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Red Hot and Rollin' Discussion Day One

Welcome to Day One of our Blazersedge Summer Book Club!  The book in question is Red Hot and Rollin', edited by Northwest writer Matt Love.  If you don't yet have the book you should get it but don't worry, even if you haven't read it there will be room for you in the discussions.

The book is a selection of short essays by people who experienced the 1976-77 championship season.  We're going to look at it piece by piece.  The first four essays will be under consideration today.

Essay #1, entitled The Blazer Picture, is a recounting by Gina Ochsner of how she and her brother both desired a rare print of a Bruce Lettig watercolor entitled "Red Hot' Rolling".  The print had been in their family since the 70's and a visit to a lawyer's office to finalize wills brought up memories of a time when every Blazer newspaper article was clipped and the "standard-issue phone greeting" was "Go Blazers!"

Essay #2, An Exquisite Geometry by Brian Doyle, celebrates the flowing, seemingly carefree style, that was Blazer basketball in those years.

Essay #3 is an excerpt from Jack Ramsay's 1978 book The Coach's Art.  A sample quote:

What is this game that runs through my mind?  It is a ballet, a graceful sweep and flow of patterned movement, counterpointed by daring and imaginative flights of solitary brilliance.  It is a dance which begins with opposition contesting every move.  But in the exhilaration of a great performance, the opposition vanishes.

Essay #4, What Happened in Game Six by one-time Oregonian Blazer Beat Writer Jeff Baker, is a blow-by-blow account of the deciding game of the championship series.  Baker pays special attention to the media coverage of the event, particularly on the part of CBS (including the infamous cut-away to golf immediately after the game, denying Blazer fans the opportunity to see their team celebrate).

The general question for those who have read the book is open:  What struck you in these essays?  What points seem most interesting or informative (or even just touching)?

For those who haven't yet read (or those who have and simply want to join in) here are some relevant questions.  You may answer any or all.

--How has Blazermania and your being a Blazer fan affected your family?  Is it contagious?  Are you just considered weird?  Do you have any good family moments/memories surrounding the Blazers to share?

--How important is the style of game to fan enjoyment?  Is it OK with you if the Blazers play ugly but win or do you need a more aesthetically pleasing style of ball to really be happy?

--Talk a little bit about the Blazers' relationship with the national media.  Portland fans have historically felt slighted.  Is that legitimate or is it simply to be expected because of the size of the market?

Happy conversing!

--Dave (