Friday, June 15, 2012
On my way down to the Bring The Sonics Back rally I had mixed emotions. This year has been extremely frustrating for Sonic fans as we watch the Oklahoma City Thunder play for a championship. in the back of my mind I hoped the event would have a big turn out, but the realist in me figured it would only be a handful of people and some city officials. I was expecting around 500 or 600 people.
When I got down there it was packed! The unofficial head count from the media outlets was 6,000 screaming Sonic fans. Everywhere you turned there was a sea of yellow and green. Fans sported Ray Allen jerseys, Kevin Durant Jerseys, Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp jerseys. It was as if everyone was frozen in time reminiscing on the glory days. It was refreshing to see so many people that felt the same way I do and wanted to show their support.
Big Chris Hansen got a roaring ovation from the crowd and you could tell he was touched by the tremendous show of appreciation. Unlike Sonic owners of the recent past (Howard Schultz, Clay Bennett) this guy is sincere in his commitment to the organization and the city as a whole. The big show stopper of the night however was Gary Payton. The prodigal son returned home to let his fans know he will NEVER have his number retired in OKC and would do everything in his power to bring a team back to Seattle. Those words had a lasting impression.
Without question the success of the Thunder this season lit a fire under Seattle. The 206 has responded with defiance and a show of solidarity. The city sent a clear message to David Stern and the rest of the league it is time to bring NBA basketball back to the town. With so few options for a team the process will be long and arduous, but we'll be more than ready as soon as the opportunity presents itself. Thank you Sonic fans. I definitely needed that reminder of who we are and the legacy we so cherish and embrace. The logo lives on!