During the year and a half in which Seattle first debated building a new Sonics arena in Sodo, and then was captivated by the sudden prospect of quickly stealing away the Sacramento Kings, professional hockey was always an afterthought. The proposed arena is being designed to National Hockey League standards, because why not? But the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Chris Hansen's billionaire-heavy ownership group doesn't even kick in until an NBA franchise is acquired.
But in less than two weeks, with little effort and presumably zero taxpayer subsidy, an NHL team might just fall into our laps. Makes all the Sturm und Drang over luring the NBA back seem almost silly in retrospect.
By all accounts, the Glendale, Arizona city council has until July 2 to agree to provide the Phoenix Coyotes a substantial taxpayer subsidy or else the league will sell the team to investors intent on moving the Coyotes to Seattle's KeyArena in time for the 2013-2014 season. That's right, KeyArena—an outdated arena with notoriously bad ice and only 11,000 unobstructed hockey seats. How this makes better business sense than a partially subsidized lease in an NHL-class arena in a city with an established fan base, I don't know. But it's certainly no long term solution.
With its relatively tiny broadcast contracts, no major league sport relies more on ticket sales than the NHL, so it's hard to see even sellout crowds penciling out at KeyArena. If we get the Coyotes—and want to keep them—we're going to have to build them a new arena. And that means, unless an NBA team unexpectedly falls into our lap soon, we're going to need to revise the MOU.
"The question is not basketball or hockey, the question is the level of risk," King County Executive Dow Constantine answered yesterday when asked at our SECB interview if he would support revising the MOU to accommodate this possible new reality. "I think we struck a really good deal," says Constantine, "and if people can show us a proposal that keeps the risk as low as it is, we'd be open to considering it."
Through the existing MOU, Hansen's ArenaCo guarantees revenue sufficient to cover the city and county's annual bond payments, but it's not clear if he would be willing to provide similar assurances to build an arena for a hockey team he wouldn't own. It could make sense in that having a new arena at the ready could improve Seattle's prospects of securing an NBA team. But that's a pretty big leap.
In any case, it's an issue that could soon be thrust upon us. Already one of Glendale's seven city council members is on the record saying she will vote against the proposed lease, and other council members have also voiced their skepticism. If a majority of the council follows suit, the Coyotes could soon be our team. And our problem.
The latest news out of Glendale, Arizona is that the city council and potential buyers may have hit a snag in their negotiations to keep the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes in Jobing.com Arena. The financially troubled city has budgeted $6.5 million to subsidize an arena lease, but the Renaissance Sports and Entertainment group (RSE) insists it needs $15 million annually to make ends meet.
To bridge that $8.5 million gap, the two parties have negotiated revenue streams that will theoretically benefit both sides. The city will get a cut of parking, which will no longer be free for Coyotes fans. It gets a cut of future naming rights, which expire in 2016. It’s get a portion of ticket surcharge, and will oversee an escrow account that could pay the city even more money.
On paper, it could amount to $7-8 million of new revenue for Glendale every year.
But word is, the city of Glendale wants that number guaranteed. RSE won’t go down that road. And some fear that snag could be a potential deal-killer.
Guaranteed. You know, the way Chris Hansen's ArenaCo guarantees revenue sufficient to meet Seattle and King County's annual bond payments on a new Sodo arena.
By all account's the NHL has given Glendale a hard July 2 deadline to approve a new lease agreement with RSE, or else the league will fall back to Plan B: selling the team to investors who intend to move the team to Seattle's KeyArena in time for the 2013-2014 season. I'm holding my breath.
(I gotta admit that I felt a little sorry for Sacramento at the time Hansen was attempting to snag the Kings, but I've got no such empathy for Phoenix/Glendale. It's 104 degrees in Glendale at the moment. For an ice hockey city, that's just wrong.)
I don't really expect the Phoenix Coyotes to move to Seattle before next season, because Glendale, Arizona has already thrown so much good money after bad that it's hard to see them turning down yet another awful (for taxpayers) arena deal. Exactly how awful...?
A local executive with intimate knowledge with the Coyotes situation said the city has a number of concerns about the Renaissance bid. That includes the group not having “enough skin in the game,” arena management payments being used for debt service on the purchase of the team and worries the group might have long-term plans to move the team to Seattle or another market.
Renaissance has reportedly sought a $15 million per year arena deal to manage city-owned Jobing.com Arena and help facilitate a sale.
