Saturday, January 15, 2005
I grew up as a Blazers fan, since my family was from Oregon. They were a fun team to watch in the early 1990s, with Clyde Drexler, Jerome Kersey, Terry Porter, and Buck Williams. Not only were they a fun team, they were also a classy team as well. A far cry from what was to come in the later years.
In the later years, i.e. post-1994, Bob Whitsitt ruined what was once a team that Blazers fans would be proud of on and off the court. Now, I don't expect athletes to be choirboys. But I do expect athletes to at least represent their cities of employment with a little class and decency. The Portland Trail Blazers have been anything but classy since 1994.
Even during their back-to-back Western Conference Finals appearances in 1999 and 2000, it was hard to really support the Blazers, because of the cast of characters. In other words, the Blazers were the "Jailblazers". How embarassing. The good people of Portland deserved better. There's just one pro sports team in Portland and that one team couldn't give their fans a reason to be proud of them. Thanks, Bob.
If it wasn't Isaiah Rider's soda can marijuana pipe, it was Rasheed Wallace's conduct against referees. Not to mention the infamous I-5 Damon Stoudamire/Wallace traffic stop for possessing marijuana. Who can forget Stoudamire illegally possessing drugs inside foil at an airport? I could go on, but you get the picture.
That's why I was afraid of Whitsitt running the Seahawks. I don't want to see my football team being run like the Blazers. Similar to the Blazers of the past, the Seahawks' past have included classy players as well, such as Steve Largent and Jacob Green.
Remember when the Seahawks decided not to bring back Brian Davis for the 2004 season? It reminded me of the time when Bill Schonely left the Blazers. Just imagine if Whitsitt were running the Seahawks in the 1980s. He probably would have fired Pete Gross as well.
As a matter of fact, Whitsitt was one of my bosses while I worked in the Seahawks Pro Shop during the 2002 season. I never dealt with the man directly. But if I ever had the chance to talk to him, I would have risked my job and told him my true feelings. I'll never forgive Whitsitt for ruining my basketball team. The Blazers are trying to reinvent themselves, but there's still plenty of work to be done. I could have sworn that it was Whitsitt who gave Zach Randolph a new 7-year deal before this season. I wouldn't have done that, because while he's a good player, is he really deserving of it? Judging by his off-the-court conduct, no.
Whitsitt can say whatever he wants, but I can too. Name one man who has been involved in two of the worst collapses in NBA history. You know, the Sonics losing in the first round in 1994 to the Nuggets and the Blazers blowing a 15-point lead to the Lakers in Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference FInals. Yeah, that was Mr. Whitsitt.
Oh, and the situation that the Seahawks find themselves in this offseason, with having to worry about 16 free agents?
That's Whitsitt's deal as well.
If you ever want to see Seahawks, Sonics, and Blazers fans agreeing on one thing, it's the fact that the hatred for Bob Whitsitt is mutual.
Screw you, Bob. You won't get the chance to ruin my football team.