In case you couldn’t tell by the headline, I wanted to let this story sink in before I ran with a snap judgment.
In case you’re just coming out from under a rock, Howard Lincoln wrote a letter to the city and the county coming out against building an arena in SoDo. By all accounts, Chuck Armstrong got on the radio today saying something to the effect of, “They will rue the day they built an arena in SoDo.
Let me tell you why these guys are assholes.
Have you ever heard of the phrase, “You don’t have a leg to stand on”? Because, I’m not gonna lie to you, these two are some paraplegic bitches we’re talking about here! Let’s just get the obvious out of the way: you two are the figureheads of the Seattle Mariners. An organization that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2001. An organization that has lost 95+ games in three of the past four seasons. An organization that has ruthlessly slashed payroll every year since 2008. An organization that – over the same timeframe – has seen its attendance exponentially decline. This is an organization that has simultaneously seen its overall value increase … yet chooses to counter dwindling ticket sales by tightening the purse strings and providing us with a substandard product, all the while shovelling us some bullshit about “hope” and “youth movement” and “building a team the right way”.
The Mariners are LOSERS. They’re losers nobody gives two shits about in this city. They’re about to witness attendance numbers we haven’t seen around these parts since the late 80s/early 90s (in the pre “You Gotta Love These Guys” era). So, Howard & Chuck, you’re not exactly in the best position to be telling us what we should and shouldn’t do with land that isn’t yours.
And let’s call a spade a fucking spade while we’re at it. The Mariners aren’t against this arena deal because of transportation issues. Hell, 10,000 fans on a random mid-season Tuesday will cause backups that take FOREVER to dissipate. So, stop pretending that some Sonics game taking place at the same time is going to be that much worse. It’s already TERRIBLE!
The Mariners don’t want this arena to be built because they don’t want to compete with another franchise (or franchises) for those ever-precious Benjamins. The Mariners never would’ve said anything about the Seahawks’ stadium being built because they had to share a home with them for so many years (and because, let’s face it, if Seattle is anything, it’s a football town, so lamenting a stadium being built right across the street would be pissing into the wind). The Mariners never said anything about the Sounders either because they were essentially brought in here by the Seahawks to get the stadium built in the first place.
But, when you’re talking about an NBA (or an NHL) team, the Mariners think they can puff out their chest and swing their dick around like they own this city or something. The Mariners don’t own SHIT! I was a Sonics fan WAY before I was a Mariners fan (as were most Seattle sports fans, since the Sonics came first and everything) and I was always a bigger basketball fan than I was a baseball fan. The Mariners were something I grew to appreciate, when they finally put out a winning product. I stuck with them because they were something to watch and root for during the summer months when there weren’t any real sports going on. But, by the time football and basketball seasons started coming around, the Mariners were easily discarded and forgotten (except for those four times they made the playoffs).
The Sonics, however, I lived and died with, from beginning to end. If I had my druthers, the Sonics never would’ve left, and if we had to get rid of a major Seattle sports franchise, we’d be talking about the Oklahoma City Mariners. THAT’S how much of a fuck I give about the Mariners when compared to my beloved Sonics.
But, okay, let’s say this transportation thing isn’t a totally unreasonable gripe. There will be any number of Sonics games that may conflict with some early-season Mariners games. There will be various concerts and other attractions throughout the summer months that might prove to be a hassle. Indeed, it MIGHT take upwards of two hours for things to clear out. You know what that means? People will have to adjust. People will have to park far away and start taking public transportation to their homes or their cars, if they’re parked in some outlying Park & Rides. The city might have to create more construction jobs so we can get the roads fixed, get some over-passes built, and increase the size of our freeway onramps. More cops will have to make extra money working overtime dealing with traffic snarls.
My goodness! It sounds like building a new arena in SoDo might actually IMPROVE our sluggish economy! What were the fucking odds?
How absolutely MORONIC do you have to be, Howard & Chuck? Are you REALLY this stupid, or has senility finally ravaged your already pea-sized brains? Mariners fans ’round these parts have hated you two for the better part of a decade. They’ve blamed you for all those talented Mariners teams that fell short in the playoffs because you wouldn’t allow Pat Gillick to do what he wanted to do. They’ve blamed you for choosing nostalgia over putting out a winning product. They’ve blamed you – right or wrong – for what Bill Bavasi was allowed to do with what appears to be our only attempt at throwing money around like the Big Boys. And when Bavasi was fired, they wanted nothing more than to throw you out with the dirty ol’ bathwater, if for no other reason than to get some fresh blood circulating throughout this organization. When the Mariners re-sign an 80 year old Ken Griffey Jr., when they’re not allowed to make impact trades at the deadline, when the general manager can’t go after any top-flight free agents after losing 95 games, the fans in Seattle know EXACTLY who to blame. Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong. Whether fair or unfair, you two knob-jockeys are always going to take the heat for this team’s incompetence.
And if the arena deal in SoDo gets killed, believe-you-me, the fans in Seattle will still know who to blame.
If this thing is all a sinister red herring to cover up the smell of a team sale, as Geoff Baker believes, then why don’t you assholes do us all a favor and get on with it already? This ownership group has proven time and time again that they’re completely inept when it comes to running a winning organization. Oh, they’re quite good at turning a profit, and sanitizing the live game experience to the point where you can’t make any noise lest you annoy tattletale patrons around you who will force you out. But, if you’re looking for a World Class organization, you better look elsewhere. Because with Howard and Chuck on the case, the Mariners will always be bottom-feeders.