Sunday, January 16, 2022
Jan. 16, 2022

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Micah Rice: Pair of ‘where were you’ stories for 2014

By , Columbian Sports Editor

There’s something special about a “moment.”

Northwest sports fans had two in 2014 that will be talked about for years.

• Richard Sherman’s tip that wrapped up the NFC Championship for the Seattle Seahawks.

• Damian Lillard’s 3-pointer against Houston that delivered the Portland Trail Blazers their first playoff series win in 14 years.

I was lucky enough to witness both in person.

Shortly after Sherman’s tip sent the Seahawks to their first Super Bowl in eight years, I and other reporters were allowed on the field.

I did a good job of being an observer until I was literally sucked into the fray. While taking video of Seahawks players jumping and chanting, I was knocked from behind by 310 pound offensive lineman Russell Okung, himself rushing to join the party.

“Illegal block in the back,” I thought.

There’s a unique feeling that immediately follows a moment of that magnitude.

There’s an explosion of emotion from fans and players alike.

But only after the dust settles do you start seeing the true size of the impact.

After Lillard’s last-second 3-pointer threw a 14-year-old playoff gorilla off the Blazers’ back, I went from press row not toward the court but to the concourse.

I wanted to talk to fans, some of whom had never seen the Blazers win a playoff series.

By that time, raw excitement was beginning to mature into awe, gratitude and relief.

The moment continues to evolve. Highlights are shown. Reaction is shared on social media.

As weeks and months pass, you hear “where-were-you-when” stories. The moment has become legend.

When it’s fresh, a moment is like a raw gem unearthed. You know its valuable, but it’s only later that its true significance and beauty become visible.

And like a well-cut diamond, they last forever.