From Mike Barrett's blog:
-PopI have had several conversations with my colleagues on the radio staff and several of the local writers in our market, about my use of the word "we" when I refer to the Blazers. I'd like to explain how I look at the situation. I played 8 years in the NBA, I am "we." I played here, for the Portland Trail Blazers, again, I am "we." I am a fan of this game, this team, and this city- I am "we." Who said that it’s wrong for an announcer to be a fan of the game, and a fan of the team for which he works? Probably it's someone who would rather find all the wrong things in a team, than all the right.
When I travel around the city, and talk to fans of the Trail Blazers, the truest fans, the ones who will listen to the games on the radio, the ones that will come to the arena and listen with a radio as they watch the games in the stands, they use the term "we.” Well, I am a fan of this game, and a fan of this team, so why is it so wrong for me to use the term "we." Is it simply because I am an announcer? Again, who said it is so wrong for an announcer to be a fan of the team he/she works for?
Some have told me that it makes me sound less creditable when I use the term "we" because I can’t be impartial. That is the most illogical thinking I have ever heard. That’s like saying a coach can’t be impartial, or a teammate can’t be honest about a situation. Wrong is wrong, and I think that the fans will feel even better connected to the team when the critique is coming from a person who is passionate about the team. If I am nothing else, I am passionate about this game and this team.
As a point of clarity, first and foremost, I am a fan of the game. I have been all my life. Then, I am a fan of this team. As a fan of the game, I am compelled to point out when this team, or a player on this team, is doing something wrong. As a fan of this team, I am compelled to point it out, and then move on to the next point.
It is amusing to me that the first advice I got about this job was to talk as if I were in a room with a group of my friends. When I talk to my friends about the Trail Blazers, I use the term "we." In fact, when I talk about the NBA as a whole with my wife and my closest friends, I use the term "we." It's not because I want to relive my glory years, but because it is a fraternity, and once you are in, you are in for life. Maybe that's the problem. Maybe there are not enough young ex-players doing this job. Because when I listen to other broadcasts on television, I hear all the young announcers using the term "we" all the time. With that in mind, I started thinking that perhaps I am not the only person who feels this way. Maybe there are a group of young ex-players who take pride in working for a team they were a part of as a player, and are willing to express that pride, and don't worry about what people outside the team have to say. Thank you reading this.
1999-2001 Portland Trailblazers #34