Last week, in the Egyptian Theatre lobby, a short and chubby white man, clad in typical Seattle lefty wear (sandals with wool socks, REI pants, barn jacket), approached me, shook my hand, and said, "I've been reading your Death Watch columns and I want to thank you. I love the Sonics so much and I've just been so embarrassed to tell anybody."

The man looked as forlorn as a first-timer at an AA meeting. I was furious and sad. Why should this man feel ashamed of his love? Of course, men are often taught to be ashamed of their emotions, especially the ones that make them dependent, hungry, and childlike.

We live in a liberal city supposedly filled with sensitive 21st-century males, but most of my hate mail these days is from local guys who accuse me of being sentimental, florid, immature, and (yikes!) emo.

But my fans and supporters often seem just as stereotypically male. On the blogs, in the newspapers, and on the streets, these fans can only show their Sonics love—their vulnerability—by expressing their hatred for David Stern, Howard Schultz, and Clay Bennett.

Jesus, we're all a bunch of schoolyard romantics, chasing down what we love only to slug it in the arm.