To be clear, that's a $15 million a year taxpayer subsidy to the Coyotes in exchange for them staying in Glendale, money that the new owners would use for debt payment on their highly leveraged purchase of the team. The city had previously agreed to a $15 million a year 20-year deal with a previous potential ownership group. But Renaissance is reportedly seeking a lease of five years or less, so if the team is going to leave in a few years anyway, there's a strong argument for the city to cut its losses now.
There are certainly reasonable arguments for opposing a Sodo arena, but when critics decry it as a risky deal for taxpayers I just have to laugh, especially considering the truly irresponsible deals that so many other cities have accepted.
I hate to get Megan's hopes up, but multiple reports over the weekend have the Phoenix Coyotes moving to Seattle in time for the 2013-2014 NHL season if the Glendale, Arizona city council doesn't agree to a $15 million a year subsidy by July 2. The plan, which was first reported by the CBC's Hockey Night In Canada during the second intermission of Saturday's Stanley Cup Playoff game, would have the Coyotes playing at KeyArena until a new arena is built:
That plan, according to HNIC, stopped the Vancouver Canucks from moving their AHL affiliate to Seattle's KeyArena; the NHL told the Canucks that the building was spoken for.
The Coyotes have been owned by the league since filing for bankruptcy in 2009. Investors Ray Bartoszek and Anthony Lanza would reportedly purchase the club for $220 million, and former Coyote (and Philadelphia Flyers) star Jeremy Roenick would run the hockey operations.
Writing at SportspressNW.com, Art Thiel reports that Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has spoken with both the investors and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman:
“Our message to all parties has been the same: We believe we can support an NHL team as a tenant at KeyArena, and as a potential tenant of a new arena, subject to all parties reaching agreement on terms,” McGinn said in the statement. “As recent news reports indicate, it appears the NHL is taking the new ownership proposal seriously. But we also know from experience that it may be some time before an NHL team is located in Seattle, as the home city for the Phoenix Coyotes is working to keep them...”
I've seen conflicting reports about KeyArena's ice hockey seating capacity—somewhere between 11,000 and 15,000—but either way it would be the smallest arena in the league. So there's no way it could be a permanent solution. But the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Chris Hansen and the city requires an NBA team to be acquired before the agreement is activated and an arena is built. No doubt the MOU could be modified to start with an NHL team, but only on the approval of both city and county councils, and I would presume a substantial reworking of the financial guarantees.
But of course, all that could be moot. We've already seen the NBA use the specter of a move to Seattle as a lever for forcing a desperation deal out of Sacramento, and the NHL might just be attempting to play the same game with Glendale. But with a July 2 deadline looming, at least this time we won't have to wait very long to learn our fate.
What an amazing game! Playoff hockey is the best hockey.
I don't even care who wins the Cup at this point, but watching last night's game go into the third overtime was so awesome (for those who aren't familiar with NHL rules, there are no shootouts in the playoffs, so a tied game means the teams play sudden death overtime, 20 minutes each period, until someone scores). By the time it got halfway through the second overtime, all the players were skating like they were drunk—falling down, taking twice as long to recover from hits. It was pretty hilarious. Even the fans were showing signs of fatigue—one camera shot showed a fan hitting at the glass during a scuffle and he just looked like he was pawing at it like a half-awake kitten. Awe! Nice try, buddy!
And that was only game one! This is gonna be a great series.*
*Except for the fact I have to see Patrick Kane's dumb mullet/weird beard combination all the time. What a turd.
The Philadelphia Eagles are planning a $125 million renovation of Lincoln Financial Field. That in itself is unremarkable. As Seattleites well know, an enormous amount of money is spent building and renovating professional sports facilities all the time.
But I did find two details kinda interesting. First, the renovation comes only ten years after the stadium was built at a cost of $512 million ($256 million shouldered by taxpayers). And that's on top of millions of dollars of routine maintenance and a previously announced $30 million green energy initiative.
The obvious lesson to learn from this is that team owners really do see an economic imperative in frequently updating their facilities—even facilities as new as ten-year-old Lincoln Financial Field. Of course, they'd rather make taxpayers pick up the tab, but clearly, the Eagles wouldn't be making a $125 million investment if they didn't think they would realize a healthy return.
The average useful economic life of a professional sports facility may seem ridiculously short, but that is the nature the industry. A decade ago, when KeyArena was less than a decade old, the notion of replacing it seemed outrageous. A decade later (and the issue of public financing aside), not so much.
