We could write 100,000 words to preview the upcoming 2013-14 NBA season and they wouldn't get the juices flowing quite like this story from Kevin Heimbigner of the Chinook Observer, who caught up with Norma Rice, a Portland Trail Blazers fan who has a collection of more than 3,500 hand-scored games that goes all the way back to 1974.
Rice and her husband retired to Ocean Park, Washington -- which is about 30 miles north of Astoria -- in 1990.
Rice's collection contains 3,280 regular-season games and another 300 postseason Blazers games, as well as computer and hand-made records of all of the defunct National Basketball League and American Basketball Association teams, and complete records of the Basketball Association of America (an organization that predates the existence of the ABA). There are so many hand-scored sheets that stacked up, they tower over 10-feet high.
"A few months ago I started to throw away or shred some of my stuff, but I began to cry. I called my daughter (Ruth Coffman) and she told me to just keep everything and she would take care of it later," Rice explained. "I felt better after that. Some of the stuff I have you can't even find on the internet."
Rice is devoted to current games as well as historical ones - She listens to every single radio broadcast of the games on the internet, and faithfully watches Portland games in her kitchen, where she spends most of her time.
"When my husband saw me go into the living room with tears in my eyes, he knew the Trail Blazers had lost," Rice said, smiling.
"I guess my number one goal is the same as our pool team's name - Stayin' Alive! ... I'm really looking forward to the upcoming Trail Blazers' season. I know my mind needs statistics to keep going. And then of course I love the Blazers," Rice concluded.
There's your Blazers fan of the year.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter