This Sunday morning brings a couple of videos from Wizards Nation. The first is from long-time fan (and TAI reader) Adam Gerloff. Adam is from the D.C. metro area (Northern Virginia, to be more exact) and has been a fan of the franchise since the late 1980s. He moved to New York in 1997, but still kept close tabs on his hometown team. Until now. The below video came via email this morning from Adam with the subject line: “I dumped the Wizards.” It will bring a smile to your face (not sure what kind of smile, as smiles come in different forms); it will make you sad; it will make you shake your head while sporting that obscurely emotional smile.
I’m not sure I completely believe Adam when he says it’s over—it’s certainly not a path I would take in year 22 of ardently following the Washington pro basketball team (since ’90). But, I wouldn’t dare question the decision that any Wizards fan (or ex-Wizards fan) might make at this point. There’s a lot of scar tissue surrounding this franchise, and telling fans to stay patient just doesn’t seem to work anymore. I’ll probably never stop being a Wizards follower—just can’t quit them. But when I might normally do so otherwise, in diff’rent times, who am I to judge anyone who wants to quit on them now?
This next video takes a rather different direction. With moving pictures from 2012 Wizards training camp at George Mason University—which began a mere 54 days ago—this video is all about fan expectations, which are always built upon hope, internally and or externally influenced. But when injuries become the narrative, as often seems the case with this team, hope becomes diminished by uncertainty. Fans are left baffled, wondering what goes through Ted Leonsis’ mind when considering the track record of Ernie Grunfeld in totality. Fans are left wondering why the team owner preaches patience, since there’s been so much change, in this the third year of the rebuilding project. The construction site is now mired with cost overruns and reconsidered blueprints; but it’s not without promise. If key players don’t succumb to uncertain ailments. If young players are allowed just a little more time to catch up, if they can somehow turn the oodles of on-the-job training into the next step, then their wild inconsistency wouldn’t keep them a grade behind.
The below video comes from local product Sholape Oriola, a Morgan State grad and previous contributor to TAI. This team still means something to a lot of people, myself included. Basketball is a game—a sport—and watching it as connected to the local community should bring joy to the people. One day, Wizards fans, one day.