The little brown-haired girl's dad was sitting on the couch watching his favorite team play. All of two-years old, she was already entrenched in her role as daddy's little girl. She crawled up on the couch and plopped herself next to him.
Watching this team was an event in the household. This was the home-town team. Mom would be tending the baby, lifting her eyes to the television to see a great play. The girl's older brothers, ages six and four, would take time out from their tussling match to watch portions of the action on the screen. They were fans too, but had little time and patience for their little sister as she posed her questions.
"What's that?" she would ask her father. "Why did that guy run over there? What is a rebound?"
She was curious and he liked that, though he probably wasn't very pleased with her timing. He would do his best to explain the play to her while the action was still going on. If he was annoyed, he hid it well.
It was late in the fourth quarter. Their team was battling in a close game.
The girl was still asking questions of her dad. In the midst of the action, she asked him another.
He took an impatient breath and began turning toward her. "honey, just a ..." He stopped. He wanted to wait until a timeout or at least a stoppage of play before answering her. The game was going down to the wire.
He wanted to ask her to wait a moment, but he couldn't.
His daughter's bright, big brown eyes were looking up at him. He simply smiled and answered her question. She was more important to him than a basketball game. She felt the same for him.
* * *
I don't remember exactly what I asked my dad during that game -- or any other game for that matter -- I am sure it was an excuse to spend time with him; to share something which he loved with him.
Though in college now, I still am daddy's little girl and always will be. Seeing his love for the Blazers, it rubbed off on me in a big way. So much so, that our phone conversations -- and also those in person -- are filled with a great deal of Blazers talk. We've always connected like that when talking about them.
My dad texted me about the February trade. I e-mailed him when I learned the team was calling up a new player from the D-League for the remainder of this season. Whenever one of us learns some news, we rush to tell the other. It's a little game we like to play.
It doesn't matter what the topic is, being Blazers fans has been an extremely wonderful thing to share.
Being Blazers fans transcends wins and losses, players coming and going, and what may happen in the future with our favorite team. For me and my dad, it's given us just one more thing to bond us together.
I continue to ask him questions about the Blazers.
Note: This remembrance came after I saw a question in one of the message board's here asking how did you become a Trail Blazers fan? I thought I would share the story.