Tag Archives: Howard Schultz

Seattle Sounders Own Up to Fans

Dedicated Seattle Sounders FC Fans at Qwest Field

Facing consequences and people being responsible for their actions or lack there of? And in from so-called heartless sports ownership nonetheless?

However sad it may be, today was the first time in my recent recollection that owners of a professional sports team actually did something FOR the fans. I’m not talking about some cheap bobble head or magnet giveaway. No, today the Sounders FC management (FC stands for football club, in case you were wondering) made me think that not all owners are wealthy crybaby boo-hounds. Even though the football club is young, this season has not started out as expected. Apparently the Sounders FC recognize this and have considered the fans in this realization.

Owners of teams in the sports landscape often get a bad rap. Whether deserved or just because many wish they had enough coin to own their professional sports team, I’m not entirely sure. You have George Steinbrenner who would pay a billion dollars for a season to resurrect Babe Ruth and then make his fans pay $5000 for upper deck seats. You have Mark Cuban, who given the chance would yell at you while saying thanks for opening the door for him.

Being a fan of Seattle sports there has been more than a few times that I wanted to burn down a front office:

I’ll get the obvious one out of the way. If I did not hold stock in Starbucks the entire corporate office would be burnt down. I’m sorry to all my friends that work at Starbucks and all you Starbucks lovers out there. But Howard Schultz is villain number one on my list. In his money grubbing ways he sold the Seattle SuperSonics to some hicks from Oklahoma City, who eventually moved the team to that Podunk backwoods area… and who now have the 2010 scoring champ AND made the playoffs. Schultz, you think if you couldn’t nut up for a few years and watch your team grow that the enthusiasm of fans over a young team successful team might not have helped your bid for a new arena? (see infra) I don’t know how else to put this but… F*@! YOU Howard Schultz! The removal of a 41 year old standard in Seattle was documented well in Sonicsgate – Requiem For A Team. If you’re a Seattle sports fan and want to get riled up watching your old heroes talk about the failure Howard Schulltz and his ownership, definitely check it out.

In the early 90’s the Seattle Mariners team ownership led by Jeff Smulyan, claim because of poor performance (but in reality it was low attendance and poor revenue), openly considered selling and/or relocating the team to a different city. Thankfully, in 1992 the club was sold to Hiroshi Yamauchi and later Nintendo of America… in 1995, “The Double” occurred and a new stadium was built (albeit with assistance of taxpayer money, but hey we still have a baseball team).

In 1996, then Seattle Seahawks owner Ken Behring, moved all of the office equipment and some team gear to an old Los Angeles Rams practice facility in Anaheim, to try to get approval for moving the team from Seattle. Thankfully, it failed and Paul Allen has since taken over and provided a city with a spectacular stadium.

Speaking of the spectacular Qwest Field. Not only does the stadium host the Seahawks, but it is also home to the Seattle Sounders FC. The stadium only eight years old has already seen its share of great sports moments. A highlight in my live sports watching career was being in the stands during the Super Bowl XL run in a playoff game against the Cowboys. If you shall recall, Tony Romo botched a snap for a field goal that would’ve put the Cowboys up two points with less than a minute left.

This past Saturday the scene was not as memorable. In fact the scene at Qwest Field was drudging for Seattle fans.  In combination with the Mariner’s epic losing skid, the Sounders FC were shellacked by the LA Galaxy in a 4-0 romp. One little desktop lamp that shown on Seattle fans was that the M’s ended their 8 game losing skid yesterday.

However, it was what the Sounders FC management did today that has owners across the globe quaking in their $10,000 leather chairs as their hands shaking pulling that $5,000 glass of scotch to their botoxed lips. The move that the Sounders FC fans should (but probably won’t) put professional owners on blast, on how you should treat your fans and care about the product you put on the field/pitch/court/ice etc.

