Act 1

Basketball

Is

The

Most

Beautiful

Sport.

You

Expect

Me

To

Write

After

That?

It was halfway through the fourth quarter of an exhibition game, a 30 point blowout, and I absolutely did not want it to end.  Time: move slower so this moment stretches.

Dunk Parade.

Forever.

I could have stayed all night. I cannot wait for tomorrow.

I could have slept in a chair in an empty Rose Garden.

I was warned not to overhype the first game. Nate told me to keep the result in perspective and that the team had a lot to work on.  The radio guys were quick to remind me that tonight's exhibition doesn't matter in the win and loss column.

Cool.  

Good luck with that.

You can't feign joy.  

You can feign happiness.

You can't feign joy.

I just spent the last 45 minutes walking around in a daze, listening to Nate in a daze, watching Brandon and Greg take this in stride in a daze, driving home in a daze, typing this in a daze.  

Red, black and white.  That was us out there.  That was Portland.

The fans.  Standing ovations. For at least half the team at various points throughout the night.  That was us out there.  That was Portland.

The press.  Unable to keep the mandatory composure, hands thrown in the air, heads shaking, stat sheets placed on top of the head (that was me), joking, laughing, giggling, awe-struck, seeking some perspective, eschewing that perspective, settling back, having fun, having a laugh, taking it in, absorbing the moment, this team is awesome.

It was past poetry, I'm not sure what is past poetry, but this was.  Choreographed.  Ruthless. Efficient. Emphatic.  

If you had a pulse, and you were there, you will remember tonight, no matter what happens the rest of this season.     

Go ahead, come through, be cynical, mock, downplay, whatever.  

Good luck with that.  

You can have that.  

I will take this. I will treasure this.

This was a crowning achievement, not because of what it was, but because of what this can become.  

See you tomorow.

-- Ben (benjamin.golliver@gmail.com)

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