March 9th, 2010 | by Nick Jaina News | Posted In: Sports

Almost Live: Kings at Blazers

Nick JainaA very special night here at the Rose Garden, as we have the fantastic Nick Jaina—singer/songwriter, storyteller, frequent LocalCut tour diarist and, from what we hear, excellent cook—on board to blog the contest. Jaina originally hails from the Sacramento area, so it's fitting that we have him blog the game against the Kings. Nick will get started shortly; thanks for tuning in!

18:01 until tip-off I know what you're thinking. I'm from Sacramento. I must be a Judas. A thief in the temple. The Blazers are, after all, playing the Kings, who are from Sacramento. Yes, I did grow up and go to games at the old Arco Arena, back before Vlade and Bibby and CWebb. I'm talking back when we had Reggie Effin' THEUS, you know? Wayman Tisdale and all that. So I know what the Sacramento Kings are all about. Or what they WERE all about. Not so familiar with the current guys. I mean, Tyreke Evans, sure. And that Caspi guy, I know I'm spelling his name wrong. But beyond that, I don't know much about the current Kings. That's probably because they've been a really bad basketball team for about five years now. It wears down your will to follow a team day in and day out.

But I was there back in '85 and '86 with my dad, stomping on the old wooden floors, trying to make the decibel reader on the scoreboard go up to the top, which would make fake flames burst out and everyone would freak out. I actually thought that me slapping my 8-year-old hands together could actually make a difference. But those teams were all really bad too. I remember booing at the refs a lot. I remember spirited comebacks that fissled. I remember hating L.A.

33:52 until tip-off Hello.

25:06 until tip-off You might be wondering, "Why? Why are you liveblogging the Blazers game? Why is liveblogging even a THING? And who are you?"

Well, my name is Nick Jaina. I play music. And I'm from Sacramento. I don't normally get to express my crazy basketball views, and they've been building up inside my brain for the last 32 years. I'm going to let them all out tonight.

Man, the internet is slow at the Rose Garden. Okay, so, as to the question of why am I liveblogging the Blazers game, or why should ANYONE liveblog ANYTHING.... Well, because it's fun. We're all just here on this world to have a little fun. Either this will be fun for you to read or you can quietly close the browser window. But you might want to stick around to hear my crazy basketball theories. They are crazy. Stay tuned.

20:47 until tip-off You'd think with the $700 million coming into this building every game they could pay for the faster DSL service. What is that, an extra ten dollars a month? Maybe I'll ask Casey when he gets back if there's a better WiFi signal. I'm just on the free one now.

Anyway, I promise this won't devolve into personal complaints. Just free and open talk about my thoughts on this basketball game. It's just that everytime I update the post it takes a minute before the screen loads and I can type again. I can't wait that long to talk about basketball! Load already!

12:37 until tip-off Ah! I just wrote three paragraphs that the internet connection swallowed. Let's test this.

10:11 until tip-off Maybe I should'nt have talked about what I was talking about. Okay, so I'm from Sacramento. But that doesn't mean that I'm a Judas. Yes, I grew up going to the old Arco Arena, back when the Kings sucked. This is before Vlade, before Bibby and C-Webb. This is back when Reggie Theus was the star. We had Spud Webb for a few years. I remember Danny Ainge came in one season and hit a few threes. It was awesome. But man, those teams sucked. We would stomp our feet on the wooden floors, trying to get the decibel meter to go to the top and make the fake flames burst out. And I thought that me clapping my 8-year-old hands together actually could make that happen.

The arena in Sacramento was in the middle of a field, close to nothing. Kind of close to the airport, but really close to nothing. And since those days, they've actually built up houses around that area, so when you're driving to the game you don't feel like you're in the mafia and someone is taking you out to shoot you.

5:48 until tip-off But I'm NOT rooting for the Kings, okay? That was long ago. I've killed that part of me. I don't care anymore. It has taken me a while to warm up to the Blazers, though. I moved here in 2001, right at the tail end of the last good run of years. And the Kings were still good, so I didn't latch onto the Blazers. And then we had all those terrible years when every week a new Blazer was driving some ridiculous car ridiculously fast and smoking something ridiculous. It was hard to fall in love with those teams.

But now I'm ready. Roy, Batum, Oden. These guys have personality.

1:20 until tip-off If this internet connection were a person, I'd strangle him.