In light of the drubbing by the Galaxy on Saturday, Sounders FC owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer announced that all season ticket holders will get a one game credit towards next year’s season tickets. Here’s what Hanauer had to say:

“That wasn’t Sounders soccer and it was quite frankly embarrassing, humiliating and the fans don’t deserve that… The refund will come in the form of a credit against next year’s season tickets. We want our fans committed for the long haul and we think this is the right thing to do for our fans… As the owners of the club we reserve the right to do whatever we think we need to do to treat our fans the way they’ve treated us.”

I’ve tried to rack my sports knowledge pit of any other United States professional sports team to reimburse fans for a terrible showing. I cannot come up with a single instance. If you can come up with one, certainly pass it my way. Although I have heard that some English football (soccer) teams have been known to do this. The Wingan Athletic’s PLAYERS (not management/owners) offered to reimburse ticket sales for all the fans who attended the game in North London after a 9-1 mauling by the Tottehnam Hotspur.

In a current climate when everyone in higher positions, be it sports or politics, seem to be running away from responsibility it was encouraging to see the Sounders FC make such a gesture.

And you know responsibility and facing consequences don’t just extend to sports and politics, it extends to human relationships in general. Think about it. If your boyfriend or girlfriend erred so bad, such as freaking out over a small matter (like making a wrong turn on the way to dinner), subsequently ruining the rest of the night and had to make it up like the Sounders FC did… well just think of how much better relationships would be. Just sayin.

All I know is that the next Sounders FC game, you can find me with my “scarf up.” Let’s just hope it’s a 4-0 or simply a legitimate victory for Seattle fans.

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A Seattle Sports Fan: The Dawgs’ dance continues… in my heart

So I’m sluffin on my blog posting. I actually have a blog that I want to post about idiotic doormen at clubs/bars, which is really a comment on idiots in general. But first I MUST type a blog which should’ve been posted on Thursday. I ended up playing poker instead. Then I proceeded to find myself drinking Absinthe on Friday. I sluffed around some more on Saturday only to play more poker that night. My excuse for not writing this blog yesterday is minimal, except that I was actually able to watch college basketball again… That being said, here it goes.

I’m starting this blog with these lyrics from MGMT’s Flash Delirium. How does it fit in with this blog? I don’t know but I’m really digging this song, and really I’m just trying to stay composed after this U-Dub loss. Deal with it.

… plants, as far as I know are still / still bendin toward the light / and if we dance / until the heart explodes / it’ll make this place ignite / and even if this hall collapses / I can stand by my pillar of hope / it’s just / a case of flash delirium / here’s a growing culture / deep inside a corpse / ages stuck together / takin it to the source / timeless desperation / pictures on a screen scream / “Hey people, what does it mean?” …

And it would be logical to post this song for you to listen to while you read along, but I already have in a previous post. Instead I encourage you to listen to the new Black Keys single, “Tighten Up,” (click the link to listen to the song while reading) produced by Danger Mouse. I’ve had a chance to listen to some of the songs off of the new Black Keys album Brothers, it’ll be a good one.

That Seattle Sports Guy

I’m one of THOSE guys. You know those guys who are a lifelong fan of the home teams. This becomes difficult when your home teams are from Seattle.

I don’t want to talk about Super Bowl XL, but my Seahawks were robbed. Yes, I realize we had plenty of opportunities and yes I realize it was years ago. But that’s what happens when you are a Seattle fan who gets a taste of the big prize, and in the end remains a hungry fan.

Then there was the 2001 record tying 116 regular season wins of the Mariners, you know when we flubbed like fish out of water in the postseason. Since it’s the Lenten season and I’m Catholic, I gotta say I like the taste of fish, but if I were a fish I’d rather be in water.

Don’t get me started on that one team that used to be here. You know that one basketball team, The Seattle SuperSonics. Yea those guys, who now are in Podunk Oklahoma City with one of the best young stars of the game and about to be in the playoffs. Screw you David Stern and fuck you Howard Schultz. I mean I have stock in Starbucks, a local commodity, but whenever I see Starbucks (every 22 seconds in Seattle) I imagine the old yellow and green Sonic uniforms and want to puke a little bit.

