Take us on a ride, LPA. -- TZ
Oh, Ziller. Be careful what you wish for. You know that begging for fanposts opens the door for people like me to jump in and put in our two cents. And even that, in this economy, isn't worth what it used to be.
Over the past several months, I had the opportunity to participate in the interview process for several newly hired teachers and aides for my boys’ school. After an interview with one of the stellar teachers we hired, the subject turned to sports, and in particular, Jimmer Fredette. I bragged just a little that I am a Sacramento Kings fan and explained where I thought Jimmer would fit in with the team. After a few minutes of discussion, the newly hired teacher laughed and said, “You’re obviously a real fan, because when you talk about the Kings, you say ‘we’.”
“We should trade…”, “We need (insert random player)”, and “We will probably win (insert unrealistic fantasy-based number) games this season” are common enough on these discussion boards that I know I am not the only one who refers to the Kings this way.
The Kings are OUR team. We think of ourselves in the collective with players, coaches, front office, and other fans. When we win, we all celebrate. When we lose, we are all disappointed. When we trade a loved player, we all mourn. We all love the game. We all bleed purple.
The contract negotiations and subsequent lock-out, though, have created factions. Owners vs. players. League vs. Owners. Players vs. League. And even Players vs. Players, with some of the NBA’s most recognized players sticking their noses into good-faith negotiations and blowing them up, much to the detriment of players who might actually need their next paycheck to, I don’t know, pay bills? Feed their children?
The fans like us, who take ownership of their teams even through the bad years (and Sacramento has had more than a few of those!) are the ones who pay those salaries, employ those vendors and ticket takers, who foot the bill for the travel, and pay dearly for the privilege of supporting their teams. Yet we have no voice, no representative at the negotiating table, nobody there to stand up for our rights and tell the league, the owners, and the players what we want.
We want a season.
We want to scream our lungs out during the games, even if we’re only watching them on television. We want to post stupid gifs in the post-game thread when we win. We want to see our young draft prospects in real games, not just pick-up games in college arenas. We want to follow the stats, rearrange our schedules to catch games, and buy jerseys.
We want the league, the owners, and the players to check their egos at the door, sit down at the table, and stay there until they’ve worked out something that makes everyone happy and dissatisfied with the agreement in equal degrees.
We want them to man up and grow up and figure this thing out so that WE can all get back to the game that WE all love.