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Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Here's a milestone: After several years of staying away, I just bought a couple of Blazer tickets. My daughter sits through a lot of televised roundball with me over the long winter and spring months. Last year, during the pro playoffs, we started loosely following Houston Rockets center Yao Ming together. As the season ended, I told her, "We'll go see Yao when he comes here next season." And so we shall.

In my weariest days as a disappointed Blazermaniac, I said that I'd gladly come back to the fold once the most prominent ne'er-do-wells were gone. They don't have to win, I reasoned, they just need to not be louts. I do believe the craziest of the guys have mostly departed, and so now it's time to test the waters once again.

I suspect the Blazers are going to have their heads handed to them this year. But that shouldn't stop Portlanders from rooting for them. I remember the '80s teams -- guys like Mychal Thompson, Calvin Natt and Tom Owens. They weren't very good, but we still showed up to get out of the cold rains of our dark season, have a Weinhard's Ale, and cheer for the local guys. I hope my daughter and I get the same feeling when we visit the Blazers and Yao in a couple of months. I'm optimistic that we will.

Comments (9)

Thanks for teh vote of confidence jack.
Hope you and your daughter enjoy the game.
I think you'll like the new guys we've added and the new coaching staff.

If you are a Yao-ie, you should consider going to China for the 2008 Olympics to watch their national team, even if it plays Sweden. I certainly plan on it.

Well, between Yao and 1st year Blazer, Ha Seung-Jin from South Korea, a 7'3",305lb, 20 year old (still growing?) - she will come away with a unique perspective of the stature of our asian populace!
The NBA, what a cultural smorgasbord eh?

Yay! The bandwagon-ers are coming around again! Welcome back! (I think)

The bandwagon-ers are coming around again!

Er, no. Like I said, I rooted faithfully for the Blazers through thick and thin, for 20 years plus, until they degenerated into potheads and creeps. Believe me, there was no bandwagon of any kind in the '80s.

I grew up in the 80's and 90's, following the Blazers almost religiously. I went to playoff games, listened to every game on the radio, and even met them at the Hillsboro airport after beating Phoenix in the '90 W. Conference Finals.

I miss 'the good ol' days' like everyone else, but this town needs to get over itself. Back then, PDX had a 'us against the world' mentality, believing it didn't get enough attention on a national scale... so it rallied behind the Blazers, through thick and thin. Today, we're still a one-horse/team town, but society is faced with more competition for our time, money and attention, what with all the information-age stimuli around. The benchmark created by the spirit of '90 or '77 is an unrealistic expectation that will continue to disappoint the wistful. Winning IS everything, as evidenced by the strong attendance at Blazer games in the late 90's and 2000, when the team consisted of decidedly more thugs but consistently won. I'm sorry, I don't think players' biggest debt to this town is paid by the NBA Read-to-Kids program... they play BASKETBALL! They're not, by trade, the best people to be teaching a f*cking class to kids! Who's fooling who? I don't care how much money owners are duped into paying these guys, they're still individuals who have a right to privacy. They're paid to win, not to be gossip fodder in this fishbowl media market. Maybe, just maybe, the league is suffering from external and self-made problems the Blazers did not create. Drafting kids out of high school and giving them millions of dollars will create image-challenged players in any environment.

Jack, I'm glad you're back in the fold. But I feel like the city has been saying "well, they're on probation with ME", all while extending an outstretched hand, hoping for cheap/free tix. The apologetic Blazer management will soon tire of making concessions when the team starts winning again, so enjoy this time while it lasts.

I paid list price for my seats, and they weren't cheap, by any stretch of the imagination.

Bought my 14 year old a pair of tickets for tonights game --heavily discounted by a friend unloading them at the last minute-- and he just got back. "The game sucked," he said, the Blazers losing by 23 to the Clippers when they left. The problem for the Blazers management is we DO like winners as well as good guys to cheer for. Drexler was a class act...but also an awesome player.

As I say, they're going to be bad. And watching them play another weak team like the Clippers? There's no redeeming value there, particularly during the meaningless exhibition games.

I think they'll get better, though, and when they give a good team a run for its money, it will be a great time. That's what I'm hoping for at the Houston game.

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