Do you ever wish the internet was just some guy that you knew? That you could be talking to someone and have a question that needed to be answered, and just go, "I don't know who sang that song, let's ask the internet." And you go and grab your friend in the corner and ask him?

Lights are out. Uh oh. Something's gonna happen

It's 90's night at the Rose Garden. That's why they've been playing Blues Traveller. That's not really a good excuse.

I have to rise now.

National Anthem The Brown Sisters did a wonderful job with our National Anthem. That's the best rendition I've heard in a long time.

I wonder what players think of the fact that they listen to that song almost every night of their lives. Kobe Bryant has probably stood through over a thousand naional anthems. I wonder what he thinks about at those moments.

Blazer Introductions Whoa, there's Blaze! He's excited tonight. He's waving the Blazer flag. Jesus, they're playing an intense operatic crescendo. It's that song they always play when invading tribes are battling in big epic movies. It's a little bit of overkill here. I think the actual start of the game is going to sound a little dull after this.

Are we ready for our Portland Trailblazers? I'm ready.

#12 LaMarcus Aldridge.
He said Nicholas Batum's number in French! That was rad.
Marcus Camby.
#24 Andre Miller.
Brandon Roy.

This is a good team we have here. We actually have a center tonight. I imagine that will help, since that's an integral position on a basketball team. If Camby breaks his patella tonight, this whole city is going to melt down. I don't want to see that.

Terry Porter is saying a few words before the game. They're celebrating the Blazers teams of the 90's. He says that he loves us. This is touching. "Thanks for your support all these years. Go Blazers!" Well, it wasn't an Obama speech, but it was nice.

Tip-off! Here we go. Two tall guys in the center. How have the Blazers been winning any tip-offs with out a center these past few months.

Well, we won this one.

Just like I thought, the actual game is so much quieter than that song they blasted during the pre-game introductions. It seems to make the game less exciting. I don't know why they'd want to do that.

Maybe they could have a really quiet string piece playing during the introductions. Some Grieg or something. (Did he write those?) And then when the game started, it would be like a really exciting thing. The way it is now, we go straight from deafening sub-bass to the light squeeking of sneakers on the floor.

Casey just told me not to forget to actually watch the game. Oh, right. Good thing I practiced my qwerty typing all these years. I've been tested at 75 words per minute with 95% accuracy!

Okay, enough personal details. Let's watch this game here.

9:10 first quarter Aldridge hit a jumper and the announcer just cooly said, "L... A..." This announcer is pretty chill. I like him.

I've already downed one free media Coke. I'm a little jittery already. And I keep forgetting to watch the game.

Nicholas BATUUUUMMM.... did something. I think Roy stole the ball and passed it down court to him. It's nice to have a French player to root for. You generally assume that French men are going to be effeminate. That's the stereotype, right? It's interesting to see a French male athlete playing a physical game. You keep expecting him to turn up his nose and disapprove of something.

"What is zeees pass you give me? Eeets too high! I am not going to jump for THAT!"

And everybody looks down at their sneakers and wonders why they let a French player on the team.

Whoa. Bill Walton is here. They're going all out tonight. Isn't his back all messed up? It looks like he can walk alright. Actually, he's walking a little gingerly.

7:57 first quarter The problem with drinking a lot of Coke is I'm going to have to take a break and go find the bathroom. I wonder if Casey will let me leave. He told me I have to produce 12,000 words tonight or I have to stay after the game and do the laundry. Sheesh!

We're sitting in press row, by the way. It's pretty plush. And we get some seperation from all the fans. I mean, those people are ANIMALS, with their Cheer Stix and such. Always drinking beer.

But yeah, we got a little table here and an outlet to plug in our laptops. Casey isn't really typing on his, he's just looking over my shoulder and shaking his head disapprovingly. Like just now when I misspelled that word and I had to go back.

There seem to be some real press people here. I feel like I'm an impostor. Or I'm an actor researching a role. I wonder if anybody notices.

We walked through the bowels of the Rose Garden, went through the locker rooms. They let you just saunter in there if you have one of these press passes. Casey saw one of the new players, Travis Diener, who they just picked up off of waivers, and said, "Hey man, welcome to Portland." The guy was like, "Oh, thanks."

5:30 first quarter This is not a well-played game. I just heard Casey mumble something about "Arrrgh, this is sloppy." Maybe he was talking about my writing.

