Seasonal Affective Disorder in Seattle, Washington is a real thing. I've had the pleasure of visiting that city a few times during the summer, and it's the most beautiful place I've ever been. Large and luscious trees lining the streets, glistening bodies of water, and mountains that are visible when the fog permits...
There are plenty of downsides, the rent and tech bros being some of the biggest detractions, but it's got about everything else you'd want in a city, including major sports teams for baseball, football, and soccer. There's still something missing, however. I think you know where this is going.
Howard Schultz, the billionaire founder of Starbucks, has been on a mainstream media tour to promote his laughable presidential campaign a new book. In an upcoming book, he's apparently expressed some regrets about selling the Sonics to Clay Bennett and his merry band of Oil Overlords.
“Almost everyone blamed me, and after some initial denial, I realized they were right to do so,” wrote Schultz, adding that selling the Sonics was one of the biggest professional regrets of his life. “I had squandered the very public trust that I had bought into.”
Schultz said he thought the sale to Bennett’s group would help get some leverage in negotiations for a new arena deal.
He says in the book he should have waited for a local buyer.
“The sharpest pains hit me not when I’m publicly insulted, but when I’m walking or driving and see someone wearing a SuperSonics T-shirt or cap. If it’s a boy with his dad, it’s like a stake through my heart,” Schultz wrote. “Losing the Sonics has been tragic for generations of fans, especially kids who are growing up without the benefit of an NBA team in their city. It’s a public wound I cannot heal. For that I will forever be deeply sorry.”
It's a very real tragedy for a city that has just about anything you'd want aside from affordable housing and an NBA team. The scars are real, though.
A real story that I've probably told here before: My first visit to Seattle was in 2014, and we ate a late lunch at the renowned seafood restaurant Walrus and the Carpenter. The rare summer sun was blazing on the patio, and I ordered a cheap lager while looking at the menu of oysters and sardines. Our waiter checked in on us, and after I placed our order, I briefly mentioned how very excited I was to be eating at this restaurant that I'd read so much about.
"Oh cool, where are you from?" he asked
"Uhm, Oklahoma City," I replied sheepishly.
The server did an about-face and made a beeline to the back of the restaurant. After what I assume must have been an intense moment of screaming and talking shit and telling the cooks to spit in our food, he returned to our table several minutes later.
"Okay, I'm really sorry," he apologized, the red draining from his cheeks. "It's just... We still take what happened personally. It's not your fault, and what makes it worse is seeing how well your city treats the team. It's like when your girlfriend leaves you for a guy who treats her better..."
We made nice, and he made it obvious that he was frustrated that the city of Seattle didn't try to do more to keep the team there.
Anyways, I hope that the city of Seattle gets another team someday. Maybe the NBA will expand, or the one of the city's with two teams can spare a smoke. LA got two teams, NYC got two teams, Texas has too goddamn many,there's gotta be one up for grabs soon. In the meantime, Seattleites can enjoy their excellent public transit and access to beautiful nature, and us rubes in Oklahoma will eat garbage and root for the Thunder.