I think I’m just having one of those days. I’m tracking down trade deadline reactions, start assessing how the Chicago Bulls did, and my mind just hitched up a canoe and started flowing down the cosmic river of consciousness. From there I got to the Bulls blowout on November 23rd — my favorite game of the season because of all the things that were right and healthy — and to Greg Oden’s dominance despite getting dunked on twice. Then I start doing some digging into Oden’s advanced statistics, watching more old clips (including Summer League) and eventually I land on the video of him against Houston, four minutes and fifteen seconds after tip-off.
Now, I’ve had some pleasant conversations with people lately about Lent, having just passed Ash Wednesday. I don’t partake in it any more than I set New Year’s Resolutions, but I do find the ideas of fasting and sacrifice interesting. A little connect the dots thinking later and I’m thinking about what I would be willing to give up for Greg Oden, not to ensure that he has a great career, but to ensure that he has all the chances to have one through sustained health. Of course, once you head down that track you realize you are thinking about preventative measures for sports, about temporary injuries for fortunate athletes when you could be thinking about a myriad of worldwide diseases and disasters.
As massively worthy as those causes are, that’s not the point. You can always question the follies of sports and entertainment in light of life’s great problems, but they have their place and for most of you reading a Blazers blog on a Friday afternoon, so does Greg Oden.
So my question for you is a sort of census. There’s no poll since every answer is independent. All I want to know is, what would you give up or do to ensure Oden was never injured again? Would you give up a favorite food during basketball season? Would you accept another five percent increase on your season tickets? Would you stand a silent vigil for seven days at the Portland Rose Gardens, the actual gardens? Would you make a one-time donation to a charity of your choice? Would you trade your iPhone for some digital doodad out of 1999?
This isn’t meant to be a pretentious exercise/competition to see who can be most unselfish, or to compare people’s answers to one another in any way. It’s just a thought on a Friday afternoon worth thinking about.