NBA Playoffs, Fandom, and Coordinating Devices

This year has so far been a tremendous NBA playoffs. Many of the games have been extremely close, proving that the difference between a winning and losing team is one minute. Unfortunately, my team, the Portland Trail Blazers, ended their season recently. Being a Blazers fan is tough, having followed the team since I was 4 years old, through the Drexler era, through the Jail Blazers era, and now through the resurgence/cursed-knees era, the fan-base has been through a lot. And, there are many sports franchisees with very tough “gut-punching” histories. I think Bill Simmons wrote about what it feels like to be a fan best after the Sox lost in 2003.

I think playing sports teaches someone team-work, hard-work, competition, and discipline amongst other things…being a fan teaches someone patience, faith, and community. That community part is so important. In economics, I’ve learned about “coordinating devices” – ways that communities/countries come together, unite for a common mission/vision, and puts aside differences to achieve it. In our country, no better example than the US response to World War II, 9/11, and even the recent Osama captured news.

As a born and raised Oregonian, and I know that it’s not a place that many people are familiar with, and many people even pronouce it wrong (it’s not “Ore-gone,” but it’s “Ore-gen”)…but whenever I meet a fellow Oregonian, you can see the pride that beams from that person. And things like the Blazers, the one sole professional sports franchise in Portland (well, now the Portland Timbers have joined, so one of two), help bring together the community, a “coordinating device” for the community. That’s why I’m so proud when I hear that Blazers fans are some of the best NBA fans in the league…just shows how much the community cares about “their” team.

Alas, another Blazer season has come and gone…and I have to wait until late Fall for the season to come again…Until then, I’ll be dreaming for ’77 to happen again.

Leave a Reply