Portland still has only one team—the Trail Blazers—from one of the four traditional major sports leagues. Does your privileged position as a widely read columnist give you access to the well-heeled Portlanders who might buy us another?
I’d love to help you, Hardball, but I’m afraid you deeply misjudge the social status of professional wiseasses.
My connections are more the kind where I can hook you up with a guy on the inside who’s willing to shiv your jailbird brother-in-law for a box of Pop-Tarts. Asking me to intercede with the Phil Knights of the world is like asking Jenny McCarthy to put in a good word for you with the Nobel Prize committee.
Success has a thousand fathers, and failure is an orphan—except when it comes to not having a second major sport in Portland. Then failure’s mom is a total whore. There are almost as many reasons why we haven’t gotten the next big team as there are people you could ask.
Take baseball, for example. First, we’d have to pry the Seattle Mariners’ cold, dead hands off a Portland TV market they’re used to owning. Then we’d need to find an owner dying to pour jillions down a highly speculative rat hole. Meanwhile, every city that has a team wants to keep it just as badly as we want to steal it away.
It’s true that Portland has a detailed plan for a Rose Quarter stadium should an owner and team be forthcoming. It’s also true that in middle school, I had a detailed plan for what I would do if a beautiful naked woman were to climb through my bedroom window.
Never say never, but the fastest way for Portland to get another team in a major sport is probably just to wait—eventually, Major League Soccer will nose its way into the top four. (Suck it, hockey.)
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