Purple and Gold in My Veins

I’d have to say that the Seahawks are my favorite sports team. But my passion for purple and gold runs even deeper. So deep that if you cut me, the bloodshed would be purple and my tears would be gold (maybe I should collect them and sell them as a side gig). Moms is a U-Dub alum. The colors of the high school, in the town where I was raised, were purple and gold (though the fight song was taken from WSU, jerks). Not to mention I myself am a Husky alum and swam on the now defunct U-Dub swim team. Damn, don’t get me started on that one either.

So if you’re trying to get to know me. You’ll need to know the above and that I’m pretty much a sports fanatic. No, I AM a sports fanatic. You wanna get me riled up? Talk sports to me (you can also talk dirty to me, but that’s for another blog). Further you need to understand that I have a lot of gamble in me, and in my degenerate ways I’ll pretty much bet on anything sports related. This includes a bet on how long you can keep a ping-pong ball floating above your head by blowing on it. Or how long I could do it for.

It should now be obvious that my love for Seattle sports especially that of the purple and gold variety is slightly obsessive. This brings me to the rest of this inevitable blog.

*Sigh* The Dawgs’ Final Dance of 2010

At Least I Got a Dope Shirt

The very first thing I noticed was that West Virginia is HUGE. If there’s one thing U-Dub needs to recruit in the off-season is size. And screw you Enes Kanter, I hope you enjoy cheater ass coach John Calipari in Kentucky. Kentucky? Are you serious? They don’t even have cool colors. And it’s in Kentucky. Weak sauce.

So the first half was like a Sloppy Joe sandwich, gooeing all over the damn place, from both teams. U-Dub couldn’t get a rebound to save their life. Somewhere between leaving San Jose and arriving in Syracuse, the Huskies forgot to take of the ball while at the same time forgetting how to pass. This brain fart extended to shot selection. Now I’m all about gambling, but really a double crossover while you’re being stuck by a defender and then shoot a three? I still love you Elston Turner, but damn.

I’m not going to bash the referees for bad calls. But refs, you made too many bad calls. The thing about U-Dub’s aggressive style is that if the refs don’t let the teams play, the Dawgs become tentative. And that’s pretty much what happened. Quincy Pondexter had 3 fouls by the 4:30 mark, limiting his playing time. All of which were questionable, 2 came on offense. Isaiah Thomas eventually fouled out of the game. Dammit, now I’m just getting upset again.

One good thing about the first half, and quite frankly the rest of the game, was U-Dub’s defense. Justin Holiday and crew were all up in the passing lanes. Like I said in my previous blog, teams often overlook the Huskies’ defense and I think WVU was one of those teams. It was a horrendous first half though as both teams were off rhythm. Although U-Dub had a one-point lead at half, I was thoroughly nervous. It seemed as though the Dawgs reverted back to the first half of the season, where it turned into one-on-one ball instead of team ball.

Coach Romar praised the Dawgs for coming together at the end of the season, using a “fist” analogy. Essentially a fist is only as strong as all its fingers. Each of the five players represents a finger of the fist. If one of the fingers gets loose, the fist is weak. The fingers were straying, and the panda was worried.

Unlike the previous NCAA Tournament games the outside was not falling. Because of the lack of penetration, the outside shots were not open. And when they were open, U-Dub was connecting. Outside shooting is not our game, but it helps to ease that zone. Like I said in the last blog, U-Dub is not an outside shooting team, but it helped previously to loosen up the zone.

Seriously the stress level during halftime was not good. I even decided to change my pants (no it wasn’t because of a I peed myself feeling like after the Marquette game) and belt to get some new mojo going. My friend Alyssa came by at half to watch the rest of the game for me. I warned her that I was mildly freaking out and that a bunch of yelling is sure to come. She assured me that it was fine. Little did she know a lot of yelling was about to come (from both of us). Little did I know, that thank goodness she was there to provide a calming effect because I was about to enter a throwing things at the TV, walls and my own face type of mood.

