Thursday, April 19, 2007

13 years erased! One fan's experience

Big Picture correspondent and long-time homie, Sam Marthinsen, who's a senior infielder for the Lewis and Clark University baseball team in Portland and will play professionally this summer in Israel, was at the Warriors' clinching victory over the Blazers.

His words speak in exclamation points...
FUCK! That was the first thought that flashed through my mind after the second alley-oop from Dan Dickau to Travis Outlaw was flushed down within 30 seconds. What did I do? I jinxed us by sending text messages to all my friends bragging about being on site for the first Warrior playoff season in 13 years. Maybe this knee-jerk reaction was a result of my being an ultra-superstitious sports fan or more likely it is a result of the Warriors teasing me for about 13 years.

I’ll be honest, I don’t really remember the last time the W’s were playing in late April or May. I have always been a baseball fan and when I was 10-years old I was much more interested on whether the baseball season was going to happen. So now, as my team lay on the brink of a postseason with the most dominant team in basketball, all I could think was that they were teasing me again. Luckily those two dunks happened with about 1:30 left in the game and it only brought the Blazers within nine. And Matt Barnes silenced the Portland crowd with a 3 pointer about five seconds later.

That left me to revel in the satisfaction in knowing that the NBA season was not over after 82 games, and that there was still hope of a title.

The Warriors have been a model of mediocrity for many years now and few know it better than the Golden State fans, and yet, every year, every game even we still beg and plead with our beloved Ws to put up Ws. This year seemed no different for a while until a strange thing happened: we started winning. Whether it was the monstrous trade that got rid of the worst third pick in NBA history, or that our star point guard and two-guard were finally playing, healthy, together. Either way the Ws started piling up and after being dead in the water we sat in a position to do what no other Warrior team has done in 13 years: reach the post season. To be honest I had no idea that their last game was in Portland until we got one game up on the Clips and I was checking out who our final games were against. I’ll be honest again: I filled the cup when I realized I could go to the game.

The anticipation building up to the game was harder to deal with than the game itself. I play baseball and I love baseball and I found myself hoping practice would end so I could go to this game. This was history, this was satisfaction, this was redemption… but in the back of my mind: this is what always happens. Regardless of that little voice I still was determined to will the W’s to a playoff berth. Hell, Lewis and Clark hadn’t lost a home game all year and I wasn’t about to start believing that the team I was rooting for was going to lose. Well, as we piled into the car and the hail started pounding our windshield like how a JRich three pounds the bottom of the net, we all anticipated an ending we had been waiting for since we started liking the Warriors (Yes, it was hailing in Portland on April 18, what the fuck is wrong with this place?).

When we got to the arena, well the game was already out of hand. We missed the first 10 minutes and it was never closer than when Outlaw had those two dunks the entire time we were there. We weren’t alone. After the game Golden State fans flocked to the visitors bench and tunnel area; we took up about two full sections. These fans had come out to see one thing, and a sign someone was carrying told the whole story: 13 years of heartache ends TONIGHT!!!!!

Before I go I just wanna point out one thing: The Mavs have beaten every team in the NBA this year… except one. Guess who? That’s right. The W’s.

-Sam M. #5


rstiles said...

It's good to see Golden State back in the playoffs....I like the Warriors because of their name - Golden State....that is just original

JMC said...

nice work Sammy, and fuck, we're gonna miss the hell outta you this summer