Open Letter to Ms. Allen

Dear Ms. Allen

I am writing this letter to make a plea for you to please use your immense power, wealth and stature to help our city during these trying times. Before detailing my request, I would like to start with a personal story to put this into context.

On September 7th, 2001, I had just finished my training as an ICU physician and was on staff at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. I had just been diagnosed with a rare bone cancer in my face and had a relatively untried, 11-hour surgery to remove it. Four days later, I and the rest of the country watched the world trade center fall, fundamentally disrupting life and our feeling of security and safety. Over the next few weeks, my own personal life was a blur, my face had been half chopped off, I could only see out of one eye and I could barely play with my 18-month old son. Meanwhile, everyone around me was in equal state of shock and disbelief, having lost loved ones forever and unable to even move around their beloved city as it became locked down like a military base. Every time a plane flew overhead, the collective hearts of everyone around you would drop, wondering if it were going to crash right on top of you. But alas, at the same time, the Yankees, my favorite team which my wife and I would skip work to go watch, were making a run. Coming from out of the doldrums, they not only made the playoffs, but go on a miraculous run, with Derek Jeter’s flip against Oakland, beating the team with the best regular season record in history (Seattle) and then, having a tremendous 7-game series against Arizona, highlighted by 2 late game walk-off home runs, where I swear you could feel the vibrations from the stadium 10 miles away. All awhile, everyone, even Mets fans, were pulling for the Yankees. It brought the city together and gave everyone, a brief moment, every day, of something to focus on beyond the horror of their daily lives.

So how does this relate to you? More than even the Yankees in New York, the Blazers are truly embedded in the culture and fabric of this city. I have watched, over the last 2 years, innumerous people die from this pandemic in our ICUs, and seen even more lives permanently changed for ever. People constantly living in a surreal world where the things they used to take for granted every day, are gone. Having to think about whether it is safe to visit family, do I send my kid to school, or do I have the strength to go to the hospital today and work in our COVID unit for the umpteenth time in the last 2 years. The Blazers are an escape from this. Something to talk and focus on beyond the horrors and disruption of life in the last couple of years. However, it seems as if the team has no direction, focus or passion. All I ask, is to consider, please, just to come out and speak to the people for Portland and tell us what you, as the owner and steward of this proud franchise, wants for this team and this city. I understand you may be uncomfortable being in public, you may not want to do this, but given how many of us have been put in similarly unfathomable situations in the last 2 years, I hope you would be willing to go outside your comfort zone to make this sacrifice for the great people of this city, who love their Blazers, and just wanna know that you love them too.

Thank you for you consideration.

Dr. J (aka Blazergold)