9.14.2007

Great, I want my money back...

As I've gradually (reluctantly) become a Blazers fan, I can admit to getting caught up in the hype of a new era of basketball in Portland. Last year's draft produced a trio of players (Roy, Aldridge, and Rodriguez) that brought a hope and excitement to Portland that hasn't been seen since the days that Clyde glided and before the team earned the moniker, Jail Blazers. Of that trio, one earned Rookie of the Year honors (Roy), and another (Aldridge) made enough of an impression that management felt comfortable he could fill the shoes vacated by the since-traded Zach Randolph. Rodriguez showed enough potential and glimpses of pure brilliance, that he earned the nickname, Spanish Gypsy Magician. Oh wait, that's just what Old and I call him...but he is good and, indeed, a magician with the rock.

To bring the hype to an all new level, the Blazers won this year's draft lottery, netting them Greg Oden, a once-every-decade type center. In other words, they added yet another promising player to build the team around. Little did they, and the rest of Portland, know, but Greg Oden is 42 years old and has arthritic knees. So, to the disappointed amazement of Blazer fans, it has just been revealed that Greg will need season ending surgery to fix his geriatric patella. The procedure, micro-fracture surgery, involves drilling tiny holes in the knee to spur the growth of scar tissue. The build up of scar tissue would then take the place of Greg's missing cartilage in the knee. It is a surgery in which rehabilitation can take up to a year, with a return to full health not being guaranteed.
In the meantime, Blazer mania took a nice, square punch to the face and season ticket holders (many of which bought them due to Greg being drafted to the home team) are left with tickets they want refunded. While I fully intend to follow the team and their development, I'm sadly one of the fans who will be out some money, as I bought a 20-game Flex Pass with the anticipation of seeing 42 year old Greg dominate the wee lads that dared step in his way.

Hindsight is always 20-20, so I can't fault management for taking Oden over Durant in this year's draft. However, it was a bold move, as they set quite a precedent by drafting a player in his 40s. In their defense, it is not uncommon in today's sports world for athletes to excel in their 40s (Barry Bonds, George Foreman, Roger Clemens). The difference, though, is that those players are seasoned vets and have managed to keep themselves healthy throughout their careers. Some may even say those rare players have some sort of youth gene, delaying the aging process. Oden, on the other hand, has rapid aging syndrome and there is a legitimate fear that he will endure more injuries as his career develops. I hope I am wrong. I do want to see what this guy is capable of before it's too late. In fact, I can't wait till he returns to full health and moves Blazer basketball forward with Roy, Aldridge, and the rest of the young nucleus. Until next year, I suppose....

2 comments:

Oldie said...

I'm telling you...remove all the players from the team roster, give Sergio Rodriguez a cocaine/ginseng IV and turn him loose on the other team. They won't know how to react and he'll kill them all with his sorcery. Who needs Oden when you have a visiting mystical creature from the 7th dimension?

Sluggy said...

I can't even finish reading this garbage...you fair-weather fan of the Nuggets...I'm tellin' them that you converted after nearly 15 years of loyalty. Sad, sad, indeed!