Today, as I'm on vacation, we have a special guest post from none other than the indubitably indisputable Mortimer. Enjoy!
I'm known as "the big NBA fan guy" in my "real-life" social and professional circles. I'm also likely known as the annoying guy you want to avoid talking NBA with for he will bore you with meaningless details, and without a doubt I blame Blazersedge.
I believe hanging out here at Blazersedge has taught me too much and now I struggle to have "normal" NBA conversations with the casual, everyday fan I encounter on a daily basis. It's not that I'm some sort of genius; we're all mostly on equal footing here (except for Timbo). Through simply debating and researching and discovering the ins and outs of the game with everyone here, actually checking the actual stats to back up arguments in debates, going over and under and through every sort of NBA topic there is... I love Blazersedge for it, but I know it's made me incredibly annoying to everyone I know who just wants to say "Monta Ellis is rad" without me chiming in that his PER is barely above league average (and as we all know, if someone's PER is below or just above league average, they are human garbage).
I've learned to wait for a player to actually show you they can do something before you assume it's a given. I've learned that there are some skills that can't meaningfully be improved on-- they is what they is (such as, LMA and rebounding. People do not magically become good rebounders, even if Buck Williams is in the same room as them). I learned about the importance of wingspan and standing reach-- having poor measurements isn't a death knell, but it sure makes it harder to be great. I've learned that things can go wrong. I've learned that Oden has grown a lot since then. I've learned the key to more minutes is to whine to the press. I've learned a greater appreciation for what the best players give a team, and I've learned to hate the Damon Stoudamires of the NBA with the fiery passion of a thousand Spaniards.
I've learned that even when you provide information that is as close to a fact as one can get in this galaxy, you don't stand a chance in hell to change some people's opinion. I've learned what and where the 5th metatarsal bone is. I've learned that meniscuseseses are basically the knee's appendix and might as well be taken out. I've learned that BBIQ is like pornography; we can't define it but we know it when we see it. I've learned that people attach their ego and sense of self to players, and it is adorable. I've learned that a trade package of Jeff Pendergraph, Andre Miller, and the draft rights to Victor Claver can get you any player in the NBA (throw in the rights to Nedzad Sinanovic if they're playing hardball). I've learned that even if you have a mental impairment that causes you to like Patty Mills, I can look past it and still love you. I've learned that some people say "'Zers" non-ironically. I've learned what it takes to be a real.baller, and to be careful with player analysis or your scout cred could be revoked!
I've learned that being part of a huge community has enriched my viewing experience and taught me more about NBA basketball than I ever thought I had to learn. When I started here, I was a normal dumb happy-go-lucky fan. Now, I'm slightly less dumb, but that added edge has completely ruined me for talking basketball with people who haven't undergone this nerdy transformation.
So, depending on the real-life person or situation, I've learned to just hold my tongue and go "Haha, yeah". It just ain't worth it to say more-- and the person doesn't likely care that Jordan's assist percentage was higher back before "he learned to pass", as common fan wisdom suggests.
Despite my annoyingosity to my real life friends and enemies, and despite my obvious feelings of superiority over naive fans who think Jeff Green is the next Scottie Pippen, I wouldn't dream of going back to how I was before. I love how much I've learned from everyone here, even if it makes being a fan a little more complicated. I've learned that the more I know, even if it ultimately means I have a negative take on "my" team, I feel more attached to my team and the game.
I still count myself as a Homer, and a proud one-- but I believe Blazersedge has made me a realist to go along with being an eternal optimist.
And no matter how we may disagree on matters big and small, we are all Portland Trail Blazer fans.
What have you learned from Blazersedge? Has it made you more cynical, or less so? Do you regret now knowing what you know and wish to un-know it?
P.S. --I'll do my best to hang out in the thread and bludgeon you with long, winding comments to pleasantly tell you why you are wrong, and write so many words that I will be impossible to pin down to a precise concrete opinion.