Ben's Babbles: The game giveth, the game taketh away

Feb. 26, 2011

One day a player is on your hometown team, and you pour your heart and voice into rooting for them.

The next day they are somewhere else, perhaps on a rival team.

Such is the nature of sports trades.

On Wednesday night, longtime Trailblazers center Joel Pryzbilla was playing for the Blazers against the Los Angeles Lakers.

By Thursday afternoon he was a member of the Charlotte Bobcats, along with teammates Dante Cunningham and Sean Marks.

Pryzbillla is a longtime fan favorite, Cunningham a new fan favorite.

Those are the toughest kinds of players for fans to see go.

Earlier this winter the Portland Timbers traded goalkeeper Steve Cronin, an icon in the Portland soccer community, to D.C United.

The deal was met with brief shock by Timbers fans - Cronin had helped the team introduce its MLS jerseys just days earlier - soon turning into acceptance that the deal improved the team.

It's a lot easier to accept trades of hometown heroes if you believe the team will get better.

I remember sitting in Cheney Stadium on July 31, 1998 listening to the public address announcer give updates on Randy Johnson being traded from the Seattle Mariners and hoping they would not screw up the trade.

They wound up getting two fairly good players, Freddy Garcia and Carlos Gullien back. Of course, a few years later, when they traded both those players, they got next to nothing back, so I guess you take the good with the bad.

As sports fans we want to have hometown heroes, but we also want winning teams. It's an unfortanate part of the business of pro sports that those two things don't always go hand in hand.

Players like Pryzbilla and Cronin were beloved by their fan bases. They will still love those players, but they will be cheering for their team even more.

During the Blazers-Lakers game, Steve Blake, another beloved former Trail Blazer, now playing for the hated Lakers checked into the game.

He got a loud round of applause.

A few minutes later, the fans were chanting "Beat LA!"

Fan love for a player may be deep, but love for their team is even stronger.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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