Oct 26


By harryglickman
Playoffs. It seems to be the magic word in sports these days.

It all started in hockey when four teams out of the six-team National Hockey League qualified for the playoffs. Other sports began to follow, and the first was the NBA, which at one time settled its championship between the winners of the Eastern and Western Conferences. We kept adding playoff teams to the point where when the Trail Blazers won it all in 1977, we had to beat Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and finally Philadelphia in the Finals.

Baseball used to settle the World Series in a seven-game series between the winners of the National and American Leagues. This year, they even added a second wild card team to those eligible for the playoffs.

The National Football League used to determine its champion in a Super Bowl between the winners of the American and National Football Conferences. Today, it’s become a “happening” in which several teams qualify for the playoffs.

I can’t walk down the street without being asked by a fan, “Are the Blazers going to make the playoffs?” It’s better to make the playoffs than not make them, but I don’t want that to determine the success or failure of the forthcoming season. I think the success of the 2012-13 season will come in April when we ask ourselves, “Were the Blazers a better team in April than they were in November?” If the answer is yes, it’s been a successful season regardless of the number of wins or whether we make the playoffs.

On that subject, I want our staff, our fans and even the media to cast their sights a lot higher than just making the playoffs. I want to win it all, and at my age, sooner rather than later. To win the championship in the NBA, I believe you need to stay healthy with a 10-man rotation in which everyone contributes, whether he plays six minutes a game or 36. The Blazers are not there yet but they’re pointed in the right direction.

As Tiger Woods says, “Second place sucks.”

Let’s focus on winning it all and ordering some of those championship rings.


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