The Forever Fan

Sonics guy keeps on cheering
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The Sonics Guy – Kris Brannon. Photos by Rachel Coward

If you’ve been at a public event in the Puget Sound area over the past five years, you’ve probably seen Sonics Guy, whose real name is Kris Brannon. His hulking stature, retro Sonics gear and larger-than-life afro make him difficult to miss. Over the years, his sign may have changed from “Save Our Sonics” to “Bring ’Em Back,” but Sonics Guy hasn’t slowed down his appearances. You can can see him at just about every farmers market, parade and festival throughout the area. In an interview with South Sound, the stand-up comedian and political activist shares some insights on his journey, where he gets his cool duds and one of his early mistakes as a protester.

  • My grandfather would take me to games when they played at the Tacoma Dome. They were my team. I’ve loved them my whole life.
  • The writing was on the wall … I was just frustrated, so I was inspired to start advocating for them after a proper mourning period. My buddy was going to go to a Tax Day rally at the Capitol. I didn’t want to protest the President’s policies, but I figured I’d put on my Sonics shirt and have my own protest at the protest. You could tell it was my first protest, because I’d made the sign single-sided. That was a rookie mistake.
  • After that rally, people didn’t really seem to know what to make of me. But I got three media mentions after that rally, and things really took off from there.
  • If you’re big and bold and carry a huge sign, people may not agree with you, but they will notice you.
  • I’ve been doing the same thing for five years; people thought I was crazy, but then I became the smartest guy in town. Now I spark conversations, and I’ve become an answer man.
  • Funny thing is when I first started out, I’d hit Value Village or Goodwill. Right after the Sonics left, I’d go and find five or six things because people were so disgusted with the team. Now, it’s next to impossible to find.

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  • I guess I’d say Gus Williams is a favorite. I remember him from the championship. I went to the game where they retired his jersey. But anyone that put on the green and gold I respect and I honor.
  • Just realize that if you have a team, it’s a lot easier to keep a team than to get it back. If there are rumblings, do everything you can before, because once it’s gone, it’s tough.
  • Be true to yourself and be consistent. I’ve been doing this for years and at first people weren’t sure what I was doing. People were argumentative and plain mean. Eventually people will come around to you.
  • Sports are a true unifier. I go to all sorts of rallies with all different walks of life. I’ve found that it doesn’t matter if you’re Black, white, gay, conservative, liberal, Christian or whatever — 90 percent of the people I meet are into this cause ­— they’re into sports.
is a contributor to South Sound magazine.
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