The misery and suffering otherwise known as the Trail Blazers season mercifully came to an end Wednesday night. Finally, frustrated Blazers fans can stop calling Dr. Kevorkian and Clint Eastwood and start reminiscing about the good old days when Sheed and Bonzi ran the asylum and Darius Miles and Nick Van Exel could be dismissed as Other People’s Problems.
Instead of getting too sentimental, I recommend Blazer fans take a more proactive approach, Blazers-style.
Call the Trail Blazers and tell them you’re done.
Tell them that you, as a loyal Blazers fan, are sitting out next season because your neck hurts. Or maybe, that your tooth is sore. Or, you can go with the family emergency or the good old surgery-needin’ knee.
Clearly, fans’ rational pleas for change have gone unheeded, so why not try and speak the language of the beast?
Do your best Nick Van Exel and tell them that your knees hurt too much to keep making the arduous trek from MAX to the Rose Garden. Bust a Darius Miles impression and tell them that your neck is just too sore to follow the fast-paced action on the floor (don’t smirk when you say “fast paced.”)
Instead of worrying about what a good Blazer impersonation will buy you, let’s look at what it has bought them.
Since complaining about his knees, Van Exel has been paid around $3 million dollars, a quarter of his $12 million salary, and hasn’t suited up once.
The same pay-not-to-play logic has fattened the wallets of Miles, Derek Anderson and Ruben Patterson. So why can’t it work for fans?
If you’re a season ticket holder you, like the players, are likely under contract with the Blazers. If you’re just a fan, there’s always the touted “25-point pledge to fans” you can cite as an agreement.
Either way, you, as Blazers fans, already pay some of the highest prices in the country for tickets and deserve a helluva lot more than you’ve gotten this year. Don’t expect the Blazers to throw money at you like they do their faux injured stars. Instead, tell them that they can repay you by putting an end to this madness.
Zack Randolph’s quest for surgery typifies the backwards thinking that the organization needs to address before it is crushed by it.
Randolph was so desperate to get out of playing he kept getting doctors’ opinions on his knee until he finally found a doctor who told him he needed surgery and couldn’t play anymore.
Whereas getting multiple opinions is often the desperate last grasp of people looking to avoid becoming patients, Zach was just looking for a scalpel-happy surgeon to let him check in, gown up, go under the knife and collect his millions from home.
As illogical as that is, it’s even crazier that the Blazers acceded to his demands.
That’s how things work in Bizarro-Blazer world. With the Blazers, every day is opposites day, and logic and reason are worth about as much as Darius Miles’ credit card is at local gas stations.
So call the Blazers and give them some of their own medicine. Let them taste how sour their logic is going down and make them do something about it by being as resolute about your “injury” as the real players have been. Stay away until things change.
Who knows, they might start paying you millions of dollars to do nothing too.