As you may know, the voting in our Best Blazers Story ended on Tuesday. It wasn't without controversy, as it turns out! For most of the process a touching story by Fargon about his son missing out on being a Blazers ball boy back in the day led the pack. Then the family and friends of BOSSMAO rallied around his story of fandom from back in 1972. The late rally caused suspicion among some readers as to whether the comments were getting spammed by someone who just really...wanted...to...win! In actuality this is part of the voting process, happening with nearly every contest. We like it, in fact. New people paying attention to the site is always welcome, even if it's because their friends need them to vote for a contest. We're pretty good at detecting and weeding out straight-up cheating. Having relationships with folks who like you and want to express their appreciation through helping you win a great contest isn't cheating.
Even though this happens in every contest, the ongoing lockout brought it to the fore. The squabble between owners and players has impacted the popularity of NBA sites across the board. There's no need to worry about Blazersedge! We're doing as well as anybody and we're having a great time here that David Stern and company can't take away. But being at low tide, so to speak, mean that a half dozen "family and friends" comments stood out far more than they would during our normal in-season rush.
With me so far? Well get this. As the contest wound down our friend BOSSMAO shot us an e-mail and said, "Hey Dave...that other guy's story was great. The jersey should go there. Give it to him." The votes were close enough that either of them could have won really. I can tell you from having run the Blazersedge Jersey Contest for years that some folks out there will do anything to get their hands on some free swag, including complaining and questioning and wheedling and needling. But here's a guy being totally unselfish and eliminating all doubt as to his intentions...a person giving it up for another person he doesn't even know.
So what are we to do here? In the face of such generosity and integrity the only proper step seems to be for the site itself to reflect those values. Thus Fargon and BOSSMAO are hereby declared the co-winners of the lockout-inspired Great Blazersesdge Blazer Story Contest of 2011. We're getting another full-fledged prize and everything, giving it up for them like they gave it up for us through their storytelling and subsequent kindness.
And hey...neither guy is even keeping their winnings. Fargon is passing it on to his son's son and BOSS is treating his wife to something nice.
It seems to me that this kind of thing typifies the best part of being a Trail Blazers fan. It's also very much what Blazersedge was founded on and is about. That's why I'm proud to be a part of--love being a part of--this community. It also strikes me that this is a great, albeit small, lesson in the midst of a sports environment currently defined by two sides trying their hardest not to give an inch to the other. I wish the NBA family had half of the camaraderie and spirit we have around here.
So congratulations to Fargon and BOSSMAO, and really to all of us who get to be a part of things like this. No matter what happens on the court or in the board room, the Blazer stories continue to get better.