Adam Gerloff grew up in Alexandria and has been a Wizards fan for most of his life. Even after moving to New York in 1997, the now 39-year-old stayed loyal. But the recent state of the team has put strain on the long-distance relationship, and before the season started Gerloff decided enough was enough. He was breaking up with the Wizards.
“I’ve been through the name change, I’ve been through the Jordan stuff, and I just kept sticking with them,” he told me. “And then, I guess I was looking for a way out. It was getting to be too much.
“It’s the stupid little things,” he continued. “But when they didn’t amnesty Blatche or Rashard Lewis, when they made those moves, it didn’t make any sense to me. So I said, you know what, this Brooklyn team’s coming. I can make a clean break and pick up a team I can watch.”
Gerloff’s current home in Brooklyn is a quick 10-minute walk from the Nets’ new arena, so he decided it made sense to become a Nets fan. But he didn’t want to just switch. He felt a more public separation was in order, so with the help of his friend Chris Chuang, he made a video chronicling the end of his relationship with his former team.
“I didn’t want to just dump them,” said Gerloff, who burned a box of his Wizards mementos in the video. “I feel like I had too much history with them just to do it quietly.”
The heartbroken fan says he saved a few keepsakes from his time with the Wizards, but that it will stay packed up and out of sight.
“I don’t think I’m going to look back. I’ll check the box scores and hope they’re doing okay. But I’m just done with them,” he said, comparing it to breaking up with a girlfriend. “You don’t hate her, you don’t want bad things for her, but you need to put her away. Put all thoughts of her out of your mind and let her do her own thing.”
Gerloff is realistic enough to know that there are fans out there that will find fault in what he’s doing. But he doesn’t regret his decision to move on.
“Some people say, ‘You don’t leave your team, no matter what.’ And I’m an Orioles fan, so I understand that,” he explained. “Some people are going to say it’s weak, and I’ll let them think that. But I’m not going to feel bad about it.”
Gerloff is optimistic that his new relationship will go the distance, but his new love does come with some baggage.
“I can’t escape the Blatche,” he said. “He’s had a couple of ‘Blatche’ moments in games, but it’s a weird parallel with both of us starting over. Of all the players to be on my new team. If they trade for JaVale or if Nick Young comes over, I don’t know what I’m gonna do.”
As we’re all learning, you can never escape the Blatche.