Thursday, July 30, 2009

I've Angered the Soccer World

Or at least a small part of it anyway. I find it rather interesting that they are getting so worked up over my opinion, but then again, we are dealing with a rivalry here and sometimes rational thought doesn't fit in the equation. I wanted to keep an open mind going up there, hoping that things might be different now versus previous trips up north. But I was proven wrong, and decided to share my thoughts. There wasn't anger or frustration or even jealousy in my words, I simply wanted to compare the experience to other football matches I've witnessed here and abroad. It didn't compare in the least, but at the same time, if that works for them, by all means keep it up.
The Timbers are close to hitting the home stretch, which doesn't seem possible as it feels the season just started a few weeks ago. But they have 12 games left, 7 at home and 5 on the road, starting with a game in Minnesota on Saturday. I'll have some thoughts on the game in my other blog home, but one thing I will say up front is play 90, Timbers, please play 90.
The baseball saga in Portland continues with an interesting article about Beaverton and their ability to pay for a ballpark. Ok, apparently, they could pay for one right now, according to Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle. They seem overly excited to have a team come to their town, and I think it's a win for them in the long run. Sports team can add quite a bit to how people feel about their town, and Beaverton has always wanted to be outside of the Portland shadow a bit. Plus, the Beavers need to be in a city that actually wants the team. Mind you, I think Portland wants them as well, but they just can't figure out a way to do it that doesn't require a huge amount of consensus, discussion, and posturing. Portland had the right idea for a ballpark, but lost their way in the middle innings, and now, the team will stay in the proper area. But I feel that the Beavers will thrive given the chance to really be supported and become an anchor for the area, which really it doesn't have here. Portland residents might like baseball, but their team of choice more often than not is somebody else than the Beavers. They deserve a better fate, and especially if the city and Merritt Paulson can work together to find a deal that works for everyone.
The Trail Blazers are very close to announcing their full schedule for 2009 - 2010, but they've announced their preseason games in a release yesterday. Two games of interest are the game in Vancouver, BC versus the Phoenix Suns and Vancouver's own Steve Nash, and a turn back the clock game on October 14th. On that date, the Suns and Trail Blazers will play at the Memorial Coliseum, the Trail Blazers' original home, and ironically, the teams playing were the last teams to ever play there before the Trail Blazers moved to their new home. This is either a genius move to rekindle some old time Blazermania, or it's a ploy to show the state of the MC to everyone to then gain traction to fix up the old building or tear it down. I still don't trust the team's motives in relation to their own home, as they have been responsible for up-keeping the MC and haven't been, and their desires for the long term are to put in some shops and pubs. So far, people have suggested a museum, velodrome, water park, or outdoor concert venue to go in that spot, but in my mind, baseball still made the most sense.
I haven't even gotten to talk about Andre Miller joining the Trail Blazers last week, as he signed a three year deal with the team. Granted, Miller is a winner, hardly gets injured, can drive to the basket and create his own shot, but this deal has effectively indicated that the team doesn't think Jarryd Bayless is ready to run the team, and that Steve Blake might not be in the team's long range plans. You've upgraded the position, and given yourself a great option if Blake gets injured, and Miller could thrive with a second unit of Webster, Outlaw, Oden and Fernandez. He's definitely a step up from Sergio Rodriguez, who I personally liked a lot, but he really never showed his skills here with any consistency. The team has made their 1 through 10 players stronger, though, but it's probably not the flashy move everyone has expected. But getting some help in being a leader and a distributor for Brandon Roy was a vital need, and this move addresses it. The franchise can't help but be happy about this, and I hope that we're only a few steps away from seeing his contract extended.
Enjoy the rest of your Thursday, and stay cool out there. The heat isn't quite as bad as it has been, but then again, I never thought I'd be happy to see the temperature at 95 degrees as a good thing. I'm actually happy thinking about the prospect of the rainy season coming. Guess I've really adopted this Oregon way of life.

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