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All Of The Sudden?

Sometimes the wheels come off your life all at once and it seems like something awful came out of nowhere to ruin things for you.

While it can happen, life very rarely happens that way. Most often we ignore warning signs, hoping that problems will “just go away”.

Over time we lose a slow war of attrition with age and relationship. While we are tempted to focus on the easier, more superficial concerns of our life the larger, more pressing and dangerous issues are building towards a tipping point.

Many people wait until they are incapacitated before they see a doctor. While they have sneaking suspicions that something isn’t right, they don’t act on their concerns for fear that something really awful may be wrong with them. By the time they get to the place where they are willing to act, it’s usually way too late in the game…

You knew I was talking about the Lakers all along right?

Last week I posted about what Blazer fans could do to step up their game. It was mostly about objectivity. The objective reader tolerated it, those who lacked objectivity it hated it.

Having objectivity is hard to achieve when you are a fan of a certain team. This is because you don’t learn objectivity while your team is good, you learn it during the lean years.

Step Up Your Game.

Tonight’s the night Blazer Fans.  Tonight we find out if Brandon and LaMarcus can play at a high level at the same time.  As a Laker Fan I’m pulling for it. I’m also pulling for Gerald Wallace to paint his face blue and go “William Wallace” on Jason Terry.

Contrary to popular opinion, it’s easy to be a Laker Fan in Portland, Oregon. This is mostly because Blazer/Laker rivalry only runs one direction; the success of the Blazers doesn’t make Laker fans angry.

I actually enjoy watching the Blazers win. It makes me feel good to see the little guy break someone’s nose on occasion. Portland has a team that’s incredibly unique; they are successful without being insufferable.

This has a lot to do with the team’s accurate self perception; they don’t act any better than they are and they don’t let anybody push them around.  I think they deserve fans to match. Follow me on this:

When you find a team that no one hates it’s usually because they are so terrible you pity them… unless that team is the Clippers, and in that case even your home city despises you.  The Blazers aren’t hated, yet they win consistently.

If the Blazers keep winning, the love won’t last unless Blazer Fans take a few steps to broaden their horizons. Eventually this team is going to win the big dance again, and when it does, the fans have to be prepared to step into the national spotlight in a way that doesn’t embarrass them.

Here are some things that Blazer Fans are going to have to do to fit in among the ranks of the basketball fan elite.

Do throw heavier objects in the direction of Mark Cuban…
When a guy’s skull is made of thick granite you need to throw granite not wadded up paper . Always bring a gun to a gunfight.

Stop lying about “being there” the night the Blazers won it all…
I have rarely met anyone in Portland older than 40 that hasn’t claimed to have rushed the court in ’78, yet paid attendance was about 15 people and NBA popularity was at an all time low.  You can still have been a fan and listened to it on the radio fellas.


What’s In A Name?

Having a good name is terribly important in several ways, the first of which is what I call “inspirational quotient.” No matter how handsome, intelligent, or athletic a man is, it’s going to be difficult for him to overcome a name like Fester. The proof of this is that we give impossibly awesome names to our perceived heroic archetypes.

It isn’t enough for a man to be powerful, principled, and noble, he also needs to have a last name for a first name, and a last name that’s a place where you can meet girls. If you don’t believe me, consider how cool the name Jackson Breckenridge is.

Jackson Breckenridge is the kind of man who doesn’t have to choose between making love OR war, he fixes cars but has clean hands, and eats his steaks while YOU get the high cholesterol.

If Jackson Breckenridge offends your less than chauvinistic sensibilities you can go the more sensitive route when naming your demigod by giving him a first name that’s an old timey occupation and a vaguely ethnic last name… like Cooper Johansen.

Cooper Johansen plays banjo and upright bass, reads J.D. Salinger in French, and has a tattoo of Mr. Peanut just below his armpit. He watches Charlie Rose, writes children’s books, and even his black-framed glasses cry as he listens to the rainstorm.

Of course giving someone a name like Cooper or Jackson means that you’ve also set some pretty high expectations for them in the minds of their potential fan bases, because a kid with a name like Austin Majors either grows up to be an astronaut or quarterback.

Conversely, no one expects much of a Fester… other than slowly simmering in a pool of seething frustration and bitterness towards some remarkably clueless parents. When your name is Fester the pressure is off you and onto society, you get to say your name to someone’s face while simultaneously daring THEM to break eye contact.

This is why I think it’s time for Tiger Woods to quit pretending that his first name isn’t really Eldrick.


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