Holy shit! Did you watch the Kings/Blackhawks game this weekend? It was the perfect playoff hockey game. The Kings tied it with 15 seconds left in the third period, the game went into double overtime, and then, with about eight minutes left, Patrick Kane won it with a goddamn hat trick.
The more I hate Patrick Kane, the more powerful he becomes.
It was an insane, intense game. It was everything I love about playoff hockey.
And with that! The Stanley Cup finalists are decided—it'll be the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks. (I never would've guessed the Penguins would get swept—bummer, dudes.)
It's been a long road. I was positive it was going to be the Blackhawks and the Penguins in the end. But you, Slog hockey fans, knew it'd come down to the Blackhawks and the Bruins. In the last poll, those were the two teams you had voted as being this year's Cup winners.
So, I ask one last time: Who's winning the 2013 Cup?
The first game is Wednesday, 5 pm PST. Maybe we should meet at the Angry Beaver again and yell at the TV together!
The Stanley Cup semi-finals started this weekend, with Chicago Blackhawks versus the LA Kings and the Pittsburgh Penguins taking on the Boston Bruins. I didn't have a chance to watch any of the games, but Chicago is already up 2-0 in their series and Boston is up 1-0.
The Penguins/Bruins series has already gotten pretty intense. Malkin and Bergeron went at it at the end of the second period yesterday:
Crosby stepped up to Chara a little too. That's pretty brave of Crosby, since he looks like a child next to that dude. Chara is HUGE. It'll be interesting to see how all this aggression transfers over to tonight's game, which starts at 5 pm PST.
And! With a new round, comes a new poll: Who's gonna win the Cup? Who do you want to win the Cup? I don't even care any more. Every team I start rooting for loses, so I'm going to just stay over here and stop jinxing everyone.
hockeyplayerswithpets.tumblr.com! hockeyplayerswithpets.tumblr.com! hockeyplayerswithpets.tumblr.com! hockeyplayerswithpets.tumblr.com! hockeyplayerswithpets.tumblr.com! hockeyplayerswithpets.tumblr.com!
See Evgeni Malkin with a camel! See Brian McGrattan with a fuzzy puppy! See Zenon Konopka with a rabbit! See Evgeni Malkin with a flamingo! And a parrot! And... where are you getting all these animals, Malkin?
This is the best thing to ever exist on the internet.
Jose Canseco, who has been accused by both of his ex-wives of domestic violence in the past, was approached by police officers in Las Vegas as part of a rape investigation, according to Canseco's Twitter feed. How did Canseco respond? By tweeting the name of the woman Canseco says has accused him of rape, along with what he claimed to be a photo of her and her phone number. The tweets—there were two clusters of them—have since been deleted, but BuzzFeed has screen captures of them (with the name and personal information redacted).
Now, people are calling for Canseco to be kicked off of Twitter for posting the personal information of a woman whom he believes has accused him of rape. I used to follow Canseco on Twitter because he was kind of funny, but his propensity to angrily publish the personal information of whatever woman he's obsessing over—and he's done this on multiple occasions—was way too creepy for my tastes.
The Seattle contingent's actions reflect a pathological quest—cheered on by politicians and fans—to compensate for their original blunder: Their failure to act until it was too late to stop Seattle's old NBA team, the SuperSonics, from leaving in 2008...
As shortsighted as Seattle was when the future of the Sonics was in jeopardy, that's how manic Seattle is now to rip the Kings jerseys off our players' backs and fit them with Sonics green and gold. Where will it end?
WHERE WILL IT END??? Well, it kinda has ended at this point. Which leaves us with more time to note how, on the way to this end, Breton made suggestions as to the relative size of Chris Hansen's junk and called Seattle "ugly."
Everybody is reporting that the NBA owners have rejected a proposal to move the Sacramento Kings to Seattle. To which all I can say at this point is:
Get your "The NBA Can Fuck Itself" t-shirt while your anger and the t-shirts last!
USA Today has the AP story, which goes a little something like this: His name is Richard Swanson, he considered himself a big fan of the Seattle Sounders FC, he left Seattle on May 1, his goal was to reach São Paulo for the 2014 World Cup, he was killed near Lincoln City, Oregon by a pickup truck, he spent a total of 42 years on this side of everything there ever was and will be.
