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Seattle in NBA again (maybe) - The Branding Discussion


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This has been an interesting discussion, and it's made me think. It seems like it should be a simple issue, but when you start examining the particulars, it can get complicated! As someone who grew up cheering for the Supersonics, it seemed cut and dried to me - the relocated team should be renamed the to the Supersonics, wear green and gold uniforms, and honor the history and records of the original Supersonics.

The way I look at it, if a team relocates and rebrands itself, the thread of the original team ends. I know the Minnesota franchise originated as the Washington Senators, but in my mind that iteration of the Senators ended in 1960, and the Twins began life in 1961. If a team moves and does not rebrand itself, it can claim all of its history.

njpoz, you are using common sense. That is not allowed in here. :wink2:

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This has been an interesting discussion, and it's made me think. It seems like it should be a simple issue, but when you start examining the particulars, it can get complicated! As someone who grew up cheering for the Supersonics, it seemed cut and dried to me - the relocated team should be renamed the to the Supersonics, wear green and gold uniforms, and honor the history and records of the original Supersonics.

The way I look at it, if a team relocates and rebrands itself, the thread of the original team ends. I know the Minnesota franchise originated as the Washington Senators, but in my mind that iteration of the Senators ended in 1960, and the Twins began life in 1961. If a team moves and does not rebrand itself, it can claim all of its history.

njpoz, you are using common sense. That is not allowed in here. :wink2:

And you're using a pretty low-brow debate tactic. Even for these parts.

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Even in the most extreme scenario, let's say if the Boston Celtics relocated to Seattle, I wouldn't think anyone in Seattle would honestly think of those great old Celtic teams as "theirs". The franchise may technically be the same, but all that happened in Boston is Boston's alone. It would have nothing to do at all with Seattle.

As a Rams fan, I take great pride in the accomplishments and history of the Cleveland and Los Angeles Rams. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

You don't speak for all Rams fans, so please don't act like you do.

1) hawk36 is speaking in broad terms with words like "anyone." The fact that rams80, a St. Louis Rams fan, cares about the team's history in previous markets shoots holes through his "fans don't care about what happened elsewhere" theory. I'd even say that hawk36's take on it is rather provincial and closed minded, while rams80's approach is more comprehensive.

2) I don't mean any offence, really, but do you speak for the Rams' fanbase as a whole? I mean what makes rams80's version of Rams fandom any less valid then yours? Further, how can you be positive that his feelings on the matter aren't held by the majority of the fandom?

3) If we assume that you're right, and St. Louis Rams fans by and large don't care about the team's accomplishments prior to St. Louis then why even bother with the Rams name, the blue and gold colour scheme, or the lineage at all? Just leave all of that in Cleveland if we're going by the idea that teams shouldn't take their histories and identities with them if they move.

1. My main reason for the comment was me being sick of the way he talks to everyone around here, like he's better than everyone else and rarely providing any "evidence" or what not, just making condescending remarks and acting like his view is all that matters.

2 &3. By and large, yes, we are mostly St. Louis football fans first, Rams fans second. Not everybody, but a good amount. And there's nothing wrong with that, being a fan of the team in your city (well, I don't live there, but its "my" sports city) and not what they did before they moved there or even afterwards if they move away. The Rams kept their name and history on their own, no one demanded they keep it, so what the team acknowledges is one thing and what the fans do is another. If they had changed upon moving, doesn't matter. They're St. Louis's football team and thats why we're cheering for them.

There's different situations with different teams in different cities. Charlotte fans may feel a disconnect with the Bobcats because they aren't the Hornets and with the owner naming them after himself and such. Seattle fans may only wanna cheer for the "Sonics". Us Rams fans just wanted to have football back in St. Louis. You can't really make it the same across the board. You pretty much gotta look at each situation individually.

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1. My main reason for the comment was me being sick of the way he talks to everyone around here, like he's better than everyone else and rarely providing any "evidence" or what not, just making condescending remarks and acting like his view is all that matters.

I do provide evidence. It just contradicts your own and therefore is irrelevant.

But it this case my view was all that matters. Hawk36 spoke in an absolute and said that no fan of a newly moved team cares about that team's past history. I am a fan of a moved team, and I do care about the team's past history, thus proving him wrong.

