I suppose by now you’ve heard about the Sonics leaving Seattle after 41 years. I’ll spare you the details, because they’re easy to find if you’re interested. But the Sonics fans got screwed. Royally.
You’ve heard me talk before about why college sports are better than pro sports. I’ve spoken of the atmosphere and the passion, the connection to your alma mater and the fans, etc. But this is really at the crux of it. No matter what, we always know that the Oregon Ducks will remain the OREGON Ducks. No millionaire owner can come in making demands trying to take them away from us. We, the citizens of the state, own the team, and it will always be ours.
We play basketball games in a crappy, 80 year old dump (and, while I love the dump, its still a dump). Any pro team would’ve been out of that building 30 years ago. We still haven’t broken ground on our new arena, but we know our team isn’t going anywhere. I love my Blazers and Mariners, but I also know they could be taken away at any time (knowing that wouldn’t make it hurt any less, but at least I know the risk). With the Ducks, my passion and loyalty will be rewarded by know that they will always be here.
Also, interestingly enough, while millionaire pro-sports owners try to extort cities to build them shopping malls for their teams to play in, millionaires who could never hope to own their college teams donate millions upon millions of dollars just to see their teams remain competitive.
It’s the best deal in sports.