One Woman's Search for Everything Sonics-Related at Neumos on a Random Monday Night.
I've lived in Seattle, on and off, for much of my life. I consider it my hometown. In all that time, I've never thought of it as a sports city. Sports fandom in Seattle, rather than the default, always seemed like just another subculture. And although I spent one surreal semester as a basketball cheerleader in college, I've never cared much about sports. But love was palpable at last night’s Sonics rally at Neumos, with performers including Geo of the Blues Scholars, Nacho Picasso, Grynch, and Dyme Def, among others, playing to a room packed with boisterous fans. There were lines out the door and people trying to sneak in long after the free event had reached capacity.
What struck me most was people's eagerness to share their Sonics memories with me and each other, their overflowing enthusiasm, their unselfconscious passion. People talked about the importance of the Sonics to Seattle’s cultural landscape and identity as a city, the pivotal role the Sonics played in their lives growing up, and how loving a team like the Sonics creates a unifying bond with the power to transcend social distinctions.
More photos and thoughts after the jump.
Well, Slog, some of you were very wrong about who's gonna win this year's Stanley Cup championships. In a poll at the beginning of the playoffs, over 17% of you voted that the Canucks would get the Cup but—ha ha!—they are out! They were swept in the first round.
The Wild, the Ducks, the Blues, the Islanders, the Canadiens, the Capitals, and the Maple Leafs were also all eliminated (and oh man, that Leafs/Bruins game last night was INTENSE). But onward! There's a Cup to win! Here's how the second round shapes up:
Chicago Blackhawks vs Detroit Red Wings
Los Angeles Kings vs San Jose Sharks
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Ottawa Senators
Boston Bruins vs New York Rangers
So now it's time for a new poll! I still think it's gonna be the Penguins and the Blackhawks, but man, the Sharks were looking great in their series, too, so who knows. Now, given the teams that are left, who's gonna win the Cup? Is your team still in the running?
The great thing about sports is that it's one of the few things can bring an entire city together. For example, if you're a forlorn Sonics fan, angry at the league's efforts to block the return of professional basketball to Seattle, then you probably want to tell the NBA to go fuck itself. Whereas if you are a frustrated taxpayer, angry at the notion of a publicly subsidized Sodo basketball arena, then you also want to tell the NBA to go fuck itself.
There is a "Bring Our Sonics Back" rally tonight at Neumo's at 6 p.m., hosted by former Sonics star Shawn Kemp. And whichever side you're on, you want to be appropriately dressed. Order your "The NBA Can Go Fuck Itself" t-shirt by 3:30 p.m., and you can pick it up at The Stranger's offices (1135 11th AVE) before 5:30, before you head to Neumos.
ESPN reports that the ownership group led by Chris Hansen and Steven Ballmer have cut a backup deal with the Maloof family in case the NBA rejects their offer to purchase the Maloof's 65 percent stake in the Sacramento Kings outright. Under the terms of this deal, the Seattle group would purchase 20 percent of the team for $125 million, leaving a controlling 45 percent interest still in the hands of the Maloofs. Or more importantly, not in the hands of the bidders seeking to keep the team in Sacramento.
Hansen and Ballmer would also offer the league a $115 million relocation fee—about $4 million per existing owner—in exchange for the right to move the team to Seattle. By comparison, Clay Bennett's ownership group only paid the league $30 million for the right to relocate the Sonics from Seattle to Oklahoma City.
Very clever. As I mentioned yesterday, the whole last minute effort to keep the Kings in Sacramento was contingent on the prospective new local owners and the city cutting a deal to build a new arena. But if the Maloofs refuse to sell, there are no new owners. And if there are no new owners, there is no arena deal.
It's a maneuver that would put the league between a rock and soft place. The rock being the prospect of forcing the money-losing Kings to continue playing their games in Sacramento's aging Sleep Train Arena. The soft place is the prospect of a payout of $4 million to each NBA owner.
Would be Sonics owner Chris Hansen announced today that he has upped his valuation of the Sacramento Kings by another $75 million, bringing the total franchise value to an unprecedented $625 million. The previous NBA record was the sale of the Golden State Warriors for $450 million just a few years back in 2010.
This new move raises his offer for the Maloof family's 65 percent share of the Kings by $49 million to over $406 million. "While we appreciate that this is a very difficult decision for the league and owners, we hope it is understood that we really believe the time is now to bring the NBA back to Seattle," Hansen wrote in a post to his website.