90's night continues with the 90's Hair Cam. They're putting people on the big screen with a fake Vanilla Ice do or something like that. That was sponsored by Great Clips barber shop.

Nothing happens during a basketball game that is not sponsored by SOMEONE. That's just how it is these days. I wish we could get someone to sponsor some effin' INTERNET up in here. Sheesh.

It's always funny how when a Blazer does something good the announcer goes, "LAAAAAMARCUUUUUUUUUUSSS...." and everyone freaks out, but when a Blazer fouls someone he tries to downplay it like we won't even notice. "foul on... Lamarcus Aldrige." The announcer suddenly sounds like someone on NPR, where just five seconds ago he sounded like he was promoting a monster truck rally. Quite an actor, that announcer must be.

All this talk about the announcing only proves that I'm not actually watching the game. I'll try.

4:23 first quarter Should I be giving score updates? Oh right, PDX 16 SAC 18. Of course, right when I abandon my hometown team they start to play well. I'm sorry guys! I'm back on your side! I'll jump on any bandwagon that will have me! As long as there's room!

This crowd is dead. They want to cheer for something, but so far they've only had Vanilla Ice hairdos. Blaze hasn't even done anything cool yet. Where is he?!?!

My friend says she found out Blaze's real first name. I won't divulge it here, but it's pretty cool to know it, because it gets you one step closer to understanding THE REAL BLAZE. I mean, what goes on in there. Who is he?

I didn't notice Blaze in the locker room. I wonder if he has his own locker room. It would be pretty funny if he just had a locker in the same room as the team, with a little placard over it that says, "Blaze" and he just puts on his uniform like all the other guys. "hey guys, what's up?" And they all treat him like an equal. That's probably not the case.

Right, back to watching the game. Someone just made a shot. An alley-oop. Sort of. Howard to Roy. PDX 20 SAC 23.

I wonder if players actually prefer the games where the crowd is quiet. Everybody in charge at this building wants nothing more than for the crowd to make some noise. "LET'S HEAR YOU MAKE SOME NOISE!" they're always shouting. But what if the players actually HATE it when the crowd makes noise, or what they start chanting DEFENSE or something? It would be cool if a player was interviewed once and was like, "You know what I really hate? When the home crowd won't shut up. I'm trying to CONCENTRATE out there."

And Blaze would look forlornly down at the floor and be all dejected. And then the player would look at him and go, "No! Blaze! I didn't mean it like that! Come back here!"

And Blaze would slam the locker room door passive-aggressively.

End scene.

end of first quarter Rudy Fernandez almost did something totally cool at the end of the quarter. He almost made a behind-the-back alley-oop at the buzzer. But he missed.

And now they're playing "U Can't Touch This"-- yeah, the 90's! Remember them? Remember when it was actually the 90's and everyone was like, "Man the 80's were so DUMB." And now we look at the 90's and think they're really dumb, while we now embrace the 80's? When I was a teenager I thought that the 80's would NEVER be cool. I thought the 90's were EVERYTHING. Why are we so fascinated by decades?

Alright, so basketball. The interesting thing about this game is that so much of it is predicated on one move. It's the "I'm going to stand here so that you run into me and the guy you were guarding can get around you." That's the premise of most of the plays that teams run. And it's funny to call them "plays" because it seems to my pedestrian eye that they are much less complicated than football plays. They're just one guy with the ball trying to get his defender to walk into another guy. It's all about getting some space so that you can shoot the ball.

When you watch these guys at the shootaround, they make most of their shots. It's just harder to make them when you're moving around trying to lose your defender and he's got a hand in your face.

Is this obvious? I'm just trying to start with the basics.

And defense is essentially, "I need to get around this guy that's standing there and get to the guy I'm defending," or "I need someone to take the guy that I was defending because I ran into this other guy" I know it gets more complicated than that, but those are the broad strokes.

It seems like the best thing you could practice would be running wildly and then stopping on a dime and hitting a jumper. But I don't see them do that in the shootaround. If you could be the best in the world at that skill, it seems like you'd be a great basketball player.

9:11 second quarter Roy just took a shot that hit the rim and bounced over the backboard. That's such a momentum killer when that happens. You can hear the crowd go "YEEAAH--OOOOO-- AWWWWW" And then the whole room is quiet.

