Friday Mail Sac/Pick & Droll: Downtown Arena, ownership/management/coaching first timers, website development, summer viewing & life's influences

Kevin C. Cox

Welcome to Friday Mail Sac, your official home of jacking the thread to talk about last night’s epic Spurs/Heat game 7.

Let's kick of Mail Sac Friday with LaBradford: "What is the status of the future Arena? Have they begun on the EIR?"

According to the City of Sacramento website: "The City of Sacramento is moving forward on environmental review and working with the investor group on plans for a new entertainment and sports center (ESC) in downtown Sacramento. This center will be located at the current Downtown Plaza site. Proposed construction of the new ESC will begin in the summer of 2014 and will be open October 1, 2016."

If anyone has any further information, drop your knowledge in the thread.

From Ragin17: "I just got to watching the Pete D'Alessandro intro press conference this morning (Wednesday). I was really excited to see him and Vivek speak, it made me excited for the future. One reservation that I have, that was brought up during the press conference, is that our coach, GM and owner are all first timers. I realize there are rumors about adding more front office personnel but this still concerns me. What do you and the rest of STR think? Obviously anything is better than the last regime but I'm cautiously optimistic. It seems to me most others are giving Vivek the benefit of the doubt."

I think that there are a few things in play here. First, these guys may all be new as "first chair" guys, but they've all paid their dues in the band. D'Alessandro has nine years of NBA front office experience, Malone has twelve years experience coaching in the NBA (and is the son of a former NBA head coach), and Ranadivé has previous NBA ownership experience, which is kind of a rare thing.

Second, well, let's borrow one of my dad's old pearls of wisdom, bestowed upon me when I told him that I was loved in my new job after only one week. "Sometimes it's not so much who you are as who you're not." This was dad's way of saying that if you replace a putz, people are just happy that you're not a putz...or at least they have not yet discovered that you are indeed a putz. So to a degree, Ranadivé/D'Alessandro/Malone are being celebrated for not being Maloof/Petrie/Smart.

And last but certainly not least is the relief that we are still talking basketball in the River City. I would expect that the honeymoon period will last at least into this coming season, the signing of Monta Ellis notwithstanding.

(Also, a hat tip to Ragin for connecting the dots between D'Alessandro and Gru from Despicable Me. Copyright rules prevent me from posting the resemblance here, but maybe something will appear in the thread...)

Chadimmaculate is pouring out one for the tech crowd: "Hey guys and gals and whales. Now that we have access to some of the best minds in tech and web development, let's pick their brains. We know there'll be a new Kings app soon, but I challenge Vivek and crew to think big. And wild.

Imagine roaming through a massive castle, with endless hallways and chambers where you can discover the history of the Kings through video, audio, picture and text positioned museum-style throughout with detailed artifacts of every notable person involved with the Kings since 1985 (yes, I want a Jerry Reynolds wing) combined with news articles and old footage. All the things archived that we may not have access to, or lossless versions of, in one creative, synergetic, and seamless environment. It could even be that "digital arena" Vivek mentioned. But a castle. It's gotta be a castle.

Is this even possible? Should there be a dungeon? Who'd be on the throne? Let's get whacky this Thursday."

I'll leave this for the thread. Given that my computer is 8-track rom, I'm probably not the guy to field this one.


Let's kick of "Pick & Droll" with a couple of entertainment-driven questions from the membership.

From Murf: "It's summertime and it's damn hot so it's time to give Netflix a good work out. What are some good hidden gems anyone can recommend for either TV or Movie?"

From A Night At The Arco: "I find myself feeling nostalgic lately and have been seeking out video evidence that the Kings were once a really entertaining, fun team to watch. The King's YouTube channel has some nice highlights, but I was wondering if anyone here has any sources to find games from the glory days. I'm not looking for anything illicit. Just a place where there are plenty of highlights or even games (the only one I've found is Kings vs. Hawks on YouTube)."

I'll defer these to the thread and our fellow members, and I eagerly await their recommendations.

And I'm going to toss this one in because I like where it will (eventually) lead. From LaBradford: "Who are section214's comedy inspirations?"

I grew up in a very funny house. Both of my sisters were voted funniest in their respective high school senior classes (I was not, by the way, but I did medal in "Most likely to grow up and spend way too much time on a blog dedicated to a woefully bad local professional basketball team"). Like my mom, they were rapid-fire comediennes (AKA slop-comics). My dad was more along the rbiegler line, in that you wouldn't hear much from him for a few weeks at a time, then he would step up and trump everyone with his comedic genius, and then you wouldn't hear from him again for a couple of weeks. The perfect foil to all of this was my older brother, who was completely humorless (he took the Three Stooges seriously..."You know if they keep that up someone's going to get hurt!"). There were Bill Cosby and Alan Sherman and Stanley Freberg and Tom Leher albums in the house, and I consumed them all.

My earliest humor influences outside of the home included Washington satirist Art Buchwald (I was reading his political humor at age 13, all through the Watergate era), punster Bennett Cerf (I think he was the foundation for my word-smithing), and poet Ogden Nash. My two best high school buddies were hilarious. Between them and my family, I just figured that everyone was naturally funny. It wasn't until years and years later that I discovered what a gift it is to be able to see and share life with humor.

George Carlin and Richard Pryor were my big teen influences. Pryor probably convinced me not to pursue a career in humor, as I knew that I could never get within a galaxy of that kind of funny. But he was a huge influence when it came to finding humor and pathos in my own life. I thought that Johnny Carson was cool. Loved SNL and was hooked on Letterman's late night show. Loved Larson's "The Far Side." Fast forward to today, where it is Stewart and Colbert, as well as plain old everyday life.

OK, I've shared. So in the thread, share those that inspired you. It does not have to be comedically - just a look back at those that helped shape you into the StR member that you are today.


Quick housekeeping note: Threadjacking is really only cool in the Mail Sac/Pick & Droll threads only. We've had to do a little thread clean up in other threads lately, so please keep your jackin' ways to these threads.

Send your questions and topic ideas to And thanks to everyone that has furnished questions and ideas already. I wasn't envisioning this as being an everyday (weekday) thing, but I sure am enjoying it, especially the interactive nature of it. It's like a podcast for a guy that doesn't Facebook or Tweet! I hope that you are enjoying it, too.

Have a great weekend!

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