March 17th, 2014 12:16 pm | by AARON MESH News | Posted In: Sports, Business

Damian Lillard's Brother Didn't Make the Portland Thunder

Terry Emmert's arena football team kicks off tonight

lede_4018(duck)DUCK TALES: Quarterback Darron Thomas (1), who played for the University of Oregon, remains hugely popular in Portland, getting the loudest cheer at a recent Trail Blazers game. - IMAGE: Christopher Onstott

Arena football returns to Portland tonight for the first time in 15 years when the Portland Thunder play their season opener in the Moda Center.

Not debuting: Damian Lillard's older brother Houston Lillard.

WW reported earlier this month that Houston Lillard tried out as a quarterback for the Thunder, raising the possibility of two Lillards playing in the Moda Center.

But Houston Lillard, who played college ball at Southeast Missouri State, didn't make the final Thunder roster.

But at least six local players  will be on the team when it kicks off at 7 pm against the San Jose SaberCats. They former Oregon Ducks star quarterback Darron Thomas and former Portland State University wide receiver Justin Monahan.

A cover story in WW earlier this month reported how these players are clinging to the fringes of professional football.

This is pro football—but barely. The players are competing for 24 roster spots—and a paycheck of $830 per game. That number, a result of a hard-fought collective bargaining agreement, translates to an annual salary of $14,940 before taxes.

The story also profiled Thunder owner Terry Emmert, a Clackamas County heavy-hauling mogul with a colorful history in financing Portland sports—and water buffalo, which might or might also make an appearance at the Moda Center this season.

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