Fernandez just faked a guy in the air and hit a three. Now the Blazer dancers are dancing to "Bust a Bucket" the Blazers rap from the 90's. My friend Nathan knows this whole thing and will rap it for you if you give him some whiskey. I like 90's night. It's comfortable.

Did we ever find a name for the last decade? When it's 2029 and the Blazers want to honor the last decade will they call it '00 night? Or Aught Night? It's just not going to work as well. That's what's so comfortable about the 90's. It was the last decade for a while that you could easily refer to. What are we in now? The Tens? The Teens? This whole decade thing is backfiring. Are we going to focus more on centuries now? Or go the other direction and talk about years?

5:55 I still hate this internet connection by the way. It's taking forever to load and sometimes it just says, "Nah, I don't want to upload that right now."

Oh! I just figured it out. It's 90's Night, so we have a 90's internet connection. It's a dial up. Cute, Blazers, very cute.

Some 17-year old kid just came out and hit a few free-throws for some money. I wonder if they players feel embarrassed if they miss a couple free throws and then some scrubby kid from the suburbs come out and hit some? That must feel stupid. It's like if an accountant added up some numbers wrong and then some kid walked into his office and totaled them all up in his head. That would suck.

Alright, game is on again. Need to watch it more. Casey keeps telling me I don't need to write so much. "Watch the game," he says.

4:50 Casey says no clapping in press row. It's funny, because I usually resist clapping at live events, but when I'm specifically prohibited from clapping I have the urge to do it more.

It's just when they play that clapping thing on the soundsystem, the one that goes, "Clap clap clap..." well, I can't write it here, but you know the one. That one just gets me so jazzed up that I need to clap.

PDX 42 SAC 37. Portland has been playing better. I forgot to mention that. I'm jumping back on their bandwagon. Goodbye, Sacramento! I love all your trees and the sweet smell in the air in spring and the way the sun cuts through the leaves in late summer... But these Blazers are good. They even have a center now.

Andre Miller hits a free throw. He's officially at least as good as some random 17-year old from the suburbs. Except when Miller hits free throws, all the money goes to him.

Actually, that's not true. Miller gets paid whether he hits free throws or not. That's one of the problems with the current state of the NBA financial system. These guys get guaranteed contracts for several years and upwards of $100 million. Can you imagine having a contract that is good whether or not you are injured or trying to win, or whatever? You get that money no matter what and the team can't cut you. That's a strange system. I don't think anything should be guaranteed.

The Blazers have a cheerleader squad AND a "stunt team" squad. The stunt team is a bunch of burly guys who lift skinny girls up on their shoulders all the time. And it gets the crowd excited. Or it's supposed to.

The cheerleaders, as Casey says, "Don't do anything interesting."

Greg Oden is on the big screen doing a commercial for Wells Fargo. What profession would you say produces the worst actors in the world? Basketball or music? I've seen some horrible acting in music videos, but the spots the basketball players do are just the worst things ever. It's like they were taught the lines phoenetically and given a brief primer on how to move their arms and smile. It's strange. And so when someone comes along and has the least bit of personality it really sticks out.

:59 left in 2nd quarter I hate this internet connection so much. Everytime it screws up I punch my fists in the air and Casey looks over at me and is excited that I'm getting into the game and I have to tell him I'm just mad at the internet.

Mad at the internet. What does that even mean? People in 1990 would have no conception of that. If only they knew. They only had the phone company or the cable company to get mad at. And now we have the internet to get mad at. Here in the '10's.

Half is almost over. I'm looking forward to the halftime entertainment. Last time it was BMX bikers.

Halftime score PDX 52 SAC 42

Halftime A very "spread-around" game as Casey says. The highest scorer only has 10.

They just turned the lights down and they're doing some special 90's Blazer thing. Lots of tight shorts on the big screen.

There's going to be an interview at center court. This is probably going to be less dynamic than BMX bikers.

Bill Schonely is doing the interview. He's the "Rip City Ambassador"... I wonder if he gets special license plates on his car.

He's talked to Jerome Kersey. I remember that guy. And Terry Porter again. Too bad that Michael Jordan had to exist, because that team could've totally won a title that year. But Jordan cut their hearts out. Portland probably hates Jordan. I wasn't here, so I don't know. The Kings never got close enough to even the playoffs for Jordan to do us any damage, so my impression of him is fairly kind.

