Summarizing any post-season that ends with a loss deserves respect. There are many tracks that can be taken and the feelings of the people involved can become uncomfortably entangled.
Some may choose a myopic reflection that generalizes about the better games of the season and may be taken as
superficial hullabaloo. Others offer a harsh and specific criticism of the team's inconsistent play, which may have contributed to an early exit, and can be construed as crass or unforgiving. Finally some can attempt to strike a balance between the two, which can be pacifistic or nonchalant.
So I'll just write this: After Game 6 I don't think Portland lost anything that's ultimately consequential to the team or its fans, and it earned some solid integrity from
the team's many fans, supporters and itself.
Remember this: The Blazers were a nine man team at one point this season. Nine players
in the uniform and able to play.
And while three straight post-seasons of first round exits
are frustrating and cannot be considered as victories, the truth is that it isn't all that surprising. Not when you
start the season with "second round dreams."
So that's my one and only problem with this season's ending. The Goal
was set early and in stone for making the second round; but it was not not achieved because of
varying wills (haphazard playing performances) and unpredictable factors (unforeseen injuries and damaging
Watching Game 6 while mostly standing in front of my seat in the 116 section was a home team scattering about the court, with two
players who had "The Goal" in mind and many other players looking to contribute
to their success.
I also watched a swarm of blue uniformed players
coalesced toward the same goal but unified in their resolve to achieve
The Goal should not be the second round, or even the championship.
The Goal should be a unified victory by all Blazer team members working together each night.
Let this season be the end of the "Uprise" era, where "The Goal" is to set a new "The Goal" every season. That's a theme for the
incomplete or misguided. A theme that thrives exclusively on people's
emotions, not on their efforts.
Start next season and those to follow with a theme to match the
goal. One where Rip City can "Unite". An era where being a Blazer, staff
member and fan are all geared toward the success of everyone by the
unbridled efforts of each individual.
Write columns. Talk to your neighbors. Practice till you're sure of that shot, and then practice just a little more. Sweep the lines. Cook the food. Draw the posters.
We'll be back next year, united for every single game.
Photo by Patch/Blazers v. Rockets Game 5 in 2009
Patch will start writing weekly entries until the new season starts in October. Look for new Dispatches every Thursday right here and follow Patch_Adam on Twitter for new entries and assorted observations across Oregon by the author.