ALL-STAR BREAK On October 29, 2008, I began the "Sonics MIA Campaign." I've dealt with printers, talked to so-called "hardcore Sonics fans," pitched Lower Queen Anne businesses, contacted Save Our Sonics and reached out to Sports Radio. From a Sports Fan Activist perspective, it's been an "odd-yssey" of conflicting interests and constrasting objectives.
Wait until you hear and read my report on Seattle's first MIA season.
NATIONALIZEDBAThe Sonics may have been the team that got blown out of Seattle, but with David Stern's Gotti-like tactics, this could happen to any team in virtually any of the other 29 NBA cities. The commissioner has a fudiciary responsiblity to the owners, but doesn't he have a greater responsibility to the "benefit of the league?"
HOT COFFEE CZAR
Word has it Howard Schultz is mad. Mad at Clayton Bennett for tricking him into selling the Sonics for mad. $140 million more than he paid five years ago. In other words, approximately mad. $50 million more than the estimated value. Mad enough to file a lawsuit.
DEAL ME IN! Now that the NBA season has commenced, the game behind the games in Seattle has really begun. A day after Sonics owner Clayton Bennett filed for relocation, Dennis Daugs, a player in the former Sonics ownership group, stepped to the table.
ENGAGED! Last Friday, Seattle Sonics owner, Clayton Bennett emphatically stated, "We believe it's time to engage." Clayton Bennett's resolute statement meant he was seeking arbitration to get out of the final two years of the lease. In response, yesterday Seattle City Attorney Tom Carr, announced the filing of a lawsuit which will seek to enforce the Sonics' KeyArena lease.
FIRST STRIKE On July 26, 2007 a press conference was held at the Mainstage Comedy Club for "A Deal is a Deal:" Initiative 93. That was the beginning of a grass-roots Seattle Sonics fans/Business owners/Taxpayers/Voters effort to generate 18,000 signatures for getting I-93 on the February Ballot. WeTheFans Internet Radio Network has the ONLY full-length video of the press conference. SEE: CHRIS VAN DYK
SANTOS & SONICS Like many other Seattle Sports Fans, I was listening to Bob Santos detailing his effort to broker an arena deal between the Sonics and the Muckleshoot Casino. And right when he got to the good part; his phone call with NBA legend and Seattle resident Bill Russell...
TIME!!!! January 19, 2007, Seattle Sonics vice chairman, Lenny Wilkens, the NBA's winningest coach, who's specialty is BASKETBALL not politics, sat before Washington's State Legislature. My take was, Weak Front. Today, July 6, 2007 it comes as no surprise he resigned. CONTINUED>>>
SWINDLED? COME ON! The News Tribune
Updated at 1:00 AM
May 13, 2007
TACOMA — So you thought the Seattle SuperSonics’ 31-51 regular season was a debacle?
Well, their worst season in 21 years might be nothing compared with what has transpired since. CONTINTUED>>>
WEAK FRONT Seattle Times
Updated at 03:44 PM
January 19, 2007
OLYMPIA — Sonics owner Clay Bennett wants at least $300 million in taxpayer money to help pay for a new arena that could cost as much as $530 million, but the request already has drawn skepticism from some key state lawmakers. CONTINTUED>>>
GOOD HANDS? In case you didn't hear me on Sports Saturday with John Clayton," with INSIDER INFO about a Seattle arena, here it goes again. A proposal for a 100% privately-financed arena, from a local developer, is now in the hands of Seattle Mayor, Greg Nickels. And in the words of Bud Fox, "I just know."
NON-INITIATIVE Save Our Sonics @ SaveOurSonics.org. The website states, "Save Our Sonics and Storm was formed as a grassroots effort to show that the people of the Pacific Northwest are passionate..." It also states, "...we have done it before, but it will take a united effort of thousands to make this happen. Like the previous fights it will take fans of all sports to unite behind this cause." And it also states, "To succeed we will need the support of thousands of people who will join the cause." But here's "the problem."
UNHAPPY CAMPER [Star Chamber member, Stan Barer stepped up with a LETTER TO THE SPORTS EDITOR.]
I have been stunned by the viciousness that sports writers have exhibited in basically calling into question the integrity and veracity of both the selling group and the new ownership group. I have a pretty good idea of what happened, as I am an investor and board member of the selling group...Read the rest @ SeattleTimes.com 7.30.6
OK, SEATTLE! WeTheFans.com has been Seattle-based for seven years as a "Poli$port$Biz" site. For seven years, I have espoused the ideaology of Fan Activism on the airwaves of sports radio KJR. An ideaology of fans uniting, organizing and protecting our rights as the "third party" in the modern-day sports equation. Seven years! OK, Seattle, we have one year to mass an attack to keep the Sonics from actually going to OK! OK?
MR. STERN GOES TO WAHere is another, "What is wrong with this picture?" That is Seattle (not too super) Sonics owner Howard "$tarbuck$ Baby" Schultz listening as NBA comissioner David Stern spoke to Washington state lawmakers in Olympia.
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WRITE OFF By accepting a $45 million buy-out of the Sonics' lease, Seattle's mayor simply wrote off Sonics fans, Howard Schultz's lawsuit and Lower Queen Anne businesses. Then a week later, appearing on sports radio for the first time since the settlement, he effortlessly wrote off bombastic on-duty radio host Dave Mahler.
