Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Seeing Beyond Black & Silver

I noticed that this season I've hardly written about the Spurs at all - well at least compared to years past. That may be due to the fact that we're down to the pure minimum of cable and I haven't watched as many games, also I'm going into work earlier than prior years which prevented me from watching every game possible.

I'm not a superstitious type - okay one year I wore the same underwear every time the Spurs played a playoff game...I washed 'em...usually. When they lost a game the underwear no longer became "game day gear mandatory" and also they lost the chance to make it onto our Spurs shrine...much to Amy's relief.

The shrine sits a top the piano in our "antique room" well out of view of anyone entering the house...we prefer not to let folks know we're idol worshippers until we've gotten to know them better.

It's interesting living in a town with a championship quality team. I lived in the Dallas area for a number of years, and my loyalties still are with the Cowboys - why I don't really know. Yet the Cowboys are somewhat faceless. Sure they had a few marquee players and coaches, but they have always been foremost an "organization." The Spurs are "our team" - virtually any person in town can name the starting five players or more and the citizenry gobbles up every tidbit of information about the players' health, beliefs, the team strategy, trade rumors, etc...

I'm somewhat convinced San Antonio could become the largest city in the nation without a daily newspaper if not for the Spurs...the sports section is the only hot commodity coming off that cold out dated press.

It's also hard to find someone in San Antonio who doesn't consider the Spurs underrated - ignored by the national media and short changed for their achievements. It's not simply the two national titles and the possibility of a third, but the fact that the Spurs team has been built with an emphasis on character.

The value of that to this city may be the Spurs most important contribution - the players, the team and the management philosophy have literally changed lives. Kids here have real role models who are more than basketball players. Players have invested their time, their money and their image in San Antonio and it's taken root. These are educated, contributing members of the community.

So, the Spurs lost last night giving Phoenix the hope of rising from the ashes.

I still believe the Spurs will reach the NBA finals and likely win it all, but even should they fall...they'll never fail....not in my eyes at least.