The Enforcers from van one. photo courtesy of Blazer Dancer Cristi (right).
As with everyone in Portland and in Oregon, many things dictate my daily and weekly routine.
Right now, for me, there's work -- in the fall my sophomore year will begin shortly -- and much socializing with friends, as well as as much quality time with my family as I can fit in.
And of course, during any day, there is always the time to be a fan of my home town.
I've learned that Oregon fandom is an amazing thing. A scant few outside the beaver state understand what our activities and sports mean to us. National announcers give us credit for our fan base at Blazers games. According to my dormie at school, the Chivas USA proclaimed during the Timbers recent win over them that Portland's fan base would be a huge draw to players who want to play for a city where fans appreciate them.
But we already know that about the Blazers, and we have learned and are still learning that about the Timbers.
By the way, for being an expansion team (or "promoted" team from some announcers I've heard), the Timbers put themselves right in the thick of the playoff race with that win over the Chivas; not bad -- expansion team or not.
Oregon Fandom goes much further.
We lament when an Oregonian medals at the Olympics, we take pride in an Oregonian makes a huge impact at linebacker for the Super Bowl champions, and we honor past and present Heisman trophy hopefuls.
Even with that, Oregonians are a rare breed. It doesn't take a winning season for us to claim our team as our own. We don't rush out and buy the new out-of-state champion's jersey just because they became champion this year. We don't boo beloved players who have been traded away just because they've been traded away.
Our fandom goes even beyond that. when we become attached to not only the players -- but the employed representatives of an organization, we root for them too.
Following the Courtside episode which introduced the 2011-12 BlazerDancers (Courtside July 18, 2011
) BlazersEdge featured a story which ensued with some comments that this was the only news going on and that it was a lack of news. Honestly, having talked to some of the dancers and those on this site involved in reporting the event, I was ashamed at those comments. I had read and followed the videos of the hopefuls as they made their way through the tryouts. It was like trying out for the Blazer team itself.
I greatly enjoyed the Courtside episode where the dance team was introduced. While I love the actual basketball of the Blazers, I also love the Blazer Dancers, Blazer personnel, my co-fans and everything Blazers.
This weekend marks the Hood to Coast Relay in which the Blazers are represented -- rather admirably -- by the Enforcers. this is a team comprised of Blazers employees, ranging from Blazer Dancers to office personnel to on-air personalities.
While I would have liked to participated on a team, I did not this year. However, it's been a blast following this team. Blazer Dancer Cristi (you know her, the one from the extremely cool video blogs during the season), helped keep me updated. I tweeted several times to all of them I knew of who had a twitter handle. I pushed them and showed my support for them.
I should inject here that the HTC team's name "Enforcers" refers to the late Maurice Lucas, a former Blazers champion and assistant coach who passed away of cancer at age 58 on October 31, 2010. I am a fan of anyone who would do anything to honor such a Blazers legend. That's exactly what the Enforcers have done for 197 miles this weekend.
From everything I've heard of Maurice, he would do the same for a fallen comrade.
Maurice had an incredible career in the ABA and NBA (despite the one year he player with the Lakers in 1985-86). He was an extremely influential presence as a coach as well, helping to mentor both former and current Blazer players. He is still considered one of the Blazers greats and will continually be loved and adored by fans.
The Enforcers are raising money to help treat/fight the cancer (the most grotesque word in the english language as far as I'm concerned). That alone makes me a fan of them. I support them as I would any Portland Trail Blazer, Portland Timber and Oregon Olympian.
Of course, it doesn't happen to hurt that I like these people. I'm not sure of other cities with sports teams, but I question whether they have fans who recognize these types of things
See, whatever it is Oregon, I am a fan (sans one vital area which I will get to in a moment). This is my home state and I take great pride in it. I have a very soft voice, but when I yell and cheer for those in my state, I feel I am as loud as anyone.
Here's the disclaimer. I mentioned in the previous paragraph, there is an exception to the rule. I wish the Ducks of Oregon all the success in the world -- until they play my Stanford Cardinal. I hope the Ducks make it to a major bowl game this season. However, I already know that my Cardinal will win the Pac-12 championship, as well as the national championship.
Perhaps in that endeavor, you could root for a team based on the fact that your Oregon fan and your friend is pulling for them.
Regardless, I always wish Oregonians well. We should embrace that. After all, when it comes to the rest of the country, we're just that unique.
In Kassandra's Words will feature regular blogs throughout the off-season. Comments and questions are welcome and encouraged. Seasons begin and end, but our Blazers are forever. Please follow on twitter: @Kassandra227