Three of the primary characters in the SuperSonics/Oklahoma saga apparently will not attend the OU-Washington game Saturday at Husky Stadium.
Clay Bennett, the Oklahoma City businessman whose group bought the SuperSonics in 2006 and moved them to OKC in July, said he will not attend, though he is a long-time Sooner booster.
Bennett has been slammed for two months, getting the Thunder franchise in place. But even so, his appearances in Seattle over the last several months have been difficult; Bennett traveled with security guards during the Sonics/Seattle trial in June.
Brad Keller, the Seattle attorney whose spectacular courtroom performance helped prompt the city to settle its lawsuit with the Sonics, said he won't attend and didn't attend the Aug. 30 Oklahoma State-Washington State game in Seattle.
"I'm not a college football fan," Keller said. "I don't follow college football."
Keller said the mood in Seattle, from his perspective, is one of general acceptance, "the reality that the Sonics have relocated to Oklahoma City."
And while he won't attend OU-UW, Keller hopes to make another game soon.
"I'm hoping to come down there for your regular-season opener," he said of the Oct. 29 Thunder-Milwaukee Bucks game at the Ford Center.
Perhaps Keller is right about the easing of tensions. Brian Robinson, co-founder of Save Our Sonics, a group that fought to keep the NBA franchise in Seattle, seems to be void of bitterness toward Bennett.
"I think the bitterness is mostly directed toward mayor Greg Nickles for accepting the settlement," Robinson said. "We all knew what Clay Bennett wanted to do. No surprise he did what he did."
Robinson is a UW graduate who occasionally attends football games but won't go to this one.
"There's been a lot of talk among Sonic fans about putting up some kind of protest," Robinson said. "But I don't think that will materialize. Husky football's gotta stand on its own.
This thing's never been personal,
"I'd like to see 'em (OU) lose, just so Clay Bennett would sweat a little. Can't deny wishing a little bad on the Sooners, but what do you do?
"I really wish Clay would call me, make a little wager on the game. I'd wear an Oklahoma Thunder T-shirt (if OU wins)."
And if Washington wins? "He can give me my team back."