This was an incredible experience. A game I will never forget having attended.Last week, I was at our family reunion over in Pacific City, and was sitting around with some in-laws, nephews, and brothers and father, yakking about the bracket, making predictions, and one thing led to another before I was looking into the prospects of finding tickets for the 6 of us to attend a game together. They were psyched about going to the game. I think I'd been to a Rose Garden game years ago, but really only recall seeing a PSU game there a couple of decades.
I almost didn't make it back, getting stuck back east and then re-routed by United from Manchester through DC to get to PDX, and then being de-boarded at 7 pm in Dulles... things looked bleak for the return, and I'd bought the tickets will call. I began looking at getting a 6 am flight to make it back by 1 pm to PDX, but then they loaded us back and and I made it in that night.
I know I've not even posted about the experience of the game. You guys have seen it being replayed. From my perspective, it was three generations of family having the experience of a lifetime as a fan. Great seats in section 121. Watching my Dad and brother get their face painted. My brother made a sign outside that said "Easter Massacre" which we got a kick of in the first quarter, and shared a lighthearted moment as I hoisted it above my nephew toward the end of the third. It was sad, it was frustrating.
I distracted myself by looking over at the field goal percentage of the blazers, as it dropped below 30, to 27, 26, 25, 24, 22 I wondered aloud to my brother if the Blazers could make it to the teens. I mentioned, as they'd only scored 7 points in the 3rd with a few minutes remaining, that we might be watching history of the lowest scoring quarter in an NBA playoff game (no chance).
Aldridge would connect off a pass from Brandon Roy and Roy himself would hit a three with 1 second left to give the announcers some faint grounds to beg viewers to stay, but Portland still trailed 18 going into the fourth, 67-49.
That's when it began I guess. But the thing is, I don't think the fans had even really thought much about losing. I'm sure a few people left in the middle of the 3rd, but the spectacle of watching how bad the blazers were playing made something like the thought of winning come second to wondering how much worse things could possibly get. When Roy made that 3-pointer that sat on the rim and them fell in, it made you think the worst was over.
When the 4th quarter began, and Roy ran right up the middle for a layup, you knew this was different.
Portland still trailed 11 with 4:45 left. Then Miller and Roy hit twin 13-footers to pull the Blazers within 7, but Jason Terry hit a three with 3:30 remaining to push it back to 10 and place a little Superglue on that huge stone at the tomb entry.
It was incredible. The moment I remember most clearly that it could happen is when, during a break of the game and the lead finally down to single-digits, the big screen flashed to a guy in the stands that had on a "Believe" trailblazers t-shirt. My thought was something along the lines of how cool would that be for the Blazers to pull this off?
The four pointer.
Sometimes, the last 30-40 seconds of an NBA playoff game that is close can take many minutes to complete. This one happened with none of that. I think part of that ending so quickly made the jubilation that much more spontaneous.
High-fiving total strangers, hugs everywhere, smiles and woots. Coming out of the Rose Garden, into the corridor, it was like a sports mardi gras of happiness just to win. The Sun was shining in Portland!
Reading my nephews facebook postings later made me laugh and smile. My brother-in-law jumped around so much that he was complaining of his knees at our Easter brunch. I re-lived the moment this morning over breakfast describing it to my mom. My brother said he'd went home and watched in on 3 different stations. My Dad ("don't waste your money on a ticket for me") had a hellava time. Reading through the blog here inspired me to share the feeling.
Ben nailed it with saying: "For 36 minutes we suffered through some hideous hucking. For the last 12: we were treated to history." As a fan, what a moment!