When the Sonics left Seattle to become the Oklahoma Thunder, we became a city of the dumped. Our franchise left us for another city, one who treats her better and loves her more. And now, with the Thunder a serious playoff contender, every jilted Sonics fan faces the greatest nightmare of the dumped: to see your ex doing much better without you, on national television.
Fan emotions run from deep and abiding hatred to dejected apathy, but there is at least one true romantic left among the vestiges of fandom, one man still carrying the torch. He is the Sonics Guy, alter ego of Kris Brannon, a manager at the Comedy Underground. For three years now, Sonics Guy has been showing up at public events in his throwback uniform and a Save Our Sonics sign, reppin’ for the Green and Gold, “raising awareness,” he says, “that we had a team, that people still miss the team” and trying to agitate for a new franchise.
This isn’t just a lark for Brannon. He has been showing up at (and sometimes being kicked out of) public events for over three years, mostly in the Tacoma area. The day before I spoke to him he had made appearances at two parades, two farmer’s markets, a 5K race and a Tea Party event (“Sonics Guy is apolitical,” he says.)
I caught up with Sonics Guy at the Comedy Underground to ask him how he felt about the Thunder’s playoff chances.
You’ve got to root against them, right?
Yeah. I do not want to see David Stern hand Clay Bennett the trophy, I will absolutely be floored.
The Sonics are like a woman that left Seattle—
Yeah, that’s a spin you could put on it, I definitely see that analogy.
So, there’s 3 types of ex-boyfriends, right? There’s the kind that hates her and doesn’t want anything good to happen to her, there’s the one that just avoids her and doesn’t want to hear anything about her, then there’s the super-evolved dude that’s says, “I hope they do well.”
Yeah, you could say that
But you hope they don’t do well?
Yeah, I hope they don’t do well. But carrying out your analogy to its endpoint, that’s why I’m trying to work with different organizations to bring back our Sonics, to get a new team, a new girlfriend, so we’re not just stewing about the old one, we’re actively going out there and dipping our foot back in the dating pool.
So if the Thunder win the Championship, that would be like your ex-girlfriend immediately hooking up with someone else and popping out a kid, right? That would be the legitimizer, where you could no longer hate on her and her new boyfriend because they’re a family now.
I see where you’re going with it, but let me just put it this way: I never thought I’d root for Lebron, but it looks like that’s what it might come down to. Everybody’s saying it’s Miami and OKC, so I’ll try not to watch, but if I do, I’ll be cheering for Lebron.
You won’t watch?
You know, I’ll probably watch some. I’ll try not to. I don’t have a TV at the house, so that helps, but when I’m out and about, if it’s on, it’s like, “Well, I didn’t turn it on” so I’m kinda passively taking glances at it.
It is the worst possible thing that could happen, right? Do you think we’ll ever get to the point where we can move on and say “Good for them?”
I think when we get a new team, that’ll pretty much salve the wounds.
Do you think we’ll get a new team?
It’s easier to keep a team when you have it than to get a team when you don’t have one. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Look at LA, they haven’t had a football team in 20 years.
And then you have the stink of desperation on you, like some single guy at a night club…
Exactly. And then you’re just being used to buy drinks, like Kansas City. They built an arena to attract a team, and that was what, 6-7 years ago? They still haven’t got a team yet.
What would you say to the Thunder, on this playoff run?
I like the players, I think those players are nice guys. I like Harden, I like Durant, I think he’s a great guy. Westbrook seems decent. I just don’t want them to win.