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Hopefully the Memphis Grizzlies don't relive the Oregon Trail on their trip to Portland

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The Grizzlies have headed west and prepare to face the Portland Trail Blazers for the first time in the 2013-14 season. The trajectories of both teams have been very different from each other as the Blazers steamrolled most of the first half of their season while the Griz floundered around with injuries and weak lineups.

Fortunes could be swinging though, as Memphis enters tonight on a 9-3 run marked by key victories over the Thunder, Rockets and Suns while Portland has just recently started cooling off and finding trouble with some of the Western Conference big boys. The Blazers also just recorded their first sub-90-point-scoring game of the 2013-14 season (think about that for a minute, it's crazy.)

The lulls in Portland's offense have been few and far between this season, but a dip in offensive production from the Blazers could very well present a golden opportunity to the Grizzlies, who have recently rediscovered some of their defensive cojones.

That being said, I'll just admit that the previous (3) paragraphs were mere padding to and not a very good introduction of what I wanted to touch on in the Grind Prophecies tonight.

I recently found an emulator for Apple ii (really going to date myself here...) that would play one of my favorite games of my youth (and maybe all time), Oregon Trail. The images you see below may trigger some serious nostalgia, so be prepared.

What a game. What a hard game (if you played as anything besides a banker). And what a brutal reminder of how horriblly people's lives sucked just over 150 years ago. These emigrants definitely hitched their wagons (pun alert ... oops, too late) to a risky roll of the dice as far as planning your life goes, but who could resist being given hundreds of acres of free land just for getting across the country to claim it?

But good God, was it really worth it for everyone in the grand scheme of things? My experience with the trail usually has most of my party dying from diseases that essentially have them sh***ing themselves to death - all while being jostled around in a suspension-less wooden wagon on some of the roughest terrain in the continental United States. And if it wasn't disease then you bet your ass someone is going to break an arm, drown while crossing a river that's 3.5 feet deep or just flat out die from exhaustion because someone came and stole 500 lbs of food during the night.

There's no real lesson here, folks. I just connected some dots between playing a really old video game and the Grizzlies playing in Portland tonight, and did so in such a bush-league fashion that I'm close to apologizing.

But I won't. There's a good chance you've already started playing an Oregon Trail emulator before even finishing this article - so you're welcome.

If there's anything to take away it's the fact that the Grizzlies get to fly out first class on an airplane to Oregon instead of having to ford rivers and trade for broken wagon tongues over the course of 8 months. And that's a good thing because a Donner Party situation with ZBo and the Wendigo would just be really messy.

The Grindmaster from last edition (vs Rockets) was split between Mike Conley, Courtney Lee and ZBo.

  1. Game Score and Winner (correct predictions receive 3 points, if no correct predictions, 1 point awarded to member(s) with closest differential)
  2. The Grindmaster (3 points awarded to correct predictions; if Grindmaster title is split between 2 or more players, 2 points go to each member who predicted one of those players)
  3. Combined number of Zach Randolph offensive rebounds and Lamarcus Aldridge defensive rebounds (3 points awarded to correct predictions; 1 point awarded to the member(s) closest without going over)
  4. True or False: Mike Conley finishes the game with more assists than Damian Lillard (3 points awarded to correct predictions; 0 points awarded to incorrect predictions)

Grind Prophecies January Leaderboard

Grind Prophecies 2013-14 January Rules