Best and Worst Things About Blazer Fans

Every once in a while we do a feature called "Best and Worst" where we look at the extremes of a situation or issue.  Today I wanted to start a discussion about the best and worst things about Blazer fans.  Note that this is distinct from the best and worst things about BEING a Blazer fan.  That's a good topic too, but it's not this one.  This topic is asking us to analyze ourselves a little, pick out some distinct characteristics of Blazer fandom, and decide which one is the most felicitous and which the most annoying/dastardly/counterproductive.

My best thing about Blazer fans is simply that small-town stick-to-it passion.  The closest analogy I can make to another team and community would be the Green Bay Packers and their fans.  There's a bond between the Blazers and Portland that's consuming, enduring, and important.  Rain or shine, in injury and health, bowing out early, late, or not at all the Blazers will always hold a special place in their fans' hearts.  More urbane fan bases point to the "only team in town" phenomenon and hold this passion as a folksy weakness of sorts.  Having been in some of those multi-sport towns I'll tell you that I wouldn't trade this type of fandom for the world.

I wanted to use over-complaining about the refs as my worst thing about Blazer fans but that shortcoming has become near-universal throughout the league and is neither particular nor distinct.  When Phil Jackson and L*ker fans start whining about not getting a fair shake you know it's played out.  I was tempted to use small-town conspiracy-theory-itis.  Maybe someone else will cite that.  In the end I'm settling on the shadow side of that passion that makes Portland fandom so great.  Blazer fans tend to become over-attached to, and in some ways over-identified with, particular incarnations of the team.  It becomes a "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" deal.  Criticism, even when justified, is often decried as unfaithful.  Players who are merely human, and paid professional humans at that, are elevated to something more and thus bound to pedestals that they haven't earned and don't particularly desire.  It's not the worst kind of ill, but it does get aggravating from time to time.

So tell us, Blazer fans, what do you identify as the best and worst things about being a supporter of this club?  Try to be more analytical than cynical if you can manage and certainly refrain from trolling it up.  Just give us some perspective on the joys and trials of doing what we do and loving like we love.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)

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