The Second Half

The second half pretty much started the same as the first half ended, a loose fist. I’d like to give an objective breakdown of the second half, but I really can’t. I don’t know how to make a puke emoticon (and quite frankly after writing this, I’m not the mood to figure it out). Yea it was that bad. But the worst part is that U-Dub’s defense was tremendous. The Dawgs had 14 steals to WVU’s 11 and led 8 to 4 in blocks. WVU had 23 turnovers unfortunately U-Dub had 21. Worse is that the transition offense was there for the Dawgs, but ill-advised passes combined with forgetting how to pass made all the turnovers a wash.

The fist became an open hand. An open hand that which U-Dub couldn’t even slap in a shot if they wanted to. The lack of attention to the little things was also becoming evident. Apparently U-Dub forgot to box-out and crash the boards, yet another thing I implored the Dawgs to do. The Huskies were outrebounded a heartless 41 to 25 and an embarrassing 19 to 9 on the offensive glass. 9 for 14 from the line, showed that the Dawgs were not penetrating on offense (no I refuse to go further into the ineptitude of the refs).

Seriously Dawgs, where was the focus and heart? This was going to be a tough game; there was no doubt about that. I just wonder if the Huskies themselves believed it. Instead of playing like a fist, they crumbled under the adversity. Something I had been worried about before the Tournament, but after the Marquette game I felt they had under control. Nothing against WVU, but U-Dub beat themselves. With all the WVU turnovers, if U-Dub made half the shots in their transition offense as well as free throws down the stretch it would’ve been a victory for the Dawgs and I’d still be dancin with them.

Hats off to the Neers and further good job beating Kentucky in the next round (a little justification for the loss). I’m going to become a WVU fan this week. Two reasons, they beat my Dawgs and secondly there are only two sports teams I can honestly say I despise the Yankees and Duke basketball. Speaking of the Final Four, a huge round of applause to Butler and a bigger cheer to Tom Izzo keeping his Michigan State Spartans together after losing star player Kalin Lucas. The Butler v. Michigan State game will be a doozy. Butler is the hometown team and you can NEVER count out a T-to-the-Izzo team. All I know is that my friends think I have an obsession with Tom Izzo, and called me crazy when I said they were the second best team in the Midwest Region… yup totally crazy. Who wants to check out my wallet on Michigan State bets alone in this tournament?

Still Have Love For My Dawgs

I said at the beginning of the season that if the Huskies made it to the Sweet 16, I’d be happy. When the brackets came out, I believed that WVU was the best team in the tournament. I plotted out my picks and had U-Dub v. WVU in the Sweet 16. And yes, an objective sports better came out and I had WVU beating UW. Which for all intensive purposes, juiced my wallet, but squeezed my heart in the end. I just wished that the last game of 2010, the Dawgs played well. I wished that Q-Pon’s last game in a Husky uniform wasn’t marred by stupid ass calls. Maybe, just maybe I wouldn’t be so upset with the loss.

That being said, I must look at all things in a positive light. The first is that Alyssa came by to watch the game with me and prevented me from an ultimate breakdown (I saved that for the poker table, but thank goodness I composed myself there to come out on top). Like I said making it to the Sweet 16 was awesome, especially after this roller coaster of a season where the Dawgs were not even assured a ticket to the Dance until they won the PAC-10 tournament.

Also U-Dub is a young team, 9 freshmen and sophomores. This 2010 ride has given them much needed experience for next year. Elston Turner, Matthew Bryan-Amaning and to an extent Abdul Gaddy grew up. Isaiah Thomas (until the last game) learned that doing the little things other than just scoring would help the team more. Justin Holliday has turned into a defensive machine. Venoy Overton, I was totally going to rip you about your seemingly selfish decisions in the WVU game, next year just channel it into the team game. There are a lot of positives to take from this season, I only hope Coach Romar can ensure that he projects those lessons learned for the 2011 season. Hit the weight room Dawgs (Tyreese Breshers, hit the treadmill). Don’t forget what happened in that last game, don’t dwell on it, but don’t forget this nasty taste in your mouth. We play with chips on our shoulders, let’s come out next season and prove that we are fist to contend with.

HELL OF A SEASON DAWGS!

And to the University of Washington Huskies Men’s Basketball Teams, we true Dawg fans courteously Bow Down to Washington.

Well that blog was a struggle to write…