And maybe St. Louisans should care a little more about what the Rams franchise has been a part of in the past. Among other things, they played in the first televised NFL game, they were the first team to desegregate, the first major pro team on the West Coast, the first NFL team to have helmet decorations, had one of the most devastating defensive lines in the history of the game (including in that number the guy who coined the term Quarterback Sack), You thought the GSOT Rams offense was a rolling death machine? The 1950 Rams averaged 38.8 points a game. And don't forget Eric Dickerson. This is a significant team in the NFL's history.

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I'll state my case succinctly as a Nationals fan. MLB forcing DC fans to honor Gary Carter, Rusty Staub and Andre Dawson as if they ever played for a Washington team was ludicrous and insulting to the history of baseball that DID happen in Washington, DC. These were great players, but they were never Washington baseball players. Meanwhile, our stolen legacy had Walter Johnson - quite possibly the best pitcher of all-time - being recognized as if he had ever played an inning of major league ball in the Twin Cities. It made absolutely no sense.

Discussions like this remind me of why I love the European model of football/soccer clubs, where the club is so strongly rooted with a specific location because of how teams were formed that when teams move or go bankrupt or what have you, it's clear to everyone that the continuity belongs with the team from that city and not the remnants of what came before, e.g. Wimbledon/MK Dons.

I don't even see a continuity between the Dodgers of Brooklyn and the Dodgers of LA or the Giants of New York and the Giants of San Francisco. Sorry, Mel Ott and Christy Matthewson have nothing to do with San Francisco. Does Jackie Robinson really mean more to the LA Dodgers than he does to the Houston Astros?

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And maybe St. Louisans should care a little more about what the Rams franchise has been a part of in the past.

What happens when the Rams give up and move? Will you care about it then?

Do you care about the Cardinals and root for them more because they once played in St. Louis? The Cardinals played in St. Louis for 27 years. The Rams have another decade before they get to that point. Is it just what franchise is there now, or is it all of them?

Does Eric Dickerson mean more to St. Louis sports history than Otis Anderson?

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Yes, actually. He does.

Much as I hate to admit it.

Why? Because the name's the same and the uniforms haven't changed?

Yes, actually. He wore a Dodgers uniform. That makes him a special part of their franchise in a way that no other team, not even the Mets, can match.

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And maybe St. Louisans should care a little more about what the Rams franchise has been a part of in the past.

What happens when the Rams give up and move? Will you care about it then?

Yes. To the point that I will be exceptionally pissed off if somehow it is decided to put the identity on ice to assuage the tender sensibilities of St. Louisans who couldn't be arsed to attend the games unless a Super Bowl contender was playing.

Do you care about the Cardinals and root for them more because they once played in St. Louis? The Cardinals played in St. Louis for 27 years. The Rams have another decade before they get to that point. Is it just what franchise is there now, or is it all of them?

I was 3 when the Cardinals moved, so the best you can say is that I don't feel the same antipathy towards them I feel for the 49ers and the Seahawks. Mind you it is more likely that is a function of the Cardinals sucking all the time than a function of them once playing in Busch II.

Does Eric Dickerson mean more to St. Louis sports history than Otis Anderson?

Well....one of those players is in the St. Louis football ring of fame and it isn't the guy who led the Giants to the Super Bowl.

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Well....one of those players is in the St. Louis football ring of fame and it isn't the guy who led the Giants to the Super Bowl.

So if the Rams move to LA and the Jaguars move to St. Louis, will he still be there, or will he be replaced by Fred Taylor in your mind?

It seems to me that all you're doing is rewriting history and re-calibrating your emotions to suit the interests of billionaires trying to run multi-million dollar corporate enterprises. Dickerson was a rival to St. Louis sports fans in the early 80s. Now celebrating him as-if he played there is absurd and Orwellian.

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Yes, actually. He does.

Much as I hate to admit it.

Why? Because the name's the same and the uniforms haven't changed?

Yes, actually. He wore a Dodgers uniform. That makes him a special part of their franchise in a way that no other team, not even the Mets, can match.

I respect that, but I can't really agree with it. He's basically a historical orphan at this point, much like Walter Johnson and Mel Ott, although the Mets and Nats can sort-of claim those two.

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Well....one of those players is in the St. Louis football ring of fame and it isn't the guy who led the Giants to the Super Bowl.

So if the Rams move to LA and the Jaguars move to St. Louis, will he still be there, or will he be replaced by Fred Taylor in your mind?

It seems to me that all you're doing is rewriting history and re-calibrating your emotions to suit the interests of billionaires trying to run multi-million dollar corporate enterprises. Dickerson was a rival to St. Louis sports fans in the early 80s. Now celebrating him as-if he played there is absurd and Orwellian.