Still Halftime Terry Porter told a story about flying home from a victorious playoff game in Phoenix and seeing the thousands of fans at the Portland airport at four in the morning. What kind of people hang out at the airport at four in the morning? I can't imagine doing that. It would be cold, for one. And even when the plane lands, it's not like you get to hang out with the players. I'd have a hard time convincing any of my friends to go to the airport at four in the morning to greet ANYONE. Even Jesus Christ. "Come on, it'll be fun! We'll just drink some coffee and stay up late! We'll get to see Jesus!"

The interviewer is asking a really earnest question about the rap "Bust a Bucket". I like the way he said it. "Bust a BUCK-et."

Casey says it's okay to clap in press row for Jerome Kersey and Terry Porter. Oh, don't get me started on the illusion of objectivity in journalism.

Okay, I've started. Is it possible to ever be objective? I mean, really objective? There's no way. So what we are trying to get across is the ILLUSION of objectivity, right? It's just supposed to look like it's not subjective, like we don't have a horse in the race. Is that what journalism should be predicated on? An illusion?

I say that journalism should be COMPLETELY biased. You should start a story with, "Okay, here's who I am, and here's what I know, and here's what I think about this story." At least then you'd know where the story is coming from, instead of trying to peer through all the SUPPOSED objectivity and guess what the biases are. Everyone's biased, right?

Sorry for using so much capitalization. I don't have time to click the italics button.

Okay, 90's internet, try loading this without eating it all.

The inflatable Blazers van flew by dropping envelopes out the bottom. You think they could be a little more generous with that stuff. The things they're giving away are like 10% off coupons for Outback Steakhouse and they're parsing them out like they're vouchers for free health care. Just let them fly! Give us something!

I'm not comfortable with the feeling that we're all just poor peasants and the royal leaders are throwing little coins at us to appease us. Doesn't it feel like 18th century France? Let's ask Batum...

That would be a good question in the locker room. If I get the nerve up after the game, I'll ask it.

Me: "Hey Batum, nice game tonight. Do you see any correlation in the way NBA franchises treat their fans and the way that the royalty in France in the 18th century treated the peasant classes?"

Batum: "Ermmm...."

Sorry, small diversion. Game back on. Go Blazers!

10:10 3rd quarter I hate this internet connection. Did I mention that? Remember when the internet first started and you had to tell your parents not to pick up the phone because you were going to use the modem, and it went through that whole process with the dialing and all those weird connecting sounds, and then everything took forever to load, and then your brother picked up the phone and ruined everything while you were in the middle of downloading your first page? It's like that.

I start to post something and Terry Porter picks up the Blazer phone to call Clyde Drexler and the connection is lost. We are all lost.

Okay! Back to the game.

PDX 56 - SAC 50. Tyreke Evans is really good at getting to the basket, and not so good making the layup that he gets.

Aldridge just made a shot and the announcer said, "LLLLLL- TRAINNNNN" with the same tonality that Nelson on the Simpsons says "HA- HAAAAA"

I can't tell if all the in-between music is actually from the 90's. The beat they're playing right now is pretty stale, but that doesn't mean that it's in the spirit of any theme night.

Tyreke Evans just made a layup. I don't know anything about basketball.

They're showing Greg Oden on the big screen listening to Will Smith on headphones and dancing. The 90's.

They're trying to have different players guess what song they're listening to. They all could guess the Will Smith song, but none of them know the Hanson song. Except the white guy. And Oden, who looked up and sneered, "HANSON?"

That was pretty funny.

7:11 3rd Quarter I just realized I'm having fun. This is fun. It's easier for me to have fun if I'm working. It's like when I went to Mardi Gras in New Orleans and painted faces. It wasn't enjoyable for me to just be in the midst of debauchery unless I was making some money. Does that make me a workaholic? Or just a drag to be around?

BATTTUUUUUUUMM!! Just made a shot and got fouled. He pumped his fist and shouted, "OUIIIII!!!"

Crowd is shouting DEFENSE. Andre Miller looks a little annoyed. He's the one who's going to crack! I'm going to press him on it in the post-game interview.

These Kings don't know how to shoot the ball so it goes in the basket. That's their main problem.

PDX 63 - SAC 56. More shouts of DEFENSE. And Miller steals the ball and makes a layup! Just to get everyone to shut up!

