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Introducing the official "Bullets/Wizards personal memories" summer project

[Note by Mike Prada, 08/12/09 9:48 AM EDT ] Bumped back to the top so that more people can sign up.  A list of who has already committed to writing pieces is below the jump.  For review, here's hotplate's personal account of Juwan Howard and Chris Webber's first game with the Bullets.  If you're confused as to the format of these pieces, hotplate's account is a good model to use.  

This is the third year Bullets Forever has been on SB Nation during the late summer months.  In 2007, we took time to count down the top 20 Bullets/Wizards of all time, a list we still haven't finished and could very easily revise if we run out of things to talk about.  Last summer, several readers recounted some of the lesser known Bullets/Wizards, guys like Robert Pack, Jim McIlvane and LaDell Eackles.  

This summer, I'd like to talk about personal memories.  You may have noticed that one thing I asked for in the Getting to Know the BF Community post was your favorite Bullets/Wizards memory.  One of the most powerful things about sports fandom is the sense of collective memory.  It elevates certain moments for whatever subject and codifies those moments into a set of values that all members of the group understand.  With the Washington Bullets/Wizards, those memories are not always positive ones, but they collectively create a certain set of characteristics that come with being a fan of this franchise.

However, many of those memories are not experienced firsthand by the group's members.  I wasn't born when the Bullets won the title in 1978.  You might have been turned off to the team in 2001 when they screwed up the Kwame Brown pick.  Etc.  Even the memories we may live through are ones we only experience from a distance.  I was in Israel when Gilbert Arenas hit the shot to sink the Bulls.  You may have been out of town when Gilbert hurt his knee, etc.  

So here's the project.  I'd like us to create a fan's oral history of the Washington basketball franchise.  Among the members here, I'm sure we can say there's at least one person who has experienced in person nearly every piece of Bullets/Wizards history.  Let's hear about those experiences. 

Below the jump, I'm going to list a number of key landmark moments in the history of the franchise.  If you have a personal memory of any of them, sign up to write a post detailing your personal experience.  If you have another personal moment with something related to the franchise that's not on the list (e.g. a run-in with a player somewhere, etc), say so in the comments as well.  Then, either post your memory as a FanPost or send it to me for me to post. 

We'll discuss deadlines (that sounds way too formal) and such this week.  For now, I want to hear about what you guys have experienced. 

Committed (one moment can have multiple writers):

  • The 1997 playoffs vs. the Bulls, Game 3 - me
  • The full 1997 playoff series vs. the Bulls - George Templeton
  • The Kwame Brown pick and fallout - ledellforlife
  • Dudley Bradley's shot to beat Philadelphia in the 1986 playoffs - el freako
  • The 2008/09 season - rashad20
  • Gilbert Arenas' knee injury and fallout - JakeTheSnake
  • MR's said he'll do something from the 80s

Full list of moments

  • The move to Baltimore in 1963
  • Drafting Earl Monroe and later trading him
  • Drafting Wes Unseld
  • Going to the 1971 finals
  • Something in the 1975 season
  • Something in the 1978 championship season
  • Something in the 1979 runner-up season
  • The Jeff Ruland injury
  • Dudley Bradley's shot in 1986
  • Anything else from the 1980s
  • The 1988 series with Detroit
  • Bernard King's all-star season in 1991
  • Chris Webber/Juwan Howard first game
  • The Mark Price acquisition and injury in 1996
  • The 1996 season, when everyone got hurt and they still won 39 games
  • The Strickland/Wallace trade and Rod's whole Wizards career
  • The win over Cleveland in 1997 to make the playoffs
  • The 1997 playoff series with the Bulls - 
  • The 1998 season, when that team got undone
  • The Webber/Richmond trade
  • The Kwame Brown pick and fallout
  • The announcement that Michael Jordan was playing
  • The 2002 season
  • The 2003 season
  • The signing of Gilbert Arenas
  • Making the 2005 playoffs
  • Game 5 or 6 of the series against the Bulls
  • The 2006 playoffs
  • Gilbert's knee injury
  • The 2008 playoffs
  • Last season's disaster
  • The hiring of Flip Saunders