Since this is a rare day without a preview or recap I'm tidying up a few loose ends that have been on my mind. One of them is to say that if you haven't checked out Mike Barrett's Blog lately, you should give it a read. He's gotten pretty good.
I must admit that when Mike first started blogging I had a hard time reading him. He wasn't bad, per se. It was more like he was...uncomfortable? I don't know him at all, so I have no idea if the impression is accurate in the least, but there was almost a "Why am I doing this again?" vibe, as if somebody at the Blazers had to do a blog and he was it. I got the feeling he wasn't really into the whole comment/response interaction thing either. It was just awkward. Then the blog went into a "team spokesman" phase, where it felt like his job was to relay the party line, what we were supposed to believe in. At best the entries read like a beat-writer's report (which could be, and often was, duplicated elsewhere) and at worst they waved the banner so vigorously they became hard to swallow. I suspect this is what many people still associate his blog with.
But if you haven't looked lately, something has happened (or at least begun to happen) over there. It seems like in his last few entries Mike's been sharing what he sees (as opposed to what we're supposed to believe) and it feels genuine, enthusiastic, like his heart is in it. There's even some back-and-forth and humor in the comment section. And you know what? It works. I don't know if the comfort/experience level is deeper, he's found he actually likes doing this blog thing, or if the magic "legit blogging" fairy paid a visit to One Center Court, but whatever it is, Mike seems to have found his online voice. And it's a pretty good one.
I'm actually pretty excited about that too. I know there are still some things you'll never read or see discussed in the Official Blazers.com blog, but there's one advantage Mr. Barrett does have in spades: he has one of the best seats in the house for nearly every game and practice. That makes seeing things through his eyes a valuable experience. I never cared much for hearing from the "team spokesman", but info from (mostly) just plain Mike Barrett is very much appreciated. Yes, the assertions will remain in the realm of semi-enthusiastic optimism, but that's not a crime. In fact that's also where we try to remain here most of the time.
Anyway, check it out if you haven't been. It's worth the read.