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As you may have seen, Eric Marentette has posted in his O-Live blog that he is moving on to pursue other opportunities.  Although the news isn't a surprise, it won't leave any less of a hole in the Blazer blogosphere.

I "met" Eric via e-mail a couple of years ago.  I think I wrote in to comment and/or complain about something at the O-Live site and he responded back, which I found refreshing and unusual for media-types.  For the last decade or so I'd belonged to a group of fans who talk about the Blazers through e-mail.  It sprang from the old-school AOL message boards and continued from there.  I asked Eric if he wanted to join in, as we'd had a media person or two in the past.  He said sure and became a regular part of the group.  Every now and again he'd lift one of our posts for the blog, and the thing that amazed me was he'd always credit it to "my friend Dave" even though we'd never met in person or known each other outside that context. (Kinda made you feel special.)  Last year the group met in real life for the first time ever and went to a game.  I had a chance to meet Eric and darned if his unintended prediction didn't come true.  We know each other reasonably well now and I consider him a good friend.  He is as great of a guy in real life as he comes across in his blog.  And that's saying something.

The thing that has always amazed me about Eric's work (and maybe you've noticed this too) is that in a medium that's all about people's opinions, he has been consistently gracious in highlighting those of others over his own.  His professional philosophy has been "this is not about me, this is about the people who talk about the Blazers" and he's stuck to that and his blog reflects it.  It never mattered if you were a national expert or just a forum fan from Hillsboro, if you had something interesting to say he'd post it.  There was a message there...seeing Dans and Daves sitting next to Rick Buchers and Steve Pattersons on that page, and I suspect that message did a lot to uplift Blazer fans during difficult years for the team.

I, personally, never considered blogging until Eric asked me to fill in for him while he was off helping with Hurricane Katrina.  He said, "Here's my password, do it however you want, man.  It'll be good."  Chances are that you found this blog (or BlazerThoughts before it) through a link and a quote on Eric's site.  What I'm trying to say that if not for his blog, and him doing things the selfless way he does, my blog(s) would not have existed.  Or if they had existed, they certainly wouldn't have been read near as much.

So thanks, Eric, and good luck.  I know we'll be in touch and that Casey will do the O-Live blog credit, but you will be missed, my friend.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)<