I have a confession to make. I haven't read a John Canzano column in months. But his name was under O-Live's Blazer section today so I said to myself, "Why not? Let's see what John is up to."
What I found was this column. Basically it says Paul Allen should be grateful that the fans are coming back on hope alone when...
A. The team hasn't won.
B. Half the team is injured.
C. The team was mismanaged for years.
It also says Mr. Allen should take the mic tonight at the Rose Garden and talk to the fans, assuring them that he's not moving the team to Seattle, which may still be in the back of his mind.
Now I don't object to John Canzano as much as many folks seem to. He makes good points sometimes. But these weren't any of them. All they did was remind me why I don't read John Canzano columns very often.
First of all tonight marks the first Blazer basketball anyone outside of Las Vegas will have seen all summer. It's a happy occasion. Why try to dim it with less-than-happy thought that don't have anything to do with this specific event? The assertions are all general, have been here all summer, and will continue to be here all season. Pick another day. If you're going to write a first day of pre-season column actually talk about the first day of pre-season.
Second there wasn't even anything fresh in this piece. Dwight Jaynes wrote the exact same column about Seattle five months ago. And show me a Blazer fan (even ONE) who hasn't considered in the last few weeks the possibility that our stars could be perpetually injured and this could all fall apart. You simply can't find one. I'm not walking around with blinders on saying, "How DARE you print that! It could NEVER happen!" Rather I'm saying that, whether it's true or not, this feels like somebody completely out of Blazer column ideas for this week going with the old, "Let's play on their worst fears" angle. Believe me, if Paul Allen ever did think about moving the team nobody would be more crushed and disappointed than me and the people on this site. In fact I guarantee this would be the go-to place to talk about it and express just how angry and hurt we all were. But I learned a long time ago not to get angry over things before they've happened because most of them don't. All you do is make yourself sick with worry. I'd rather enjoy the games.
Third, fans aren't coming back on hope alone. The same reason people were upset when the team was winning but guys were being total jerks in their community and media relations is the same reason people are coming back now even though the team hasn't won and still might not for a while: for most of us it's not just about wins and losses. We're not coming back on hope for something that's not there. We're coming back because we've been shown what IS there: a bunch of guys who seem to love playing, who try hard, who get along with each other and the community, and who respect what wearing that uniform means. That's what people are coming to see tonight and the rest of this year.
Finally, and most importantly, the part of the column I had the biggest problem with was John telling Paul what he needed to do. There was a time when that was needed and relevant. When this team was in the crap-hole and management was running it into the ground PR-wise somebody needed to beg the owner to step in. But what's happened since? We have a new GM and a new staff. The arena has been reunited with the team and upgraded. We've spent a lot of money on extra, speculative draft picks and gotten some potential stars besides. It's going good. Fans are happy. Leave the poor guy alone. He's done what he needs to.
As a matter of fact, I'm saying just the opposite of Mr. Canzano. Paul Allen hasn't said boo to anyone in the two decades he's owned the team. If he gets up tonight and makes a big speech about how the team isn't moving to Seattle I'm going to be officially convinced that it is. So don't you dare pick up that microphone Mr. Allen. Just sit in your seat and graciously accept a nice little round of applause when the camera flashes onto you.
Oh, and don't let Pritchard sit next to you during the third quarter. I hear he bribed the Kiss Cam guys.