Farewell, Monarchs

In the grand scheme of things, it ought to be no big deal, but the recent news that the Maloof family was closing down the Sacramento Monarchs was surprisingly upsetting. So professional sports teams come and go; Donna Orender, president of the WNBA, was quick to point out how many times the Kings moved before landing in Sacramento.

But it does feel like a big loss in a community that’s had way too many losses. Between furloughs and foreclosures, budget cuts and water-bill wars, the things we look forward to every year take on more significance. The Monarchs made Sacramento feel good—they brought us our first top-tier professional championship—and they taught us a thing or two in the process. We’ll remember the way the team and the whole community rallied around Edna Campbell as she faced breast cancer, and the fun it was to watch the women in purple pop the inflated balloon that is the Los Angeles ego. We’ll never forget the parade and rally that marked their national title, and we’ll probably never again see first-rate professional sports at an affordable price where foul language wasn’t tolerated (“Hey, there are kids here—watch your mouth!” was heard more than once at Arco).

We hope the Monarchs find a good home in the Bay Area, where we’ll be able to catch some of the games. But we’ll miss them, and we’ll miss the way they made us feel.