I didn’t mean for it to happen. It was just a momentary dalliance. One moment I was in a serious and committed (and long-distance) relationship, and then… well, then this happened…
I mean, that’s sexy, right? You can’t blame me for looking. It was right there in front of me, and I could go and watch any time I wanted. I’d not even known I was a voyeur. And slowly… slowly but surely, I was hooked. I’d fallen in love, and there was no going back.
Sure, I tried to spend time in my old relationship, but… Things just weren’t the same. We tried to date again, but you could tell we were just going through the motions. Suddenly, all I could think about was your Denver Nuggets. Especially Mr. Ellis, above. I was hooked. Apparently, I just can’t quit you, LaPhonso.
Psychologists have a variety of theories as to why we attach ourselves to a specific team, player, or sport. Many fans follow the lead of their family or someone they admire, growing up with a constant reinforcement of the reality TV being played out in front of them week after week, and year over year. Some can identify a specific timeframe or event that spurred their passions into gear. Others simply develop an affinity for something that draws them in. Maybe it’s civic pride or a deal that gave them long term exposure to the club. For whatever reason, that candle gets lit, and there’s no turning back.
It becomes a complex and often long-lasting thing. There is not a player, coach, front office member, or owner who was associated with this Nuggets squad when they first caught my eye. Long haul, it turned out that my affair with this team stuck with the jersey instead of the first guy who caught my eye. It’s not the same for each of us. Some are Nuggets fans because they cheer for a single player, and when that player leaves, their allegiances will go along as well. Some of us may simply be crazy about the brand of basketball that Denver currently plays, but would be long gone if another 11-71 season hit. Believe me, a .134 record will test the patience of any Nuggets supporter.
Fortunately, that is not the team that Denver has the luxury of wheeling out on the floor these days. Today’s squad is a lot easier to love, whether for the beautiful brilliance of Nikola Jokic, the lightning-strike talent of Jamal Murray, the rock-steady presence of Paul Millsap or Gary Harris, the helter-skelter shake-things-up of Will Barton, or for dozens more reasons on the squad or even in the franchise. Pundits from several national outlets have your favorite basketball team possibly (gulp) winning the Western Conference, and those are the moments it’s awfully easy to be smitten with your date. Right now, you’re seeing one of the hottest properties in the league, after a “makeover” of epic proportion these last few years.
So today, we’re all (primarily) Denver Nuggets fans. At some point over the last 50+ seasons, something about Mile High City basketball got ahold of us and stuck. With any luck, it will keep sticking, at least through this next season, and hopefully for many more to come. Doubt it? I’d humbly submit that you’re reading a Denver Nuggets blog in the stygian depths of the offseason, so there must be something about this team that’s gotten it’s hooks into you and won’t let go.
So admit it. You’re hooked. This love affair has you all hot and bothered about this team at all hours of the day and night. It’s ok to say it. If you’ve got the time and inclination, tell us about how you first fell in love with these Nuggets, and what it might ever take to chase you away, if that is even possible. As we close in on our 30th anniversary together, I’ll admit I’ve never been more smitten.