Real Fans Wear Bags: A Revolution Against Inept NBA Management

Buy The ClippersContributor IMarch 31, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 14:  Steve Nash #13, Tim Duncan #21 and other members of the Western Conference shake hands with fans during introductions before the NBA All-Star Game, part of 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend at Cowboys Stadium on February 14, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. The Eastern Conference defeated the Western Conference 141-139 in regulation. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

“Thank you for coming to the game, paying my salary, and watching this historically horrendous seven-win, 63-loss team I’ve helped assemble.”

That’s what Brett Yormark, the New Jersey Nets chief executive, should have said to two fans sitting courtside during the Nets’ loss to Miami on Monday night.

Hell, he should have tattooed it to his face, or at least included it in the marketing for “Free Tax Return Night”—the worst promotion giveaway in sports history.

Instead, when Nets' fans recently donned the infamous brown paper bags over their heads as an act of frustration and protest over what still has potential to be the worst season in NBA history, Yormark heatedly confronted them.

He left his plush court-side seat, walked over to likely one of his most die-hard fans, and starting publicly berating them with an intensity not shown by any Nets player since the Jason Kidd administration.

When Yormark asked Jason Lisi, the fan in question, why he was wearing the bag, Lisi responded “because the Nets are so good.”

That one-liner sent Yormark over the edge. In response to the lecture, Lisi merely waved his ticket in Yormark’s face.

Yormark wisely retreated.

“I did not agree with the way this person expressed his opinion of our team last night,” Yormark said, “and I let him know.”

Some in the media and sports blogosphere have had the audacity to applaud Yormark and question the behavior of Lisi, calling him “not a true fan.”

At www. BuyTheClippers .com , we could not disagree more.

First, true fans go to games, even if the team loses more games than Tiger Woods loses endorsements.

This team is 7-63 and still has a chance to eclipse the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers’ mark of futility—9-73.

Hell, Yormark should just be happy someone, anyone is in the seats. The fans should be able to go naked if they want. At least they are there watching this trainwreck of a team.

Second, in addition to the fact that Lisi was at the game, he also actively expressed his frustration in such a way that management and the country took notice.

It’s one thing to air your grievances on a blog or on sports talk radio. It’s quite another to air them in the face of management, the team, and the one guy watching the game on TV.

You think Mike Dunleavy was reading blogs before he was canned as GM of the Clippers?

No way.

He had no idea of the depth of Clippers fans’ hatred toward him. But I guarantee you he would have noticed that group of loyal, protesting fans sitting with brown paper bags over their heads in section 116.

The bag, which debuted in 1980 with the New Orleans Saints and was the creative genius of New Orleans TV personality Buddy Diliberto, has long since stood as the fan’s ultimate sign of protest.

Like a lock-in, picket, or boycott, the bag has been the fans way of saying “enough is enough, it is time for change.”

And given the time, passion, energy, and money true fans invest in their teams, they’ve earned this right to exalt when times are high, and revolt when times are tough.

In politics, if people are unhappy with their government, they are given the right to vote out those who have underperformed or embarrassed the people every four years.

In sports, fans don’t have that luxury, and instead are forced to endure mediocrity year after year with no recourse.

It is in this spirit of protest; the spirit of challenging the fat-cats who care more about dollars than championships that inspired BuyTheClippers.com to start this movement.

As our blog indicates, the bag encompasses everything that’s wrong with management and every fan’s right to voice his displeasure and demand change.

So Jason Lisi, Nets fans, Royals fans, and especially you Clippers fans, join us in wearing your www.BuyTheClippers.com brown paper bags to games and giving management the ultimate public, proverbial middle finger. 

Just as Louisville has “White Out” night at Freedom Hall, Providence has “the black out” at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Clippers Fans will soon have “Bag Out” night at Staples Center.

Stay tuned for details on which game our revolution will be televised.

Once the Clippers get behind by 10 points, we’ll all don our bags in the ultimate sign of protest. But in the meantime, make a donation or pledge at www.BuyTheClippers.com today!


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