For Suns SixthMan member Gary Bliss, the Suns are more than just a sports team, they’re also part of his family’s legacy.
His father took over U.S. West Communications in 1987 and as a part of that, received four season tickets that had been with the company since the Suns’ inaugural season in 1968.
“[My dad] came down and just happened to hand us some tickets one night and said ‘the company has some seats. I have no idea where they are.’ This was back at the Madhouse on McDowell,” Bliss said. “Turns out they are first row, section 114, four seats. So we are basically sitting with all of the owners.”
This was not the usual seating area for fans in their mid-twenties, so Bliss and his friends began to create their own vibe down there.
“We definitely changed the feel of the bottom section down there,” Bliss said. “We weren’t afraid to get on players of others teams or the refs. I think they all loved to have us.”
Part of Bliss’s father’s retirement package in 1994 was to keep those tickets and the family has continued to attend Suns games. Bliss now gets to carry on the tradition by bringing his own children to the games as well.
“My daughter was born in 1988. My son was born 1995,” Bliss said. “One of their first pictures ever taken in their life was in the hands of The Gorilla.”
Bliss won a contest held by the Suns this past year to attend the 2017 NBA Lottery and was able to share the experience with his son.
“We got to go to the draft lottery and it was unreal being around all the ex-players, ex-coaches,” Bliss said. “Just a great experience. It was cool being around the players and everyone that was associated with it.”
Bliss hopes to one day be able to pass these tickets down to his children, the same way his father did for him.
“My kids are the two biggest Suns fans in history,” Bliss said. “I’m hoping it all works out and they maintain those someday. It’s a family affair. It always has been which makes it really cool.”
As Bliss continues his family’s tradition of cheering on the Suns, the tickets he holds are part of the Suns legacy as they begin to celebrate their 50-year anniversary.
“It’s an honor for us,” Bliss said. “That’s why we’ve kept going with them. It’s part of our lineage. It’s part of a lot of people’s lineage here.”
A little confused by that sentence as is … just edited for clarity. Feel free to change, as needed, based on what Gary said