I caught up with Paul Wong, the creator of the “We Believe” movement back in 2007. I was the first person to write about him, when he was brought to my attention by the Warriors back in 2007. Man, he sounds different. Like he’s had his heart ripped out or something.
He was soooooo zealous about the Warriors. It almost cost him dearly. So to hear him talking about washing his hands of the Warriors is a trip.
Wong: “I’m boycotting the Warriors business practices! They know that another fan will snatch up my seats in a heart beat and I truly believe that’s why people renew because they don’t want to lose their great seats, which has taken years for them to get. Warrior season ticket holders need to make a stand. I WILL NOT STEP ONE FOOT IN ORACLE ARENA , yet I will still be rooting for my beloved Warriors.”
His departure as a season-ticket holder (he said he’d been a STH for more than 10 years) is more symbolic than anything.
His disdain epitomizes how far and fast the Warriors have fallen from grace. Talking to him, it sounds like they could have won him over. All he wanted was a relative gesture of appreciation.
The letter he wrote to team president Robert Rowell is below. He got confirmation that Rowell has received the letter. But Wong said he hasn’t received any response, which irritates him consider the team’s talk-directly-to-fans push. Wong said he thinks the team sees him as a whiner.
Wong: “For starting the “We Believe” movement, I would like a personal “Thank You” from Robert Rowell & Chris Cohan to my family (for unauthorized use of the “We Believe” and ruining the “Mojo” the following season) and the renewal of our season tickets courtesy of GSW.”
Does it matter, in the grand scheme of things? Probably not. The Warriors will gain and lose season ticket holders. But it is interesting how this “We Believe” thing turned out. I’m sure when Wong spent $5,500 that season printing up placards, in addition to his $6,000 on season tickets, he never thought this would be the result.
April 13, 2009
Dear Mr. Rowell,
I have contemplated back and forth whether it’s worth my time to write in about the disappointment that I have with the warrior’s organization upper management, in specific you. No, this is not another angry season ticket holder blaming you for everything and anything that has happened to this team this season. Yet it’s about a die hard fan that has giving his heart & soul to help this organization from a decade of miseries to becoming the darling of not just the bay area but the NBA as well. Instead of the appreciation and recognition in return from the organization, I personally feel that I’ve been given the “cold shoulder”. I really don’t understand why we can’t receive a simple “Thank You” from you? I sit 5 feet from you. Every game that we attend I keep saying to myself this is the night that he’s going to come over to us and say “Thank You” for coming up with the “We Believe” and every night I leave disappointed. That negative feeling keeps escalating more and more as each game goes by, to the point there’s no feeling to the games we attend. On top of that, everywhere I turn these days all I see is your organization’s new mantra; “ WE CAN’T DO IT WITHOUT YOU!”. Are you serious? If this organization’s truly meant that, I would absolutely renew this year! From the time of the “We Believe” season till now (final game of the season), have you or anyone from the executive team come to my family and I to tell us “Thank you, we could not have done it without you!” Do you know the events that took place that led to the magical “We Believe” season?
If not let me share with you:
3/7/07 vs. Denver – first “sign” of “We Believe Playoff”
3/9/07 vs. L.A Clippers – first game that “We Believe Go Warriors” original placards were passed out
3/12/07 vs. Dallas – original placards handed out
3/16/07 vs. Minnesota – original placards handed out
3/23/07 vs. Washington – original placards handed out
3/26/07 vs. San Antonio – original placards handed out
3/29/07 vs. Phoenix – original placards handed out, first sign of “We Believe” on national TV TNT
4/1/07 vs. Memphis – original placards handed out
4/9/07 vs. Utah – original placards handed out
4/13/07 @ Sacramento – original placards handed out at opposing team where you can hear the chant “Let’s go warriors!” through your TV sets. Took so much verbal abuse from Kings fans that night, but I finished wishing them luck their next game against the clippers because Warriors fans were cheering for them. You should of seen the look on their faces as the few of us were chanting “Let’s go Kings!” through out their arena after the game.
4/15/07 vs. Minnesota – original placards handed out as fans went into a frenzy when the
Sacramento Kings beat the clippers.
4/17/07 vs. Dallas – original placards handed out
4/18/07 @ Portland opening viewing @ Oracle- – original placards handed out as the place was in a frenzy!!
Prior to the beginning of 2007-2008 seasons, it was my understanding through our legal counsels that the Warriors would no longer be using “We Believe” in any of their promotions for the upcoming season. To my surprise, they were. I was angry, yet I was rather flattered that the organization’s marketing team could not come up with something original themselves.
