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The Arco-Detroit Debacle: Why?!!

I just got finished watching a rant by Mitch Albom on The Sports Reporters this morning. He was putting in his two cents about the whole situation with the Kings’ home opener against the Pistons. For those of you who don’t know, here’s what happened:

It was November 7, 2005, and it was Sacramento’s home opener at Arco Arena. We were playing Detroit, former NBA Champs, and the Pistons were introduced first, as the visiting team always is. But, as the starters were being introduced, the Jumbotron in the arena aired images of burned-out cars, abandoned buildings and other negative images of the city of Detroit. Don’t ask me why, but someone in the control booth up there either thought it was funny, or a way to pump up the crowd. Obviously, the Pistons Organization was pissed. Probably so much so, it gave them the motivation they needed to whoop us in our own arena, adding injury to insult.

Now, Albom, being from Detroit, found it necessary to retaliate for the incident. He took pot shots at Sacramento – the stereotypes of it being a “Cowtown”, using our Cowbells, how the Governor isn’t even in the city half the time, etc., etc. Initially, it all sounded fairly petty.

Here’s the thing, though – I’m not mad at him. In fact, Mitch Albom, and any other sports writer who feels the need to take pot shots at Sactown (as easy as it is) for this incident, has every right to do so. ‘Cause, hey, in this case, we deserve it, I guess. I can’t be mad at the people we offended when they feel the need to channel their frustrations at someone.

No, no, my anger is pointed at the drooling idiots that figured that putting those insulting, stereotypical images of Detroit would be funny. “Oh, yeah, let’s trash the former NBA Champions! They’ll think it’s hilarious, too! No, no, they’ll see that stuff and laugh at how accurate we portray their city! Yeah, that’s it! Drr-Duh-Drr!” (Wondering about that sound? Watch Mind of Mencia.)

I am speaking to this particular individual now: God, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? How could you possibly think that those images were at all humorous or clever? Didn’t you think, for one second, that the Pistons would look up on that Jumbotron and be insulted? Flip Saunders is their new head coach, who hasn’t even been in Detroit that long, and he was insulted! I just don’t get it. As a Kings fan, I am insulted. A KINGS FAN!

Here’s something else those friggin’ morons working the Jumbotron didn’t take into consideration at the time. See, since the Kings play in Sacramento, it is actually quite easy to take pot shots at us. Sacramento is a farm town. We do use cowbells in our stadium to distract visiting teams. Our governor doesn’t even live in Sacramento half the time. It’s like B. Rabbit’s last battle with Papa Doc in “8 Mile” – see, we know all of the stuff that people can make fun of us about. We’re not ignorant to it – hell, Los Angeles had a good time pointing it out in 2002.

With those negative images, we turned ourselves into classless a-holes, in the eyes of the media. We inadvertently opened ourselves up to the kind of criticism we’ve been trying to shake off since the Kings turned themselves into an NBA powerhouse. You know, the type of hypocrisy that people will call you on every time – the whole “you may have made fun of us, but take a look at yourselves” kind of diss that you could only ask for.

That’s not me. That’s not the average Kings fan. Don’t think that, just because we’re Kings fans, we’re insensitive, classless jerks like that dumbass in the Jumbotron. NO! We didn’t think that the incident was funny at all. It was offensive, insensitive and inappropriate – any rational Kings fan realizes that. That’s what makes me so angry – not that Mitch Albom and other sports writers and commentators are going to take hits on us. It’s the fact that we were stupid enough to give them the ammo to do so. It’s not the effect – it’s the cause that I’m resentful of.

So, let me say this – what that moron did up in that Jumbotron was stupid, insensitive and wrong. But, Detroit and the Pistons have every right to be mad at us, anyway. And, hell, if it makes you guys feel any better, you can hang your hat on two things: that you’re undefeated while we’re currently 2-4, and that you have carte blanche to run as many redneck images as you want at the Palace, when we come to Detroit. Then, hopefully, we can return the favor and beat you down in your house.

Hey, man, sorry – that’s just the Kings fan talking.

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