The Maloofs were already being leaned on by the league to accept a lower offer from a Sacramento investment group. Passing up an additional $49 million makes that an even tougher ask.
This all raises the possibility that Hansen could end up owning the team, but without permission from the league to move it to Seattle. Awkward. But also interesting, in that it would put the Kings in the same sort of limbo the Sonics were in immediately after Clay Bennett purchased the team.
Remember, the Sacramento arena deal is awfully tenuous, and with the proposed local ownership group out of the picture, doesn't really even exist. If Hansen purchases the team—with or without the league's blessing—it could kill the arena deal. And without an arena, there's no reason for keeping the Kings in Sacramento.
It's a pretty ballsy move on Hansen's part.
Of course the Vancouver Canucks are frustrated—they're down 3-0 in their 7-game series against the San Jose Sharks so if the Canucks lose tonight's game, they're out in the first round.
I was starting to feel a little sorry for Vancouver—I don't want to see them win the Cup, but it's never fun to watch a team get swept out of the first round of the playoffs. My sympathy was squashed Sunday night, though, when they turned into the biggest bunch of hissy-fit throwing babies I've ever seen on ice. And I was reminded: this is why I can't root for the Canucks.
On Saturday, San Jose scored three goals, two of them power play goals within the first four minutes of the third period. Instead of playing some goddamn defense, the Canucks went into full on jerkiest jerks in the world mode—they collected six penalties in the third period. Henrik Sedin was called for blatant hi-sticking, Lapierre got two penalties in a row, one for roughing and another for slashing, and Burrows took two cross-checking penalties himself. GET YOUR POOP IN A GROUP, DUDES.
It was clear San Jose wasn't going to take the bait—they weren't going to fight back. And why would they? They were up 5-1. San Jose played it smart. They outplayed the Canucks, and instead of rising to the occasion, the Canucks collapsed all over themselves, lashed out, and now they're on the verge of being swept out of the playoffs in the first round.
And now Bieksa has the audacity to say the Sharks are embellishing? HAVE YOU EVER WATCHED YOUR OWN TAPES? You are the divingest team in the league. Shut up, Bieksa. You look ridiculous. Now I want to watch you lose tonight.
/end hockey rant
Forbes.com has released the results of a survey ranking the ten most influential athletes among US sports fans, and number one on the list is quarterback Tim Tebow. Tim Fucking Tebow. The same Tim Tebow who was recently released by the New York Jets for, you know, not being a very good quarterback.
But Tebow loves him some Jesus, so I guess that's what matters.
The biggest risk the NBA faces from fucking Seattle once again is that the league ultimately loses Seattle as a market for its product. And the best way for Seattleites to send that message to the league is to boycott the NBA playoffs. Especially if you're a local Nielsen family.
So really, don't watch. It's a beautiful day. Enjoy the weather. Walk the dog. Do some gardening. Ride your bike. Maybe even play a little basketball yourself. But whatever you do, don't watch the NBA playoffs.
When the Sonics started agitating for a new arena less than a decade after KeyArena's publicly-funded $75 million renovation, taxpayers and politicians where rightly outraged. At its grand re-opening in 1995, NBA commissioner David Stern praised KeyArena as "a beautiful building" and "very special to me." Just a few years later Stern would scornfully dismiss the arena as "woefully inadequate."
But that was a decade ago. In the years hence the Sonics were sold, public funding demands were escalated, and the team was ultimately stolen away to Oklahoma City. But more importantly in the context of recent developments, KeyArena has grown another decade older.
Now pushing 20, KeyArena is gracefully entering its golden years by arena and stadium standards, where the useful life expectancy is typically about 30. That lifespan is as true here in Seattle as it is in other big cities. KeyArena first opened as the Coliseum in 1962; it was torn down to its steel trusses and rebuilt 32 years later in 1994. The Kingdome was even less long-lived: Opened in 1976, renovated in 1994 (at a cost of $51 million), and demolished in 2000 at the tender age of 24.
It may seem wasteful to replace these giant structures every three decades or so, but it's long been the norm. Tastes change and buildings deteriorate. The Kingdome's costly 1994 renovation was necessitated by a catastrophic roof collapse, and the old Coliseum holds the dubious record for hosting the only NBA game ever to be forfeited due to rain, when the roof leaked onto the court during a 1986 game against the Phoenix Suns. The city paid off KeyArena's construction bonds in 2008 after a financial settlement with Clay Bennett, and its operations have turned a small profit ever since—about $640,000 in 2012. But that's far from enough money to fund a robust maintenance program let alone any major repairs or renovations.