The day before April 10, 2008 the biggest game of the year vs. Denver which we loss 114-105 I’d contacted Travis (not sure last name) of marketing to help me with the cost of printing and passing out of the original “we believe” placards but never received a phone call back. Since without my permission the organization could not use the “We Believe” mantra I decided to print out the placards myself with my own money once again to pass out at that game. When I’d arrived that night, I was devastated to find “We Believe” placards placed on every seat with TNT on the back of them. I was left simply speechless! YOU GUYS MESSED UP THE MOJO!! It was never about the compensations!!!!! It was about winning, and getting this team to the PLAYOFFS! It was about creating this special feeling of “We have each others back” within that complex which we all have created together. That was what made Warriors fans the best fans in the NBA which made it impossible to beat us at Oracle.
As devastated as I was, my son and I flew out to Phoenix 4/14/08 holding on to the slimmest hope of the chance of the playoff. I want to thank Raymond Ridder for the tickets yet I had to purchase upgraded seats so that fans back home and the team could see the “Warriors Mojo Fan” was there to support. If only Baron would have shown up too, another story there. I would never forget that game, Chris Mullin personally came up to my son and I to say thank you for everything that we were doing for the team while you continued on walking away. Sorry Mr. Rowell you’re not at the status of Chris Mullin yet he approached us instead.
Still no Love! Yet there was hope in sight. Danielle my awesome Rep informed me that my wife and I were going to be the “Season ticket holder of game” at the last game of the season 4/16/08 vs. Seattle. About time I recall saying to myself, it wasn’t a meet and greet with the players or compensation with free season tickets but hey it’ll do. My wife invited friends and families for that game. As we were all sitting there, to our disbelief that some other fans were the “Season ticket holder of game”. By then my phone was blowing up from friends and family wondering what had happened? Unfortunately, Danielle had to break the news to us that at the last minute someone changed their mind. O.K. here’s my ego coming out, but after all that I’ve done I couldn’t be recognized with a lousy bag with out of date corporate sponsor shirts?
Oh, I know what they’re going to recognize me in a more grander way:
The warriors are going to send their lucky “mojo” fan to the Lottery for good luck in hope of the first pick. NOPE! By the way the Kings and the Celtics did.
The warriors are going to recognize me at the opening night of the upcoming season. Nope, didn’t happen.
The president of the warrior’s is going to come shake the lucky “mojo” fan prior to every home game. Nope.
Is really funny that whenever media outlets, newspaper and news station ask me the same question, “What has the warrior’s done for you as a way to say thank you for? I would reply that the “Warriors are a class act organization and they will do what’s right when the time comes.” Well Mr. Rowell, I don’t have deep pockets like your corporate fans. I work hard to support my family and with this economy it doesn’t make sense spending our hard earned $5500 on a pair of seats supporting an organization that shows no love in return. I’m truly embarrassed that your organization has put me in this awkward position of asking to compensate my family for our efforts with a renewal of our 2 seats. I don’t think it’s asking for much since it’s that amount I’d put into the “We Believe” campaign. Believe it or not these seats mean a lot to my family and I, we have supported you financially for the past 10 seasons and I have supported this team all my life.
Do you believe in “KARMA”?
Baron opts out?
Monta get’s hurt?
Lose every buzzer beater game this season?
Season plague with injuries?
There’s a book out called “The Secret” and speaks of the “Law of Attraction” If you think it’s hog wash just reflect back to the “We Believe” season it originated from there through one die hard fan.
I really don’t know you but only through what I’ve heard, read & observe about you. As I write this I wonder if you even care what I have to say, yet I know you do. I know you are very passionate about this team and us fans. I can see it in your body language and the disgust that you have when the referees make an awful call. You are a public figure and I’m sure you are under the microscope on a daily basis. Could you please show the public who “Bobby” is. I’d met you and Mr. Cohan back in 2000 when I stop by the headquarters with pizzas for the staff from our pizza business, when introduced to me as Robert Rowell you corrected by saying call me Bobby. I also want to thank you for allowing me to pass the “We Believe” placards in your arena or we wouldn’t have shared the majestic season that we all did. I hope this letter help in regards to the feeling and insight of a die hard fan. Just truly mean it when you say:
“WE CAN’T DO IT WITHOUT YOU”
Today is going to be our last game with you all; I would like thank all of your staff. They are simply the best, if it wasn’t for the love that they have shown us all these years this letter would’ve been written a long time ago.
I wish you and the organization the very best in all your endeavors. Please pack the house with true fans not with body counts.
Paul Alex Wong
“The Warrior Mojo Fan”
Sect 121 Row 2 Seats 9 & 10