Something tells me Rams80 doesn't care about their past history before moving to Stl. Saying that just helped his argument.

Just a hunch

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Well....one of those players is in the St. Louis football ring of fame and it isn't the guy who led the Giants to the Super Bowl.

So if the Rams move to LA and the Jaguars move to St. Louis, will he still be there, or will he be replaced by Fred Taylor in your mind?

It seems to me that all you're doing is rewriting history and re-calibrating your emotions to suit the interests of billionaires trying to run multi-million dollar corporate enterprises. Dickerson was a rival to St. Louis sports fans in the early 80s. Now celebrating him as-if he played there is absurd and Orwellian.

I'm glad that caught on, even if I think you're completely off base.

Dickerson played for the Rams. Fans of the Rams have every right to celebrate his accomplishments, because he did it playing for the team they're rooting for.

As for "what if the Jags replace the Rams HUH?!?!" argument, come on now. That's not going to happen. You might as well ask me what I would do if the Toronto Maple Leafs moved to Honolulu.

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1. My main reason for the comment was me being sick of the way he talks to everyone around here, like he's better than everyone else and rarely providing any "evidence" or what not, just making condescending remarks and acting like his view is all that matters.

But it this case my view was all that matters. Hawk36 spoke in an absolute and said that no fan of a newly moved team cares about that team's past history. I am a fan of a moved team, and I do care about the team's past history, thus proving him wrong.

I'm a little confused about the anger directed toward me. My exact quote was, "I wouldn't think anyone in Seattle would honestly think of those great old Celtic teams as "theirs"." Please note my "I wouldn't think..." part of that.

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1. My main reason for the comment was me being sick of the way he talks to everyone around here, like he's better than everyone else and rarely providing any "evidence" or what not, just making condescending remarks and acting like his view is all that matters.

But it this case my view was all that matters. Hawk36 spoke in an absolute and said that no fan of a newly moved team cares about that team's past history. I am a fan of a moved team, and I do care about the team's past history, thus proving him wrong.

I'm a little confused about the anger directed toward me. My exact quote was, "I wouldn't think anyone in Seattle would honestly think of those great old Celtic teams as "theirs"." Please note my "I wouldn't think..." part of that.

You insinuated that fans of relocated teams don't care about what the team did in previous locations. rams80 is a St. Louis Rams fan who cares about what the team did in Cleveland and Los Angeles. Therefore your insinuation is incorrect. Hope that helps.

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I don't know if this is already said or not, but if the Kings relocated here, they would have to be called the 'Seattle Supersonics'. The city of Seattle made that a requirement with Chris Hansen(new owner of the Kings) for the new arena to be build. Also, the city of Seattle retains the name and the history as they made a deal with OKC owner Clay Bennett. They are going to have the history of the old Sonics. Basically they are going to be the Cleveland Browns of the NBA.

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As for "what if the Jags replace the Rams HUH?!?!" argument, come on now. That's not going to happen. You might as well ask me what I would do if the Toronto Maple Leafs moved to Honolulu.

Well, pretend it's 1985, and sub it with this:

"Hey, Cardinals fans, you're embracing Dick Lane as one of your own, but what if the Cardinals move to Phoenix and the Rams move here, will you replace Dick Lane with Eric Dickerson?"

That would have been absurd in 1983, yet the Rams wound up in St. Louis a little over a decade later. Now no one in St. Louis cares about Dick Lane or even Otis Anderson, but St. Louis Rams fans have a "right" to celebrate Eric Dickerson's accomplishments even though to many of them he was an enemy when he actually played.

In reality, very, very few people follow a sports team that moves metro areas. There are no A's fans left in KC or Philly, there are few Thunder fans in Seattle, etc. A team's identity is much more closely connected to the city it plays in that the jersey or name or organizational structure. Heck, as a purely legal matter, the Rams today are a completely distinct entity than the Rams of Los Angeles. The only connection to the LA Rams is that they own the copyright/trademark to the logo and jersey. Why should a shared history/heritage move because someone bought the rights to some sheets of paper?

So if I start a brand new team in Anchorage Alaska and buy the trademark/copyrights of the Toronto Maple Leafs, are people in Anchorage suddenly supposed to care about teams that won the Cup before they were even a state?

I'm sorry, Walter Johnson will never be a Minnesota Twins legend, John Capelleti will never be a Big Ten icon, and Eric Dickerson has no business in any St. Louis sports history, even if he wore an identical jersey for a team in Los Angeles.

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