At some point, competitive pressures combined with good old fashioned entropy dictate that it makes more economic sense to replace an old arena or stadium than it does to maintain one. And experience suggests that KeyArena will hit that point within another decade or so.
In other words, I, Sherman, a heterosexual lifelong basketball player, have seen a lot more cock and man-ass than many gay men.
As I age, my cock is essentially the same one I owned in 1983. But my balls and ass are loosening and threatening to avalanche down my body. I think I'm an attractive man wearing clothes, but when I'm naked... well, let's just say that I'm grateful I have a pleasant face. And, grading on a curve, I'm actually a relatively fit middle-aged man. All around me in the health clubs, I encounter mountainous guts that make my chubby belly look like a foothill. I see butt cheeks that look like two Sasquatches playing tennis. I recoil from feet so gnarled, hirsute, and abused that a hobbit would suggest a pedicure.
So why do certain homely straight men worry that gay men are even remotely interested in sexually harassing their concave asses? If strange women don't amass in large numbers to jump your bones, then why would packs of gay men hunger for you?
And, hey, I don't mean to punish those folks who are not hot, hot, hot. The plain and the lovely deserve equal amounts of love. I am only talking about sexual objectification.
I was going to write a definitive piece on what happens next now that the NBA's relocation committee has recommended rejecting Chris Hansen's bid to purchase the Sacramento Kings and move them to Seattle. But really, there's not much to say other than to emphasize that the Sodo arena deal was never predicated on acquiring the Kings per se.
Hansen insists he has a binding purchase agreement, and says he'll continue to fight for the Kings. Hansen can clearly afford some pretty scary lawyers, so there's always that. And there's more than a little speculation that the league might yet award Seattle an expansion franchise. Maybe. The owners are expected to make their final decision on the Kings next week, and presumably that would be a good time to vote on expansion as well.
But whatever the league decides, it's important to remember that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to build a new arena in Sodo was negotiated and approved long before Hansen struck a deal to purchase the Kings. There was never any expectation that Hansen would secure a team this quickly, and his window for doing so doesn't expire for another five years. Meanwhile, the MOU was always written in a way that the public financial commitment would not come due until after the environmental reviews had been completed and a new team was firmly in hand. Losing the Kings doesn't change that.
I will say that if Hansen's plans ultimately fall through due to lack of a franchise, the NBA will have permanently tarnished its reputation in Seattle. The longer the city goes without the NBA, the less we miss it. And twice burned by the league, it will be twice as hard to garner the political support for any sort of public contribution next time around. Hell, it may already be too late. Sodo arena opponents are determined to kill it, while arena supporters are justly disheartened and insulted by this latest rejection.
Which brings me to my final and most salient point. Which is that the Seattle Times editorial board are fucking idiots:
THE return of the NBA and professional basketball, a desirable goal, will depend on the durable mantra that guides any commercial enterprise: location, location, location.
The right setting and a deal without public money will set the stage for NBA basketball in this competitive pro sports environment.
First of all, the location of the proposed arena in Sodo as opposed to the Seattle Center or Renton or Bellevue had fuck all to do with the relocation committee's decision to reject Hansen's bid. If location was at all an issue, it was only in that Hansen did not propose a location in Sacramento.
Second, by all means, if somebody wants to build an arena entirely with private money, more power to them. But nobody's proposed that. Anywhere. Ever. Not since Sicks' Stadium opened in 1938 has Seattle built a professional sports arena or stadium entirely with private money. So if the Seattle Times is really editorializing in favor of a 100-percent-privately-funded arena, what they're really editorializing for is no arena at all. Which means no NBA. Which is fine by me, because I'm not a basketball fan.
But they should at least be honest about it.
I was so swept up in this idiot yesterday that I totally missed CBS reporter Tim Brando explaining why he doesn't think Jason Collins is a hero:
.@callmeg_unit Simple Being a a Christian White male over 50 that's raised a family means nothing in today's culture. The sad truth. Period.
— Tim Brando (@TimBrando) April 29, 2013
Yes! Finally, after over 200 years as a nation, won't somebody speak up for the poor, embattled straight Christian white men? Thank God this brave sports reporter has spoken up for the oppressed, voiceless white dude. What a hero he is.
