The Portland Trail Blazers have a day off for the American Thanksgiving holiday. Most of the staff at Blazer’s Edge will be taking the day off too, but we know that wolfing down turkey and lining Jeff Bezos’ pockets by compulsively clicking Early Black Friday deals can only go so far. Throughout the day, we’ll invite you to nominate Trail Blazers players for our way-too-early Quarter Season awards...too early not because of game count—the season is already almost a quarter complete, believe it or not—but because we’re still getting used to these players and their shifting roles. That makes the award nominations even MORE fun, though, so we’re going to have at it!
Before we get there, though, we’re going to take some time to share what we’re most thankful for as Blazers fans, in honor of the holiday. It’s a personal, subjective topic, and you can take it any way you wish. Just share with your fellow readers what stirs gratitude in you over all this.
For me, it’s pretty simple. I’ve always admired how watching, and talking about, the Blazers has brought people together. Once upon a time that was true of my family. Over the years it became true of friends and colleagues as well. And now, through Blazer’s Edge, it’s true for so many more people than I ever could have dreamed of.
We live in a fractured world, where people come to the table with preset values, judging the conversation (and its participants) by outlook more than content or result. That makes it hard to even talk to each other sometimes. Many of the ways in which we used to participate communally—politics, churches, even charities—have been co-opted, manipulated by leaders and overwhelmed by cultural forces. Conversion towards an end has replaced gathering around a center. Drowning out voices is more common than making space for them. And that’s leaving out the reality that, in our new world, gathering physically seems fraught with peril. I don’t ask what my kids are learning in school every day as much as I hope they make it home safe, free from virus or harm. Somehow, in this mess, proximity has become a silent enemy, something to fear rather than celebrate.
Still, in the midst of it all, we are here. It’s only virtual and it’s only sports, but we make space to speak to, and hear, each other. Nobody is 100% right, but that’s not the point. The chance to come together around something we’re all passionate about, feeling it bond us even when opinions divide us, is increasingly priceless.
I’m grateful for that opportunity with all of you. I hope all of you find a reason or two to give thanks today. If some of those surround the Trail Blazers, share them with us in the comments!
Happy Holiday to all. Peace and joy be yours.