Kings make a three.

Roy gets a defender to run into his own guy and goes for a layup but runs into someone else.

Maybe a good basketball strategy would be a team of midgets. Just stop trying to participate in this ever-escalating war of height that teams play, and go small. REALLY small. They could sneak under everyone's legs.

3:43 3rd Quarter Someone just requested that Casey take a photo of me looking mad at the internet. I think I just proved that musicians are worse actors than basketball players.

He botched the first one, so I get to try again.

That one was better.

3:03 3rd Quarter Did you ever see that Chappelle Show episode where they had the black Nostrodamus? I think they called him "Negrodamus"? That's who Juwan Howard looks like. Negrodamus.

Is there a more wasteful product than Cheer Stix? The Rose Garden passes out thousands of packages of these inflatable plastic sticks that you bang together and make an annoying sound to distract opposing free throw shooters. Next time you hear the Blazers talk about how Green they are, remind them of the Cheer Stix.

2:21 3rd Quarter "Groove is in the Heart" -- now THAT was a good song from the 90's. There must be some more, other than "U Can't Touch This" Which I believe they've played three times now.

What about "Cut Your Hair"? That would be an awesome song to hear right now.

Or "Shiny Happy People"? I think people would know that song.

"Smells Like Teen Spirit"? That would get people excited.

But now they're playing "Hip Hop Hooray"... I understand, they're sticking with dance music and hip hop. That's a good move. They could throw in a little variety though.

Batum hit a shot from downtown and I narrowly avoided clapping my hands together. Casey shot me a dirty look.

Howard had the ball stolen from him. He was robbed. Shouldn't he have seen that coming, being "Negrodamus" and all?

End of third quarter. They're playing Blur's "Woo Hoo" song. Okay, they've got indie rock covered. Sorry for complaining.

PDX 73 - SAC 62

Start of 4th Quarter It's interesting that they keep the music so hip-hop centric, because looking around the arena I see almost everyone is white. I know, this is Portland, but there are actually non-white people in this city. It's interesting that they aren't at this basketball game. I think the people who can afford to come to games like to feel like they're included in something that has street credibility, and the people who actually have street credibility can't get in.

Back to the game! Someone from the Kings hit a long jumper, but the announcer said his name with such ennui that you couldn't even hear what he said.

Offensive foul. The crowd is getting angry.

Another long jumper from the Kings by the same guy. Still couldn't hear what his name is. It sounded like the announcer is saying, "Shma Shmay" Is there someone by that name on the Kings?

Oh, I'm looking at the handy press handout Casey just gave me and I see that his name is Sean May. He's at the line taking a free throw. People are pounding the Cheer Stix. And... he missed the first one! The Cheer Stix are worth it. I take it all back.

Cotton candy guy is walking by. Does anyone actually like cotton candy? It seems like something someone in a Norman Rockwell painting tried once and spit out immediately.

PDX 73 - SAC 72. Kings have caught up. We actually have a game here. If they didn't catch up we wouldn't have a game. What would we have? We would just be sitting here watching nothing. Good thing they caught up.

8:37 4th quarter They're playing "Good Vibrations"... not the Beach Boys song, but the dance hit from the 90's.

I haven't seen much of Blaze this game. I remember last time I was here he was everywhere. That guy just wants people to cheer louder. That's all he wants.

Where IS Blaze. Is he taking the night off? I feel like I saw him during player introductions, but I can't find him now. Maybe he got discouraged about the amount of cheer that had to be raised. Maybe he stopped believing in us. I miss him.

Tyreke Makes a nice spin move and misses a layup. Then another guy gets the ball, bumps a Blazer and gets fouled. People are unhappy.

This crowd is upset. They HATE the officials. They want the officials to not produce any offspring so these particular genes can be stopped. I wonder if that weighs on the minds of the officials at all, the fact that 10,000 people hate them if they make a certain call, or will love them if they make a different call. I think that would sway me a little bit. Especially in those moments where two big guys jump up for a ball and crash into each other and you have to call SOMETHING on SOMEONE.

Marcus Camby in the game. Everyone's looking at his knees and hoping for the best. Miller got stuffed on a fast break and no foul was called. I'll let you guess how the crowd feels about the officials.

