I was sitting in my office thinking about last season the other day. I had a specific game stuck in my head. It was December 21st, 2007. We were playing the Denver Nuggets at home. The Blazers were going for their tenth win in a row and the Rosegarden was explosive. It was sold out and had the atmosphere of the playoffs. It was a great game that was fought down to the last second but what made me remember the game was what happend after we had won. the streets were in potential riot. People were running around screaming "the Blazers are back", and "RIP CITY" until their throats collapsed. I know because I was one of them. Coming out you could see the huge RISE WITH US banner blowing back and fourth in the cold air by the river. I remember because it made me feel alive. It made me feel proud to be a Blazers fan. I remember this date because this was the day that the Blazers were reborn in the hearts of the fans.
There is a reason we are known as the best fans. We aren't called Blazermaniacs for nothing. What big cities don't understand is that this team is "OUR'S". It's on Burnside and 27th ave, the Ross Island bridge and Lloyd Center. This team is our everything. We don't have a football team, or a baseball team, or a hockey team. No, all we have are our Blazers, and quite frankley thats all we need. When we do good the city is alive, when we do bad it's like the weather, rainy and misserable. We garnered the nickname for our city; RIP CITY from our basketball team! What cities have that!
We demand success from our team like a Parent demands good grades from their kid. We expect to win and win often. Our legacy of greatness is prove with the record for the longest playoff streak in NBA history (21 seasons, 82-03 and 3 trips to the finals with 1 championship). We don't have a losing mentality and we expect our team to feel the same.
We don't get media hype. ESPN would rather talk about the Boston Celtics doing bad then the Portland Trailblazers doing good. The most coverage we got was when we had to fight through the Jailblazers. But as the no-nonsense fans we are, we told the staff where they could stick it if they didn't make our team respectable.
Many people during that time would say, well you didn't fill out the house for them! well your right, but not for the reasons you think. It wasn't because they stunk, but because we refused to support their actions off the court. (remember the parent line).
We shook up the managment and told them to get the bad guys out.They brought us what we wanted, what we needed. Kevin Pritchard brought us a group of guys that would listen like Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Greg Oden. They got us an outstanding coach in Nate McMillan.
We are the best, most dedicated fans. I mean come on, we sold out our first preseason game! even the Sacramento Kings announcers said it was like a playoff atmosphere! Thats Blazermania, and thats being a Blazermaniac. So here is to you, my fellow Blazermaniacs! Lets be proud of our team and show the rest of the league why were the best fans. But most importantly lets RISE WITH OUR TEAM.