The Trail Blazers announced their 2009 - 2010 schedule earlier today, and it's actually somewhat balanced. A couple of 5 game road trips in the year, two 4 game road trips in December that are tough with two home games between them, and a longer home stand around Christmas through mid-January with just one road game to visit the Clippers. The Trail Blazers also have another Christmas day game versus Denver at the Rose Garden, and for the first time in a while, they actually open up the season at home. They are on national television 18 times between ESPN, TNT and NBA TV, with an actual appearance on ABC later in the year. I feel the schedule has some points to it, but this is also a schedule that if played right, they could gain some momentum at points and put together some nice winning streaks. This team has good depth with Andre Miller coming aboard, which I think will be important for this team, but the reward for their breakout year last year is more attention nationally this year, and that's good. And the team is working very hard to keep their franchise foundation happy and awash with monies.
Meanwhile, the Timbers come back home for two matches this weekend, one versus their Cascadia rivals from Vancouver, BC on Thursday night, and then Saturday night versus the Charleston Battery, a team that is in the thick of the battle for the top of the table with the Timbers. The Timbers were able to keep their unbeaten streak going with another draw in Minnesota Saturday night, but as with some other games, this is one that was very winnable and it will be one they will look back on in that regard. Yes, they didn't play well in some stretches, and last year's team probably would have folded up at points with the repeated draws, but this team has some more mental toughness and they'll need it. Jason McLaughlin will not be eligible for selection after his red card infraction on Saturday, while we hope that Taka Suzuki will be back for the weekend's matches.
While I work on covering the Timbers, I'm also working on getting myself in shape for the upcoming fall GPSD season with the Timbers Army Football Club. I'll be resuming my normal position of defensive wing and trying to keep goals to a minimum for our opponents. I'll be working out twice a week when I can, and trying to balance some upcoming big trips that girl and I have on the schedule. We are heading to the land up north early next week to see one of her favorite bands, Depeche Mode, on Monday night, then we come back and get ready for a trip to Spokane to visit my aunt and uncle. My dad and sister will also be joining up, so it will be the first time in a few years that we will all be at the same place. It will be great to see them, and I'm looking forward to seeing my sister, as it's been over three years since I've seen her. Well, and I get to see my niece, who I haven't seen in person either, so that will be good. We then get back for a few days, and then head to Las Vegas for eight days of gaming, relaxing by the pool, more concerts, and having the vacation that we haven't had a chance to have yet this year. By the time I get back, it will be the home stretch for the Timbers as we fade into fall time. And I'll share highlights of each trip as I can here, because there might be some interesting topics to discuss.