The concept of the term "what if?" is firmly grounded in regret.
At least, that's what it has become. For years and years when we see programs on the television or movies ... or read articles such as the one I'm about to write, you are bathed in nostalgia coupled with regret. Like an old man telling you a story about the one that got away. Tears are usually shed, and wistful remembrances fill the air like the smell of espresso in a downtown cafe.
Why do we look back and paint scenarios to correct our ancient missteps when we can look forward and dream?
The role of the dreamer has been miscast as a naive neophyte who just needs to experience the world and change their delusional point of view. "What if?" used to be an expression of dreaming. What if I make it to college? What if I get that job I've always wanted? What if my team wins the NBA championship? These things, I truly believe, point the way to optimism and now look backward with cynical longing.
As a Nuggets fan since I was the age of 7 when I first watched Alex English, Fat Lever, Dan Issel and Calvin Natt lead the Nuggets to the conference finals - I've found that my point of view on the team has hardened over time. When I was a teenager in the mid 90's that view was hardened even more to downright scorn and derision. While the Melo years definitely improved my overall outlook, my view as a Nuggets fan has been cast as someone who is always leery of the wolf at the door. A couple years ago on Denver Stiffs I made it a point to start going over my own memories and knowledge of the Nuggets past to relieve my cynicism. Slowly but surely, even though the Nuggets past is one of horrible mistakes and mismanagement of a colossal scale ... it forced me to watch things I haven't seen in years.
In doing research for my series on the Nuggets 1994 miracle playoff run - I once again found the dreamer. I remembered there was hope amidst the gloom of the 90's. I forgot that during the worst decade in Nuggets history, there was a brief time where the team was the most exciting, up and coming team in the league. Also the youngest. Before it all went wrong there was reason to hope and dream - and say ... "What if?".
So my question to my fellow Stiffs is, how about we turn this regret around and look positively at the future. What if Danilo Gallinari comes back strong from his partial ACL tear? What if the players the Nuggets signed in the offseason turn out to be the key to winning in the playoffs? What if Josh Kroenke was right to fire George Karl? What if the Nuggets put things together under new head coach Brian Shaw and make a deep run in the playoffs?
There's alot of doubters out there, and maybe rightfully so. However that should never stop us from dreaming. That should never stop us from hoping the best for the future without living with our ill-fated past.
To-wit: The ultimate "What if?". What if the Nuggets actually know what they are doing? Since May of this year we have seen a constant flow of weird and borderline absurd information coming out of Pepsi Center. What if this actually means something? What if they actually have a plan? There's nothing wrong with dreaming of great possibilities without succumbing to snarky twitter-esque cynicism.
What if can be taken in multiple ways. Maybe it's time to let got of the shackles of regret and dream a little dream of the future?