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Getting to know the BF community


It's August, so we're at the point where news is starting to slow.  Michael Lee has reported (unsurprisingly) that the Fabricio Oberto signing is probably the last thing the Wizards do until the beginning of the season.  There's a lot of looking forward to do and a lot of looking back that'll be done as well until training camp, but there is still plenty of time and space to engage in group projects of sorts to pass the time.

One of those such things involves getting to know all of you a little better beyond the posting handle.  I've met only a couple people in person and I only know about a couple people's outside lives.  To a certain extent, that's how it should be -- you come here to talk Wizards, not about your job.  At the same time, it's always cool to me the way sports brings people together in some sort of shared experience, even though that experience comes about in different ways for different people. 

So please, over the weekend when you get a chance, I encourage you all to take some time and tell the community about yourself.  What do you do?  Where are you from?  What interests you outside of sports?  How did you become a Bullets/Wizards fan?  What's a particularly fond memory you have of your fandom?  Answer as little or as much as you like, but it's always cool to get to know people on a more personal level.

I'll say a bit about myself below the jump.

Name: Michael Prada (shortened for Mike because it sounds snappier).

Age: 22

Background: Born in Bethesda, went to private Jewish high school in Rockville, college at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, Class of 2009.

Occupation: Right now, I have a summer internship with a consensus-building start-up company that will try to engage diverse stakeholders both in politics and outside of politics in dialogue about key policy issues (e.g. the budget deficit, education, etc.).  I mostly work on researching potential fundraisers, since we just started.

Eventually, I want to go into journalism or communications somewhere.  I was the editor-in-chief of the Brandeis newspaper of record, The Justice, for my second semester last year and have been deputy editor and sports editor for them too.  I wrote something like 100 news, features and sports stories for them during college.  I also interned two summers ago for the now-defunct "Blog Show" for "Washington Post Live" at Comcast Sports Net, so if you have any questions about the CSN dynamic, I might be able to help you out there.

First Bullets/Wizards memory: I was at the first game after the big Chris Webber trade (forgot who they played).  My dad and I had season tickets for many years starting in 1994 and it used to be a father-son bonding experience to go to games.  Occasionally, my mom and my brother came too, but most of the time, it was just us.  He was born in New England and his family were big Celtics fans, but he changed allegiances in order to find time to spend with me. 

Favorite memory: I have two.  The first is Game 3 of the 1997 first-round series against the Bulls.  That was the final year of USAir Arena and my dad and I somehow managed to secure seats about 10 rows up behind the basket.  I remember the atmosphere then was unlike any game I'd ever attended.  There was lots made of the 2007 Warriors' home crowd, but it had nothing on the crowd at USAir that day.  I remember how silent the place got when Scottie Pippen dunked on Harvey Grant (why was he in the game, goddammit!) to give Chicago the lead in the final seconds.

The other is from 2002, when Michael Jordan was here.  I was at the game where MJ made this incredible block on Ron Mercer in the closing seconds to seal a Wizards win.  I just remember the crowd being completely silent for about a second until they realize what they saw.  It was an astonishingly athletic play for someone as old as MJ at the time.  I've written before about how I got disillusioned by the MJ era (I saw it as a team without a plan, and that was reinforced by 800 readings of When Nothing Else Matters, which I've since given to the next editor-in-chief of my college paper --wanted her to study Doug Collins as how not to manage people).