My first time

A new ongoing column wherein we send a staff writer to cover a sport they’ve never seen played live before, giving fresh eyes to old customs.


Gotta say, glad I had that second happy hour beer before my buddies and I got to the arena. Good beer here is double what it costs in real life (depending on where you regularly imbibe), while cheap beer is quadruple. Lawyers and accountants somewhere did a lot of work to determine how much they can charge for a beer—high enough to keep the riffraff from getting violently drunk on light swill and causing lawsuits, cheap enough to allow everyone at least an opportunity to get buzzed and enjoy themselves.

Though in true Portland fashion, I had to travel far and wide to find somewhere that only served cheap beer. Most every stand had at least one micro or premium brew.

The only food worth getting is from one of the Portland-centric food stands scattered around the sections. At just about any of them, a decent meal is the same price as the fried frozen garbage served in meager portions at the regular concession stands.

We can’t stop here, this is zeppelin country!

Apparently the sight of a Ford SUV flying around the stands is commonplace if you’ve been to the Moda Center enough, but it completely blew my mind. I say let more auto companies promote their wares in the empty space above our heads. Get enough of them in on it and we could have an aerial demolition derby, which would then become its own sport, and the Blazers would have to play at halftime to keep the crowd enthusiasm up while the aircars reinflate and emergency medical teams carry out the burn victims from the shower of little promotional Hindenburgs.

I know that it probably can’t, but for the rest of the night I was thinking how glorious it would be if I could jump on and pilot the Ford Zeppelin around the stands just a few times. Then maybe back home. Then, everywhere, forever…perhaps even to a whole new world.

Peace and quiet

Okay, to be sure, the Rose Quarter is anything but hushed. Yet coming from watching games at home, it’s practically serene. Despite the cacophony of the crowd and music and buzzers, the announcers are blessedly quiet at the stadium.

To someone with only a passing interest in their “analysis,” having to listen to the relentless inanity of broadcast sports announcers is like being forced to watch the English language get ruthlessly tortured for knowledge it doesn’t have.

Just sayin’

Every good-looking three is called out by the guy behind me as money. “That’s money,” he’d say about every minute or so. Essentially, he was talking about moneyshots all night. Gross.

It doesn’t seem a just use of the Trail Blazers stunt team to toss around promotional popcorn when they should be practicing their dirtbike jumps over pools of blood-hungry sharks.

Not all chants get off the ground, but you can tell within a couple rounds whether it’ll take off and engulf the stadium.

The whole place is designed to soak money up from the crowd as the razzle dazzle keeps our eyes off our wallet. Apparently the sixth man is buying the first round for the rest of the team.

Finally, the MVP goes to Moda themselves, for being surprisingly modest with their advertisements. I suppose when your name is on the stadium itself, you can afford to be be reserved.