It's Time to Save Our Rockets
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2000 12:00 AM CT
By Jeff Balke
Copyright 2000 ClutchFans.net
SAVE OUR ROCKETS!
The Save Our Rockets movement's goal is to "ensure that the Rockets and Comets remain in Houston permanently"
As you all know by now, the movement to keep the Rockets and Comets in the city of Houston is underway. As some of you may remember, I made some strong comments in my last column. To refresh our memories:
Instead of bemoaning the possible loss of the Rockets, get out and do something to stop it. Write to your government officials. Write to the Rockets. Organize support rallies. Let everyone know just what an asset the Rockets are to Houston. Instead of fearing the worst, make the best possible scenario happen.
Well, let's just say I took my own advice. Shortly after I posted that column, I got several emails saying how we all needed to do something. It seemed as if I had touched a nerve. Well, I went immediately and registered the domain name www.saveourrockets.com
and here we are.
Save Our Rockets and its companion website is specifically designed for fans and others interested in keeping the Rockets. Our mission statement is: It is our goal to ensure that the Rockets and Comets remain in Houston permanently. Just how exactly are we supposed to do that?
Thanks to my ol' buddy, Clutch and his web wizardry, the website is the first step. You'll be able to get info on what we are doing and, most importantly, what you can do to help. The thoughts of rallies are great, but we have to start slow.
On Monday, February 7, a press release will be sent out to every radio station, newspaper, television station and interested party in the city to announce the beginning of this grassroots initiative. We have already received confirmations from a couple of radio stations willing to talk about it on the air.
Next, we hope to get your help. On the site, you'll find a page where you can collect information on how you can help. The first way is to write the people on the list given immediately. The most important people we have to reach are Mayor Lee Brown, County Judge Robert Eckles, Sports Authority Chairman Billy Burge, the Rockets and Comets organizations and the Houston Chronicle. There are addresses, email addresses, fax and phone numbers right there on the page for you. There are even templates in case you have trouble getting started on your letter.
If you don't think your voices count, listen to this. An acquaintance of mine recently helped run the campaign for a local woman. She was a relative unknown but managed to get enough support to make it to a runoff election. In the runoff, she ended up losing by only 37 votes...37 votes!!! That is how important your voice is. It is absolutely imperative that you get involved and make the politicians and Rockets know how much you care about them and their commitment to say in Houston.
After we have established ourselves, then we will move on to the serious business of trying to put together some public events. When the time comes, we will gather the support of the citizens, fans and business community. The reason we want to do this right is because we don't want a repeat of the Oilers rally disaster.
For those of you who don't remember it, a group of Oiler fans faxed every major news outlet (including ESPN!) and said they were holding a huge rally on the steps of city hall to protest the Oilers moving. When the cameras rolled, they got pictures of about twelve crazy people (several of whom were drunk) standing on the steps of city hall yelling. It was an embarrassment to the city and the final nail in the coffin for the Oilers.
Everything we do must be big, bold and calculated. We only get one shot at this! The Rockets are not gone yet and we can do everything within our power to keep it that way. In fact, we need more than just your voice and your participation in a rally. Because many of you are regulars to this site, we recognize that you are more involved with the Rockets than the average fan or citizen.
As a result, we need everyone out there who can help in any way to let us know. Know of a print shop who'd be willing to donate some bumper stickers or t-shirts? Have a friend who works for Channel 2? Do you know someone who'd be willing to make us a banner? Do you own a business that could help out? Anything you could think of would be helpful.
Obviously, Clutch and I work for a living and, for now, this is coming out of our time and pockets, so we are relying on our supporters to help make this a reality. We simply will NOT settle for anything less than the Rockets and Comets continuing to make Houston their home and committing to that for the long term.
Also, it is important that we all remember to remain positive. All the political leaders, business owners and members of the Rockets organization including Les Alexander are our friends. Our goal is in line with theirs. We want Houston to continue to be a profitable, world-class city. Part of that goal is keeping our sports franchises and revitalizing the city through the building of a new arena.
We're not proposing how to do it, just that it must get done. These are our teams and this is our city. The time for sitting and waiting is over. The time to act is NOW! Don't wait. Get involved today. You can start making a difference at www.saveourrockets.com