I don't specifically remember waking up or having breakfast on September 11th five years ago. I do know that those were the only two ordinary things I did on that extraordinary day. I remember going to work that morning, checking out the news, and not being able to believe my eyes. I immediately went back home to watch the coverage. (This also could have been seen as part of my job, so it wasn't that bad.) Of course there are only so many times you can see the same thing over and over before you start going numb, so I clicked off the TV mid-afternoon and just spent the rest of the day more or less in a daze. My evening habit was to go to sleep listening to the overnight show on Sporting News Radio. Bob Kemp was the host at the time and while he didn't have the Art Bell gravel-baritone that soothed me to sleep, he was always pretty interesting. I remember when he signed on that night he said, "Obviously this isn't a political show and I'm not qualified to make any sense of this, but talking about sports tonight would be equally stupid, so we're just going to let you call in and talk." And that's exactly what happened. People just called in and talked. And I don't know if it was skillful screening or what, but the people that got through weren't quacks. They were just ordinary sports talk callers expressing their sadness, bewilderment, condolences, and hopes for something better in the future. Because of its honesty that show meant more to me than all of the political analyses I've seen or heard since. Again we find that in times of greatest need, it's usually ordinary people that make the most difference. Somewhere in there was one of the seeds that eventually led to this blog.
It seems to me like this is a good day to remember that there are more important things in the world than Zach's public foolishness, the spitting contest between the Oregonian and the Blazers, and the angst over who owns the Rose Garden. It's a good time to be thankful that we have the luxury to care about things like assist-to-turnover ratios and playing time for rookies with such ridiculous passion when so many in the world don't and can't. Life is so much bigger than basketball. Therefore being able to love any team, even a 21-win team, is a gift. And it's a gift I'm grateful for.
If there's any lesson to be learned out of something like this, it's that any day you get is a good day. And this is a good day! Among many other things, it's wonderful to be a Blazer fan. Criticism, speculation, and hand-wringing can wait until tomorrow. Today we should just enjoy.