Yesterday's game was cool for me in many ways. While it was awesome to get another W and enjoy it with a packed arena, I will probably remember the day mostly for what happened off the court. As we are getting closer to Here We Stay night 2, I used the game to schedule a couple meetings with some people who were going to be in attendance. I was hoping to take care of some of the planning while at the game and I ended up doing that and more.
First up was a meeting with Blake Ellington and Mike Tavares. Blake is the founder of Here We Stay and Mike Tavares is a member of Here We Stay that you may know from being the guy who was heading the effort to gather donations to put an ad on the Bee. Mike was great at getting others involved and he was able to get enough donations for the ad. Look out for it this Sunday on the Sacramento Bee.
Next up was a quick meet up with Soccerbum26, as he is helping us get some materials to make signs for HWS night 2. We hope to have these soon, make them ourselves, and then pass them out outside of the game as people are filing in. We could certainly use some volunteers for this; I'm thinking about giving the tickets we are getting as donations to those who are willing to help with this... we'll see.
By then, I had already missed most of the second quarter (and Marcus' behind the back to Donte for the flush.. damn!) and at halftime I was ready for an interview with a columnist from the American River College paper who's writing a piece on the Kings current relocation situation. Here's when one of my favorite parts of the night happened. We moved to the 'backstage' area at Arco and had a good interview. After this, his photographer went to take a picture of me for the piece. While doing this a couple PBP employees that were in the area noticed my Here We Stay t-shirt. From the corner of my eye I could see they were whispering about it and one of them approached the columnist, while the photographer was taking the picture, and asked him about my shirt. I immediately went up to them and said hi and told them who I was and what Here We Stay was trying to do for the game on the 11th.
After explaining this, one of them asked me "So you're trying to keep the team here? I want to take a picture with you!" I obviously said it was fine and he gave his phone to the columnist and told him to please take the picture, that he wanted to put it on his facebook (lol seriously). He wanted to shake my hand and take a picture of the moment. "Make sure you can see the shirt" he said. After a couple snaps he turned to me and said "Thank you," and that's where it hit me. I told him that we were still fighting and were not giving up. "We are doing this for you guys too," I said and went on my way back to watch the game. I honestly, can't put into words what meeting these employees felt like. I know I have been working to keep the team because I care so much about it and because of how much we all care about our basketball team, but these guys are about to lose more than that. Who knows how many of these people depend fully on this job to provide for their families and unfortunately there is a good chance they may not be able to do that anymore. Having one of them thank me for our efforts was priceless; one of the coolest experiences... maybe ever.
So after the interview, I finally get back to my seats by the end of the 3rd quarter as the wifey has been waiting for me for some time now. Although she doesn't read StR, big shoutout to her for being awesome and taking all my crap for the past month or so while I've been crazy busy organizing all this HWS stuff. She's a trooper and a great supporter of our movement. And thanks to her, the last part of my story (and my tie in to the title) happened.
The game ended and we decided to take our time to leave by just hanging out around our section and waiting on everyone to file out. While doing this we noticed a bunch of people walking up to the famous Sign Lady down in her section. I said something to my wife about maybe going down to meet her and talk to her about Here We Stay half joking, and she said "yeah, let's do that." I'm the shy one so she definitely pushed me to go over there and say hi to our Sacramento Kings go-to lady fan. We waited a bit more and then headed down to her section.
Once there, I promptly stood there awkwardly, like a creeper, for like a minute until she noticed my shirt and kinda pointed at me. I had to make my move there and I approached her, Mr. Sign Lady, and a couple of their friends and introduced myself and ask her if she had heard of Here We Stay. "Of course" she replied, "I'm a big fan of you guys and Sactown Royalty. I'm in there all day reading every comment. I don't post anything but I do read everything." (Ivan, she gave you mad props for the heart design, by the way.. she's a fan). We chatted for a bit and, as you can imagine, she's still hopeful the team will stay and knows the deal is not done. Apparently she's been getting a lot of questins from people about what she's gonna do once the Kings move to which she promptly replies: "What are you talking about? They are still here and it still says Sacramento on the jersey." Such an Ed thing to say....
Before leaving, one of her friends told me to pass a message to all of you who will be attending the game. Everyone around sign lady has been jumping with the Goon Squad before games and one of Sign Lady's friends suggested we get everyone to do the same before tip off at the game on April 11th. I said it was a great idea and that I would do my best to communicate this to everyone. So it's official, we want to have the whole arena jumping with the goon squad during their jumping ritual before the game. I already reached out to Donte on twitter and he has retweeted my request so let's hope we can make it happen.
It was a great game for me and I was happy to be able to make some new memories. I want to thank Sign Lady (I know she's reading) and Mr Sign Lady (don't forget him!) for being really cool fans and being just like us, hardcore Sacramento Kings fans who want the team to stay. It awesome to see her take out one of the famous signs and she was even nice enough to take a picture for our blog. So now that you know that she's reading, make sure to say hi and thank here for all these years of being a good rep for us fans. Looking forward to seeing her again for Here We Stay night 2.