Saturday, June 23, 2012

Even if we had brought the NBA championship home...

There was a reason that I did the two Thunder polls for the last month. You guys overwhelmingly stated that Thunder Alley should have continued. It should have. Not only was it a great success until it spilled over into Bricktown, which has a motley horde every weekend night anyway at bars like ROK Bar and Coyote Ugly that I'd honestly like to see shut down, but it was also promised to voters. That's right, the arena penny tax extension stipulated the inclusion of video boards to be used during the Playoffs.

Why does the City not feel an absolute responsibility to deliver capital tax projects as promised? Why is the City so quick to accept shorting the public, so often?

Nonetheless, Thunder Alley aside, this got me wondering: Even if we had won it all, would a Thunder Championship Parade even have been worth attending? Before anyone mistakes my motives, I was there on Friday, at the airport, to welcome the team back home and show my support for all they've done for our city. However, when the city gets involved in public events now, let's just say I have lost my confidence in their ability to throw a public event worth my attendance. Especially with how they let the gangs (and heat-packing Laker fans) win with Thunder Alley, over the community's overwhelming desire to see Thunder Alley remain..

I went down to City Hall the week after that happened and I was pleasantly surprised to see three members of the public actually stay till the end and speak their mind on how disappointed they were over Thunder Alley. Keep in mind, City Council is held Tuesday mornings, you must sign up at 8:30 a.m., then wait several hours (no way to tell how long) until everyone else is done until you can have your 2 minute say, and if you go over, Mick will send you home. It's an absolute affront to the public how this City conducts business, and if someone cares enough to even show up and try to be involved, that shows serious dedication. I'm not convinced Thunder Alley and not delivering the video boards as promised, won't leave a bad taste with voters. I myself consider it a scandal if my taxes go toward building something for the public, and then instead of featuring ANY meaningful programming for the public, it only features ads. That is an insult, and at the very least, they should lose the right to show ads if they are violating the other public stipulations behind the arena tax that paid for this.

That said, in my mind I envision a huge, raucous, joyous championship rally going along Sheridan, from the new Devon complex, into Bricktown. Families could set up lounge chairs in the park and watch the team go by, they could re-screen Space Jam or old Finals games on the park's great lawn, Generation Y would feel welcome to line the street in Bricktown where they could hang out before and after, and there would be something for everyone and the community could reacquaint itself with Sheridan after it has been closed through so many major changes. For those who forgot, Sheridan is one of the best cross-sections of downtown, in my opinion at least.

But just as none of it happened as the team dropped 4-straight, none of it would have happened with a City paranoid about anytime thousands of basketball fans (gasp) get together on the streets. Lame. Bush league, not Big League.

P.S. I voted Westbrook, I've always loved Russ' spunk and athleticism. But I was also fascinated by the broad support for Harden, who may get traded. I seriously hope not. I think Sam Presti's first priority should (and probably will) be to keep everyone in tact, especially Harden and Brooks. Well, except maybe Perkins...sigh

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