Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dear Paul Allen,

I'm writing to ask you for a contract - a contract to NOT watch the Blazers.

I'm going to watch the Blazers game tonight to prove to you that I am bad luck with a capital B.

I can guarantee you that the Blazers will lose their first home game of the season tonight, solely because I am watching. 

Game just started and Dwight Howard picked up a quick foul on Greg Oden. A bad omen.

1-0 Magic.

Uh-oh, now it's suddenly 8-1, Magic.

We're not getting the calls.

Oden dunks, then we go down and allow an easy lay-up. 10- 3 Magic.

This is not looking good. 

I promise, Mr. Allen, we will lose this game. I say 'we' because I am a lifetime Trail Blazer fan. I go all the way back to year one, so I'm very used to losing. It is rare that I witness a victory. Sure, there are times when I witness a victory over a sub-500 team with nothing to play for. And, I will admit that I even witnessed a victory this year when the Blazers eeked out a one point win over lowly Sacramento. But I can tell you I wasn't too emotionally invested in the game, which has a lot to do with it. I was more focused on my 10-year-old son who was attending his first NBA game. 

(Turkoglu just dunked. We're down 20-13.)

Unlike me, my son has never shared my passion for sports. I collected baseball cards as a kid. He collects Poekemon. I was hoping that taking to him a game might inject a little Blazermania into his blood. It worked. I'm happy to report that Brandon Roy is his new hero. Our seats might have had something to do with it. We were one row behind the Blazer's bench. If Oden had turned around, we coulda shook hands.

Rudy just dunked. The Spanish connection strikes again. Unfortunately, the Magic ran right down and hit a long two at the buzzer. I bet it wouldn't have gone in if I weren't watching. 

29-25 Magic after one quarter.

The Blazers are getting out-hustled right now. Sure, they're probably tired from their long and successful road trip. Oh, I should mention that the only game I watched on the road trip was the Boston one. Ouch.

I don't know why it is, but I know that it is. I'm just flat out bad luck. 

Blazers are 1 for 7 in threes so far. 

Mr. Allen, you are a very rich man, but I have something money can't buy. I have an innate ability to will a ball out of a basket. Hard as I try not to do it, I can watch Rudy Fernandez shoot a three in perfect rhythm and say to myself, "That's not going in," and sure enough, clang. 

Seriously, I can control things. 

It's not just the Blazers, either. I can do it to my Oregon Ducks, my New York Mets and my Green Bay Packers, too. Keep me away from viewing the game and they win. If I watch, they lose. I can go back through the years and present evidence upon evidence.

Halftime: Magic 49, Blazers 48

One might say I'm taking a risk in writing all of this down tonight. If the Blazers win, it will all have been a waste of time. In fact, I will tell myself once and for all that it's not me. But again, they won't win. They just won't. 

Blazers come out in the second half and look a bit sharper. They take the lead.

Ok, scratch that. The Magic just went on a run and now lead by 8. 

I really do want us to win. I don't want this power anymore. But I just can't help it. I think I want it too much. 

You know, I used to wear flannel pajamas as a kid with the Mets logo on front and Tom Seaver's number on the back. I think that's how I became such a fan of them. They were never very good until the mid-80s and the Doc Gooden era, when I lived and died by them. I quit on them just before the ball went through poor Bill Buckner's legs. I left them for dead. I went to my room frustrated and close to tears - and I was in college! Then I heard all the screaming and hollering. The Mets had come back to win. To this day, I believe Bill Buckner would have snared that grounder if I were watching.

Mike Rice just said he doesn't remember seeing the Magic shoot this good from the 3-point line. That's another effect I can have. I've witnessed many career days by opponents. And just as I can will our own shots out of a basket, I can will the oppositions in. It's uncanny.

Hey, you know what I just realized? I am putting so much effort into this letter that by the end of it I might be wishing for the Blazers to lose so that I can send it. I wonder if that will have the opposite effect on them. Meaning, I will want Orlando to win. I wonder if I will be willing their shots from going in by the end of the game. Wouldn't that be ironic?

Still, I don't think that will happen. My love for the Blazers runs too deep. I'd rather see them win this game than send you this note and receive a contract to NOT watch.

Magic 66, Blazers 60. Batum just traveled. 

Some examples of my past. 

I had a little league game the day the Blazers won the World Championship. Unbelievably, I didn't have the option to watch. I was on the pitcher's mound when the horns started honking. I contend that if our game had been postponed so that all Little Leaguers could watch the game, I would have watched it and George McGinnis would have made his shot and the Blazers would have had to return to Philadelphia for Game 7.

The first Oregon Ducks game I watched last year was the one against Arizona. The Ducks were ranked #2 and Dennis Dixon was a Heisman Candidate. I hadn't watched all year because I didn't want to jinx them. After the game, Dixon was out with a season ending ACL injury and the Ducks title hopes were dashed with a 34-24 defeat.

The Blazers have made a 12-0 run while I've been typing. They lead 85-81. The crowd is going nuts. Maybe these Blazers are Jeff proof after all! 

88-83 now. The crowd chants DEFENSE. 

My worst impact on the Blazers was the colossal 4th quarter collapse against the Lakers in the 2000. I was working in San Francisco on a TV Commercial. We'd been shooting on location outside the city all day. When our shoot wrapped a bunch of us climbed in a 15-passenger van a started our long ride back to the city. The driver had the game on the radio and the Blazers had a big lead. I begged to have it turned off but everyone else wanted to listen. Plus, they all thought I was crazy. By the end of the ride the mighty Blazers were toast. Instead, Shaq and Kobe were on their way to their first NBA Championship together. Maybe I wasn't so crazy.

The Blazers are really jumping on the Magic all of the sudden. The lead is now 8.

I'm going to watch this for a few minutes. 

There you are on TV Mr. Allen. You are on your feet. Go Blazers.

99-94. Brandon Roy time. 4:47 left.

Mr. Allen, if the Blazers lose tonight I am asking you for a contract to NOT watch the Blazers anymore.  Otherwise, I can't promise I won't succumb to my desire to witness their greatness. I don't know what kind of money to ask for. What's it worth, really? Maybe we should negotiate.

Roy is at the line. 102-97. Roy has already missed 5 (!) free throws tonight. That's ridiculous! And you can be certain it's because of me. 

Would 100K be too much too ask? I mean, what price a championship? That seems like a bargain to me. And believe me, I live and die with these guys. It won't be easy for me to not watch.

106-100, Blazers. It's looking like we might pull this off. Ooh! Aldridge just his a jumper for an 8-point lead. You might be off the hook.

I do love this team. They remind me of the 76-77-78 Blazers. Unselfish. Hustling. Respectful. Humble. I'd rather watch than have your money. 

Uh-oh, the Magic just hit another 3.  

108-103.  1:32 left.

Oh, beautiful defense by Roy. Makes up for the missed free throws. 

58 seconds left. Blazers timeout.

Crap. Magic just hit a 3.  They're down two.

Oh no, 24-second violation. 

Ok, five seconds left. Magic Ball. Blazers up 2.

Here we go.

Magic to inbound.

I can't breath.

Palms all sweaty.


Orlando ends it on a lucky 3-point shot to win. 

I'm sorry, Mr. Allen. I told you this would happen. It is my curse. And sadly, it is yours too.

What should we do?





At December 9, 2008 at 9:35 PM , Blogger Jeff Selis said...

This is not made up. The game just ended and I just posted this. Wanted to prove I was writing it as it was happening. Heartbreaking loss, and it's all my fault.


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