I freeze and stare at that front page for another three to five minutes, giving my brain time to comprehend that what I am seeing is in fact real:
Reality grabbing hold, I feel some sort of sickness creeping in. More information, I need more information. I'll get that paper. I check my pockets...no loose change. Who carries coins around anymore? In Portland, even parking meters take credit cards. Stupid newspaper industry, you have earned your slow demise.
I quicken the pace and slide into a nearby local business known to have complimentary newspapers. I see a neatly placed Oregonian on the counter and swipe it, searching for the sports section. Flipping. Flipping. Flipping. Nothing. It isn't even eight in the morning and another concerned patron has already pilfered the sports section. Stupid literacy.
I'm running through the possible courses of action needed to get this precious information. Nearest computer? Probably the library. Could be worth the walk, although I know from experience that the only available terminal will be nestled in between the homeless guy trading stocks and the guy sneaking glimpses of porn. Nothing personal against either one of those guys, but one of them stinks and the other makes me nervous. I could get in the car and drive over an hour into the country. There, I will find the home of the only people I know with an Oregonian subscription, my parents.
Luckily a third option occurred to me that was much more convenient. I never thought I would say this, but thank God for sports radio. (Yes, I too just had that mini-vomit in my throat). I finally got the scoop, which you could check out here.
In the time between then and now, I have read and listened to company men and their friends rant about how there is nothing to be concerned about. These days, young players bounce back from knee surgery all the time, and Roy's was procedure was very successful and very minor.
I can't deny any of that, but don't insult me with that Pollyanna bullshit. The collective injury history of the core Blazer three is extensive and severe enough to be frightening.
- Greg Oden has yet to play an NBA game and has had wrist surgery and arthroscopic knee surgery. And you haven't forgotten those rumors of back problems have you?
- LaMarcus Aldridge has had shoulder and heart surgery. He missed some games last season due to ankle injury. Others were missed due to plantar flacitis in his foot. His toe gave him problems. Then there was that banged up knee. Oh yeah, before that there was the hip and knee. He also had that left heel injury that caused him to halt participating with the Team USA Select team in 2007.
- Brandon Roy has now had arthroscopic knee surgery. He had knee surgery in college. He also has that Talus bone thing and had the groin thing.
So are you really going to expect me to smile in agreement when you tell me that everything is just super fantastic? That having a collective injury history like this is nothing to be concerned about for players that are ages 20, 23, and 24?
These three are good human beings with great talent. The Blazers can be great with them. All I want is for us to be realistic. That means acknowledging that this dynasty is far from certain, and a significant contributor to that uncertainty is the prevalence of injuries in our young core. Hold your breath and hope everyone stays healthy enough, and stop swallowing the rosy goggled garbage.