As the game wound down, the blowout clearly in hand, I was keenly listening to see what kind of ovation these starters received. This game hadn't gone well, and this series was about to end in bitter disappointment, but I wondered anyway whether this crowd would have the entire season in mind.
Because really, this might have been my favorite Wizards team to follow. When I think of the 2007-2008 Wizards, the only word that comes to mind is resiliency. Before the season even started, Etan Thomas went out with a serious heart ailment. Five games into the season, we were already calling for everyone's head. Eight games into the year, its best player went out for virtually the entire season. In the middle of the season, when it had finally found a formula for success, it's new star went out for 24 games. Then, at the end of the season, faced with a difficult schedule and the prospect of having to reincorporate everyone, it still pushed hard to the postseason, taking head on the challenge of facing the team that always beats them.
There's plenty of time to focus on the negative. Whether it's the failed trash talking, the lack of mental stability in this series, or the fact that they rolled over in tonight's clincher, that's going to dominate the discussion for the next couple months. And it should, no doubt.
But I have a confession to make. There were times this season where blogging was the last thing I wanted to do. I wondered if my heart was in it anymore, every time our team suffered yet another setback. The Arenas injury, the Butler one, and the long losing streak in the middle of the year were examples of when I had those moments. I had so many other things going on, so I kept wondering if something needed to give. Worse yet, I wasn't looking forward to this offseason, when everyone and their mothers would ask me about every single rumor out there.
Yet every time, this team reeled me back in. They refused to quit. They kept soaring all the way back to their playoff perch. And this community reeled me back in. BF has grown incredibly this year, and it's been so great to be able to discuss this team with so many regulars. You have all made this place so great, and that enough has been worth this incredible ride this season.
This offseason is going to be incredibly murky, and this is probably the worst image of the season, but even so, Wizards fans were on their feet when everyone checked out of the game. Right now, I feel the same way. It's been a great ride, and this team deserves a lot of props for even being where it ended this season.