Jump ball. And they play Van Halen's "Jump"... Sorry, that's not from the 90's. What could we have put on in that situation that would have went with the theme of the night? I'm trying to think. There must be something good.... "Jump Around" by House of Pain? That's it.

5:55 4th Quarter "WHO WANTS A FREE TEE-SHIRT TONIGHT????!??!"

So much energy goes in to propelling t-shirts into the top rows of the arena. The Stunt Team has a sling shot and Blaze has this weird contraption that looks like a carpet steamer, but it propels about a dozen wadded-up t-shirts at a time high in the air. Can you imagine meeting the guy who invented that machine?

"Yeah, I invented the t-shirt cannon. We worked on it for four years, going over designs, testing different machines. I think we've finally got it."

Jerome Kersey just came on the big screen imploring the crowd to be loud. It worked. For about ten seconds.

The Blazers are constantly brainstorming ways to get the crowd to be louder. THEY JUST WANT US TO BE LOUDER! Why won't we acquiesce?

Now the crowd is chanting DEFENSE again. Maybe someday someone will come up with a variation on that. I don't know what that would be. "STOP THEM!" "HALT!" Or, for the French fans, "ARRETE!"

PDX 79 - SAC 76 Game is tight. "LET'S GO BLAZERS!"

I wonder if a player in the huddle ever looks around at his teammates and says, "Yeah, Blazers. Let's GO!" and his teammates suddenly snap into focus and GO.

under four minutes left. They're sounding the calvary horns. And playing the Knight Rider theme? That was from the 80's wasn't it? If you wanted to get a little Hasselhoff going, you should've played "Baywatch" guys.

Carl Landry shooting free throws. He was just on the Rockets two weeks ago. Must be strange to be traded and suddenly you have to move your family and play for another team in the middle of a season.

He hits two free throws despite the barrage of Cheer Stix. The Cheer Stix don't work!

PDX 83 - SAC 78 DE- FENSE!!

3:05 4th Quarter I have no idea if the internet is actually broadcasting this blog. Maybe the 90's internet connection here is delivering my words back in time to the 90's! And some kid in 1994 in a suburban house is dialing up on his AOL account and reading these words and thinking, "What the Eff?"

Was that even an expression back then?

They're playing "Welcome to the Jungle" Was that late 80's? They're abandoning their theme here.

Okay, PDX 83 SAC 78 Timeout.

Ah, "What is Love?" That is sooo 90's.

2:30 4th Quarter Casey Googled "What is Love?" and found out that it was sung by Haddaway. Take that 90's! We have Google now!

Portland is up by seven.

Crowd still wants DEFENSE. Will they ever be satisfied with the level of defense they're already getting? Cheer Stix have turned these people into INSANE ANIMALS.

People are leaving the game. I guess that means that it's not a game after all. I thought we had a GAME here.

Kings could still pull this out. Not that I'm rooting for them. I'm rooting for the Kings from the mid-80's to pull out a game so that me and my Dad could high-five and drive home happy listening to talk radio. I'll send an email through the 90's internet to someone in the 80's and see if they can make that happen.

Tyreke Evans... Do something!!

Aw, Kings got stuffed. Under a minute now. Kings aren't even fouling. They've given up.

:44.9 4th Quarter Fans are streaming out. I wonder if that hurts the players' feelings, like it would hurt a musician's feelings if people left before the show was over. I wonder if a basketball player ever looks out to a half-full arena and feels sad. I wonder if they ever think about putting up posters or handing out flyers to get more people to the game. Do the players have an email list that they send updates to? "Hey guys, I'm playing in Portland tonight. Tell your cousin."

Ball was heading out of bounds and then it bounced off a ref and went back in.

PDX 86 - SAC 78. Game almost over.

It says I've typed 6,000 words so far. That can't be right. I haven't even gotten to my crazy theories on basketball.

I didn't even have a second Coke. I didn't even get up to go to the bathroom. It all went by so fast.

Nobody's going to end up scoring more than 20 points this game. And the fans aren't getting a chalupa because the team is well under 100.

Clock counts down as the arena plays "Another One Bites the Dust"... Some consistency, please!

The Endgame Alright. It's over. Blazers 88 Kings 81. I didn't even get started. Thanks for reading. I'll have to do this again. Even just in my own bedroom with the internet off. Like in the early 90's.

Happy 90's Night. Good night
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