It's during the worst of times, rarely the best of times, that big league sports franchises truly learn how great their fan base is. The patience of Brewers fans, for example, is now ingrained into what Southeastern Wisconsin is as a place – it was there for years, waiting, growing and waiting some more for the team to win until it became part of the culture. Now that the Brewers are contenders, Brewermania has arrived.
Bucks fans are a different breed, weened on the team's remarkably consistent success in its first two decades, but we've stuck it out through some tough years, too, none tougher than this past season. Owner Herb Kohl, whatever mistakes he's made, understands that the Bucks have great fans.
Sen. Kohl would never move our Bucks, we're sure of that. And it's almost unimaginable that he would sell to an ownership group like the one in Seattle, all set to move the Supersonics to Oklahoma. I write "almost" because the Seattle ownership group lied repeatedly to the people of Washington state on their way in, with callous disrespect to Supersonics fans, some of greatest, savviest NBA fans in the world.
With that, I'd like to introduce one of the more creatively funky, outrageous and fun fanblogs out there:
What's happening in Seattle makes me sick. It's a dirty shame for the NBA, yes, and also because Bucks fans have always had a lot in common with Supersonics fans. In many ways we grew up together as NBA fans.
The Sonics joined the league as an expansion team in 1967, one year before our Bucks did the same. In those early years, on our way to the NBA championship, we even snookered Lucius Allen and yes, Bob Boozer himself, from the Sonics in exchange for a big man named Zaid (that was in 1970). The Sonics returned the favor in 2003 by accepting George Karl's maniacal Ray Allen trade, and Seattle fans fell in love with Ray and his jumpshot, like we knew they would.
Seattle and Milwaukee boasted champions in the 1970's, the Bucks in 1971 and the Sonics in 1979. The hardcore fan bases in our smaller cities defined the league's character — it's what made the NBA different from the other big leagues. Red Auerbach's Celtics couldn't play the Knicks and Lakers every night, and fans in Milwaukee and Seattle (and Phoenix, Portland and San Antonio) were only too happy to supply the league an audience and stage.
So Bucks fans, in the brotherhood of pro basketball fans, can share in Seattle's pain just a little bit more than fans in many NBA cities, and tip a bottle of Milwaukee's finest to the great Sonics fans of the Great Northwest. Whatever happens, don't let those callous, Oklahoma-bound, crooks and Comish David Stern take the Supersonics name out of Seattle!
The Bob Boozer Jinx is new to readers, and if you're reading this, you're probably here for one of the first times. But I do hope you also find some time to check out SupersonicSoul, not just to commiserate with what Seattle fans are going through, but because it's cool – everything pro basketball should be about. You'll be able to find it here anytime in the blogroll I'm building over there to your right.
Also, if you've got any suggestions on how to make The Bob Boozer Jinx as great as SupersonicsSoul, send 'em my way. The Jinx is set to go live on Sportsbubbler's Bucks page Monday.