NYT columnist Frank Bruni addresses clueless straights who wonder why gay people make such a big deal about coming out:
[Some] conversation in the days to come, perhaps not public discussion but certainly private grumbling, will include questions about why Collins has to rock the boat, why the news media is paying such lavish heed to him and why gays and lesbians in general make such a fuss of things. I know this from my in-box, where some readers routinely tell me that they’d be less bothered by homosexuals if we’d just please shut up about it.
Many of us want to, and will: when a gay, lesbian or transgendered kid isn’t at special risk of being brutalized or committing suicide. When the federal government outlaws discrimination against people based on sexual orientation, which it still hasn’t done. When immigration laws give same-sex couples the same consideration that they do heterosexual ones. When the Defense of Marriage Act crumbles and our committed relationships aren’t relegated to a lesser status, a diminished dignity....
When an athlete like Collins can be honest about himself without he and his co-author having to stress that he’s a guy’s guy, a godly man, someone who stayed mum about himself before now precisely so he wouldn’t disrupt his teams or upset his teammates, someone who’s inhabited locker rooms for 12 seasons already without incident. When a gay person’s central-casting earnestness and eloquence aren’t noted with excitement and relief, because his or her sexual orientation needn’t be accompanied by a litany of virtues and accomplishments in order for bigotry to be toppled and a negative reaction to be overcome.
A society that discriminates against LGBT people—and some in our society are working to expand discrimination against us—is, in a very real sense, refusing to "shut up" about homosexuality. Legislating against homosexuality = lawmakers refusing to shut up about it. Allowing anti-gay laws that already exist to remain on the books = refusing to shut up about it. Gay people will always have to come out to our families, friends, and coworkers. But legal discrimination and anti-gay bias forces us to speak out and fight back. Discrimination, hate, and bigotry puts us in a position of having to organize, argue, and get in your straight faces. Discriminate against us less, harass us less, hate us less and we will have a lot less to talk about.
We might even have the luxury to shut up about it.
Tomorrow! Tomorrow! Tomorrow! The NHL playoffs start tomorrow!
The playoffs are bittersweet because my Nashville Predators didn't make it in this year. BOO HOO! And my back-up team, the Flyers, didn't make it either. DOUBLE BOO HOO! But that doesn't mean I won't be enjoying the 2013 playoffs. Especially since we almost didn't have a season this year!
I'm not really sure who to root for yet—all I know is I'm not rooting for Vancouver. I'm not rooting for Patrick Kane, either. The rest of the Blackhawks are fine, but Kane can go kick cans.
Anyway, I'll decide on that later. Here's how things match up:
Minnesota Wild vs Chicago Blackhawks
Detroit Red Wings vs Anaheim Ducks
San Jose Sharks vs Vancouver Canucks
Los Angeles Kings vs St. Louis Blues
New York Islanders vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Ottawa Senators vs Montreal Canadiens
New York Rangers vs Washington Capitals
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Boston Bruins
I wish I could say different, but I predict the most obvious outcome—it'll be Pittsburgh and Chicago in the finals. Both teams have had stellar seasons, seasons far and away better than any other teams in their conference. St. Louis and Detroit both have some good momentum going right now, but they're just not as consistent, nor are they as strong in the playoffs. The Penguins and the Blackhawks are just on fire.
Who do you think will be in the finals? And who'll win the Cup this year?
On Goldy's post about the NBA voting to block the sale and relocation of a team to Seattle, Fnarf and TheRain have a smart point and smart counterpoint:
You'll get your team. Rich guys always get what they want. There will be an expansion team here within a year or two, and we will pay for it. I'll bet Hansen's lawyers are restructuring the deal right this minute.
Posted by Fnarf on April 29, 2013 at 2:46 PM
Seattle isn't going to get an expansion team. Seattle isn't going to get a team relocated here. Seattle is going to be the boogeyman that is used by the NBA to scare other cities into coughing up millions of dollars to make their rich owners even richer, and until we firmly and clearly tell the NBA to FOAD we will continue to be used, period.
Posted by TheRain on April 29, 2013 at 3:22 PM
Any other theories?
A text I received from a b-ball fanatic...
David Stern is doing a deal with New Jersey to acquire Sactown team and leave Seattle in the dust. No media has this info. I heard from a reliable source who is involved in the investor meetings. New Jersey was promised a team first by NBA when they gave up team to Brooklyn.