Thursday, May 17, 2012

Chris Hansen: Sports Franchise Predator

Earlier today, it was announced that the prospective builder of a new Seattle arena and potential NBA team owner, Chris Hansen, has laid out plans for the construction of a $490 million facility.

The agreement states construction could only begin on a new Seattle arena as soon as it is guaranteed to have at least an NBA tenant.  No NHL franchise is required to start construction on the building, though Hansen has not ruled out an attempt to lure a hard-luck franchise having problems in their current home.  KING 5 in Seattle and Seattle PI have the goods on all of the particulars, and I encourage you to peruse them at your leisure.

Puck Daddy's Greg Wyshynski compiles both stories here, but he goes light on the "geek(ing) out" this time over the prospect of an NHL team in Seattle.  Of course, as you know, a wicked shade of green jersey does not a hockey team make.  Also, remember, Vancouver and Seattle are close.  So, that's always good.

Kansas Citians will remember an arena built a few years ago that was supposed to have a professional sports tenant blah blah blah.... you know the story.

So, anyway, I'm bad at segues, so after the jump potential Seattle arena builder Chris Hansen talks to Dateline NBC's To Catch a Predator's Chris Hansen.  Because, you see, they share the same name.  Enjoy!

(Seattle arena extraordinaire Chris Hansen wanders around the outside of a suburban house.  The front door opens, and girl motions to him.)

Gary Bettman Decoy: Come on in!  David Stern and I are watching the Lakers game.  Oh, and I made some sweet tea!  It’s on the counter!

Seattle Chris Hansen: Alright!  I can’t wait to see Kobe hit his patented cross-over jumper!

/Dateline’s Chris Hansen walks in

Dateline Chris Hansen: Why don’t you hit my cross-over jumper?

Seattle Hansen:  Uhh....what?  Who are you?

Dateline Chris Hansen Voiceover: I’ve been doing this for so longgg, but guyyys still don’t know who I am or what I am doing.  They just see me, and, you know, act nonchalant, but I see that look in their eyyyes, like they’ve done something wronggg.  And it’s not like it’s their first rodeo, but they just haven’t gotten caught yet.  It just hasn’t set in at that point.

Dateline Hansen: Why don’t you take a seat?  Just, just take a seat, right over there.

Seattle Hansen: Okay, uh...

/sits down right over there

Dateline Hansen: What’re you doing here?

Seattle Hansen: Uh, What do you mean?  I came to see David Stern, so we could just talk.

Dateline Hansen:  Just talk, huh?  Talk about what?

Seattle Hansen: talk about potential NBA franchises that might relocate to Seattle.

Dateline Hansen: Oh, so you admit you came here to see Mr. Stern?  What about Mr. Bettman?

Seattle Hansen: Well, ya know, I was in the neighborhood... Hey, what’s with all the questions?

Dateline Hansen:  Look, I’m not the one on trial herrre.  Why don’t you tell me what you really came here forrr?

Seattle Hansen: I don’t have to tell you anything!  Who the hell are you, anyway?

Dateline Hansen: That’s not imporrrtant.  What is imporrrtant are the conversations you’ve had with these two sports league commissioners concerrrning some “new arena’ in Seattle.

Seattle Hansen:  Um...okay.  What about it?

Dateline Hansen: Well, it says herrre (points to wad of papers in his hand) you want to build a new arena to lure an NBA franchise to Seattle.

Seattle Hansen: Yes, I believe that is what is best for the people of the city of Seattle.

Dateline Hansen:  Uh-huh.  And how about an NHL franchise?

Seattle Hansen: Yeah, I talked to the NHL, but I never wanted anything to do with them.  That would be wrong.  What does it matter to you?

Dateline Hansen: Look, you don’t need to lie to me, I have the press conference transcript right here.  Soo...whyyy don’t you just tellll me what you are trying to do with Commissioner Bettman?

Seattle Hansen: Lie to you?!  I don’t even know who the hell you are!!!

Dateline Hansen: Now, I already told you, it’s not imporrrtant who I am.  Here, let’s look at the transcript.  What is this about “the city and county contributing $200 million to construction of a new arena” and “only an NBA franchise is needed to begin construction” (pauses and stares at the accused for dramatic effect. Continues.) and “if no NHL team is secured, only $120 million in public money would go to the project, with the county's contribution capped at $5 million and Seattle still on the hook for up to $120 million.”

Seattle Hansen: Look buddy, I don’t want a freakin’ NHL franchise.  I don’t give a crap about the NHL, and I don’t really care if Seattle has an NHL team or not.  I want the Sonics back, and that’s it.

Dateline Chris Hansen Voiceover: This is usually the point in the interviews where these men admit they have done something, um, let’s call it, insincere, but they do not quite admit they have done something wrong.  They act as a hero for the unknowing victims.  I see it a lot in these types of investigations.

Dateline Hansen: So, you are saying you have never talked to the NHL about relocating a franchise to Seattle?

Seattle Hansen: No, I don’t mess around with that stuff, man.  If anything, I warned the NHL to stay out of Seattle.  I’ve seen some pretty messy stuff happen when a city gets tangled up with the NHL.  Heck, it happened in my sister’s hometown, man.  She lives in Atlanta, and...and...she was never the same. 

Dateline Chris Hansen Voiceover:  The funny thing about this reasoning was – when we investigated further into Mr. Hansen’s record – he doesn’t even have a sister, let alone one that lives in Atlanta.

Dateline Hansen: So, you sayyy your sisterrr saw the hearrrtbreak that came with losing an NHL franchise, and that’s whhhyyy you only want an NBA franchise instead? 

Seattle Hansen: Yeah, man, definitely.  That’s why I want to keep the NHL out of Seattle.  Believe me, by getting the NBA, I’m helping Seattleites stay away from the dangers that come along with the NHL.

Dateline Hansen:  Sooo, if I wasn’t herrre, you would just talk to David Stern, and then walk right out that door?

Seattle Hansen: Yeah.  Pretty much.

Dateline Hansen: Look, Chrrris, I’ve been doing this a long time.  I’ve seen cases just like yours, and I’m going to level with you: You arrren’t herrre to warn anyone.  We both know that, okay?  You want to take advantage of an unstable league.  What you want is an NHL franchise for yourrr own, no matter who gets hurt.

Seattle Hansen: No, man, I don’t!  No I don’t at all!  That’s a lie!

/starts sobbing

Dateline Hansen: Look, Chrrris, it’s time to come clean.  If I wasn’t here, you would have forced yourself on an unsuspecting Gary Bettman and tried to make him relocate a franchise?

Seattle Hansen: No, man. *sniffles* I just want what is best for the city. *sniffles* I am creating jobs through a great financial investment...

Dateline Hansen: Hmmm....okayyy, well, I think you should know that my name is Chrrris Hannnsennn from Dateline NBC, and we are doing a story about sports franchise predators.

/camera crew rushes into the room

 If there is anything you would like to say or ask me, now is the time.  If not, you are free to go.

Seattle Hansen: Am I going to jail or something?

Dateline Hansen: That’s not for me to decide.

Seattle Hansen: I-- I’m just gonna go.

Dateline Hansen: That is your choice.

/Seattle Chris Hansen leaves, sulking
Dateline Chris Hansen Voiceover: You know, some of these guys come in here – and it’s the same story every time – they say they are making a difference in people’s lives by keeping the NHL out of their city, when you know they would just put a franchise in a new arena if they had the chance.  And, it’s really sad, and that’s why I am here: to stop them from hurting anyone.

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