Saturday, February 9, 2013

Better to empty, not fill, the arena

Here We Buy was a noble idea hatched by devoted Kings fans to fill the arena for a single night to prove, well, uh... I'm not so sure what it was meant to do.

And that's the problem.

In recent weeks, it began to reek of desperation.  When the organizers couldn't get enough fans to pull the trigger on hugely discounted tickets, they asked for donations to buy tickets.

There are reasons why the response was so tepid.  The odds of keeping the Kings seem fairly long at this point and watching this dreadful group of selfish players has become drudgery.  Plus, the thought of handing one more dime to the Maloofs is just painful.

The Here We Buy movement hardly made a blip on the national media radar.  And besides giving Kings fans a feeling like they were doing something positive, it did virtually nothing to move the needle in any direction.

Call me a party pooper.  A cynic.  A jerk-face.  Ouch, that last one hurt.

But I believe there was only one option as a protest for Kings fans.

And that was to empty the arena completely.

What better way to show the contempt for an ownership that ripped the collective heart from the most loyal fan base in the NBA?

A packed house doesn't produce amazing imagery for SportsCenter.

A near-empty arena does.

Think about it:  A professional basketball game played in front of virtually nobody.

And outside the arena, thousands of fans rallying around a bonfire, holding signs saying "The Maloofs Stole Our Heart and Sold Our Soul."  Chanting. Unified.  Partying.   Maybe Chris Webber addressing the crowd.

Now that's an attention-getting event.

Naysayers might say that sends a negative image about the community.  Maybe, but I say it sends a negative image about the Maloofs.  That they did the city and the fans wrong.  And now the fans are fed up and not taking it any longer.

Would emptying the arena matter to the NBA?  Probably not much.  But there's a reason why negative political ads are more effective than positive ones.  The messages in negative ads are more likely to stick in your brain.  The more you can plant the message that the Maloofs screwed Sacramento, the tougher it becomes to wrench the franchise away.  

It's not too late to join this new movement, of course.

Here We Empty can still happen.

In fact, I've been part of it for the past two months.

Join me.