Howard isn’t going to pay a dime for our cause. He took his hundreds of Millions in profits and ran. But he’s also taken the negative publicity that’s come with it. But, whatever. I’m tired of sitting here and bitching and moaning about the wrongs that Howard did to me three years ago. If he is that kind of dirty character individual who spouted empty rhetoric at us about being a part of the public trust, so be it. But crying foul will not bring professional basketball to this region. People are tired of hearing it, and quite frankly, nobody cares on a national scale.
We’re the Pacific Northwest. We are all that we got, nobody is going to help us that doesn’t have to. There’s only so much “awareness” that can make people sympathize with us. I’m burned out. Howard Schultz isn’t even worth the time of my negative emotions anymore. Because when we have NBA basketball back in this city he is going to be irrelevant.
Because we will have professional basketball in this city again, and it will be no thanks to Howard Schultz.