OK CORRALLED!TIME! 7.2.08. 715 days flat. It happened so fast, Seattle Sonic fans can't believe it. Amid all the speculation, conjecture, lines, between-the-lines, lies, half-truths, denials and non-denial-denials, today the Seattle Sonics are offically not the Seattle Sonics. One year, 11 months and 15 days after Howard Schultz sold the team to Clayton Bennett...tick...tick...tick...SONIC BOOM!
RALLY JUNKIESEveryone knows the word "fan" is short for "fanatic." Ironically, there actually are very few Real Fans. Very few! How few? On a sold out Sonics game in Key Arena, 18,000 fans are in the house. At a rally outside the courthouse, on the opening day of a historic sports/lease case, ONLY 3,000 fanatics.
The Associated Press
March 26, 2008
NBA commissioner David Stern on Tuesday shot down a proposal by a group of Seattle businessmen seeking to renovate KeyArena in order to keep the Sonics in the city...STORY>>>
STRIKE THREE? The plan Brian Robinson laid out on September 25th is the most pratical for keeping the Sonics in Seattle and saving Seattle Center; for all of Seattle. The Sonics open their 41st home season tonight where they should be opening for at least the next four decades. A Deal is a Deal is done, but "the purpose behind the proposition" is still alive and kicking. KeyArena is the key.
SECOND STRIKE The energy of the press conference inspired me to put the pedal to the metal. And two weeks later, I was in position to launch a website on behalf of Lower Queen Anne businesses in support of Initiative 93. However, in the following two weeks, some of the owners and managers have sucked a lot of that energy out. Wanna know which ones? Put your seatbelt on, because this is going to really throw you!
COMPLETE CLAYTON CALL 8.25.7>>>
THE CONVERSATIONWho knows when the last time Seattle Soincs owner, Clayton Bennett and Seattle mayor, Greg Nickels actually spoke. Or who should have called whom?
But it sounds as if they'll be speaking soon. And of course, that will be a private conversataion. But from what has been heard publically, here's "our version" of how the conversation probably will go.
TAKING THE INITIATIVE Since the Ken Griffey, Jr. Returns Lovefest ended, the BIG BUZZ in Seattle has been the Save Our Sonics crew generating support for an Initiative, that would "legally force" the Mayor of Seattle to not accept a KeyArena lease buy-out from Sonics owner Clayton Bennett.
COMPLETE CLAYTON CALL 7.14.7>>>
BRIAN ROBINSON: 228 You have a good start, but there are some things you need to seriously
consider as the situation heads into the home stretch. As I mentioned
during our first meeting, you need a "strategy adjustment."
In case you haven't had the opportunity to peruse my show, here's a
compilation of my takes on the Sonics and your organization.
The legislature reconvenes January 8, 2008; 228 days from TODAY. Since
it will be an even-numbered year, the session will only be 60 days as
opposed to the 105 days this year.
Although sending individual letters/eMails to legislators is
productive, I'm convinced that a "collective and united" lobbying
effort of Voters, Taxpayers and Fans is the only way to produce the
POWER they can truly understand. To that end, we need to mass an
attack that will create the type of undeniable momentum that actually
has the ability to Save Our Sonics.
LAST CALL Things are really heating on the Seattle/OK City Sonics front. A few weeks ago, Sonics owner/chairman Clayton Bennett sent co-chairman, Lenny Wilkens to face lawmakers in Olympia. Since then, Senator Margarita Prentice has been very visable and this week, Mr. Bennett himself will make his $300 million pitch to the legislature. So my question to KJR's Dick Fain was, "Where's SaveOurSonics.org?"
FORMER FRONTMEN The Seattle Times ran an article entitled, "Why Seattle is losing the Sonics and Storm in 10 easy steps" by Bob Young and
Jim Brunner. I moved #5 to #1, changed the wording a little and called it into the Groz with Gas Mail Line.
ELECTION DAYSonics '67 + 40 = '06 + I-91 = Seattle - Sonics < '11 = ? 2010 is when the team's lease with the City of Seattle expires on KeyArena. 75% of Seattle voters backed Initiative-91 making it more difficult (not impossible as everyone is reporting) for the Sonics to play the 2011 season in Seattle. You wanna to know the kicker?
FACE THE FANS Howard Schultz and Wally Walker were the PR faces. We've all heard about "the other 56." We've wondered about them. We've all talked and talked and talked about them. The Seattle Times told us who they were, but they've been faceless, until now. So in Face The Nation fashion, the Star Chamber faces the Sonic Nation.
MORE STERN WARNING The Associated Press
NEW YORK - David Stern gave another warning that the Sonics could eventually leave Seattle, saying Thursday in a conference call that the city is "not interested in having the NBA there."
Stern has said the Sonics' lease with the city is the worst in the NBA, and he went to Seattle in February to ask Washington state lawmakers [See below: "MR. STERN GOES TO WA"] for tax money to renovate Key Arena.
Sonics owner Howard Schultz, the chairman of Starbucks Corp., has threatened to move or sell the team if state lawmakers don't approve a sales-tax package to pay for a new or renovated arena. But state lawmakers last month said there would be no deal this year.
"I would say that the city is making it pretty clear of what they want us to do, and we'll accommodate them," Stern said.