This blog will chronicle my attempt to visit all 30 NBA Arenas during the 2007-08 season.

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Contact info: Drew Cieszynski 2637 N. Frederick Ave. Apt# 106 Milwaukee, WI 53211 / 717.676.9963 / acieszyn@hotmail.com

Click below on "2007" to view the first 13 arenas.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Portland TrailBlazers

Well an absolutely thrilling Arena #3 is complete. I'm currently in San Francisco California gearing up for arena #4 in Oakland, California. I hope to have the Bay area recap complete on Monday evening, but for now, it's Portland, Oregon. One of the things we noticed while driving to Portland was that many trucks had 3 trailers attached rather than two...never seen that before.

So we arrived in Portland on Monday afternoon...an extremely rainy day. That surely didn't stop our activites. Thank you Dan for buying our hotel room, our view wasn't too shabby.

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New invention?

Toilet 2

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We decided to check out the hotel pool/spa...

pool time

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After dinner at Jake's Restaurant, where we were clearly treated as lesser individuals because of our appearance, we decided to take in the downtown Portland night life. Difficulty was, there were no visible night spots to check out. We had to search for quite awhile to find any "hopping" bars and clubs.

While we were out, we met some new friends from Canada and tried the Rock Bottom sampler at the Portland RockBottom Brewery.

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Tree climbing

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It was here that I learned how conservative my friend Josh McCormick is as he showed me wallet made of masking tape

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A fun fact...it is said that the town is Springfield, Oregon is the actual town that the Simpsons is based after and the neighboring town of Eugene is "Shelbyville." While I doubted this, Simpsons references kept showing up at the Blazers game, so possibly true?

Upon waking up, I asked myself why?

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Hilarious sign we came across

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The next morning, we decided to start off our day by checking out the aerial tram

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What is possibly most interesting about this tram is that it is built over a residential area.
Many of the locals told us that these residents protested the tram heavily by lying naked in their backyards as the trams passed over.

Since we would be heading to San Francisco the next day, home of the annual Easter Sunday "bring your own bigwheel race, we decided to prep ourselves for the upcoming race by purchasing our own big wheels:

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We found a quality racing spot and began practicing.

Downhill race #1

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big wheelzr

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Before long, all of the locals were joining in our races.

Visited one of the most famous, free skateparks in the country...

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One of the more interesting items we noticed was when we went shopping. All cashiers would ask us if we were from Oregon or Washington? This was because if an Oregon I.D. was provided, the customer does not have to pay sales tax!

Adidas and Nike are located in Portland. This state knows its sporting apparel!

So off to the Portland TrailBlazers game at the Rose Garden. Upon arriving at the Rose Garden, we were waiting for our tour guide and Kevin Duckworth walked in. This guy is monsterous! You'll see why he was there later in the blog.

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We met up with our tour guide Jerry Moss, who showed us around the Rose Garden. He first told us that the Rose Garden was privately funded, one of the few in the NBA. Paul Allen is now the owner of the team, and proves to be one of the more interesting owners in the league. He build a 2-bedroom apartment at the top of the arena. When he built the arena, the city required him to include some art. So a fountain with two pillars was built. The fountain is controlled by the wind...

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We first noticed the amazingly tall doors

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The TV studio

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The post game interview screen with our Blazers practice jerseys that the team was so generous to supply us with:

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The Blazers sign, which the team related to the Notre Dame "Play like a champion today" sign.

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Walking out to the court...

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On the bench

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Bottom of scoreboard. The new scoreboard was installed this year and is the most impressive one I've seen to date. Fans can practically watch the game via the scoreboard now!

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The "MAX" stops right in front of the arena. Apparently many fans use this means of transportation to get to the game. Fans can purchase "MAX" tickets simultaneously with game tickets on the Blazers website. Very convenient! Outside where the MAX drops fans off, we noticed that Greg Oden isn't forgotten.

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Blazers rookie Josh McRoberts practicing before the game

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Me, Dan, and Josh on the court

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Dance team practicing before the game

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Jerry is a dedicated Blazers fan...just check out his tooth!

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The sound panels. Our guide told us that these are one of the very unique items of the Rose Garden. The hard sides of these panels are able to reflect sound and make it one of the loudest arenas in the country. The opposite sides are used to enhance the sound at concerts.

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One of the more interesting things of the arena was the crown. As you can see below, it is tipped on its side. Jerry said that once the Blazers win the championship, they will have ceremony to tip this right-side-up. I will make every effort to attend this ceremony; will I believe will happen in the next decade.

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So during the tour, I had to ask Jerry why they called Portland RIP CITY (thats for you Debbie)? The term was coined by Bill Schonely in the 1970's. The term was widely used during the this time, when Portland won the NBA championship. This term reflects the love Portland has for its only professional sports team. Just look at how the fans have taken to it...

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We tested our the vertical leap measure:

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Retired Blazers

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Zakk Wylde, from Ozzy Osborne's band, performs the national anthem:

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Me & the mascot Blaze

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Marching band on-hand for the game. Really added to the excitement:

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Tipoff

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Player intros

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Blazers greats were in town for a reunion of the former Western Conference Championship team. Terry Porter, Clyde Drexler, Cliff Robinson, Kevin Duckworth, and Jerome Kersey.

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In-game action

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The blimp, offering up coupons

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My hand compared to NBA player Rasheed Wallace

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DMC from Run DMC performs live at the end of the 1st quarter

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Word is that when Portland won the #1 pick in the 2007 draft, Portland set a record for daily beverage sales. We'll have to wait until 2008 to see if this #1 pick was worthwhile...

When we stepped outside, we learned that the owner would also like to purchase the territory across from the arena so that it can be developed for restaurants and ferry transportation to the games. However, he hasn't been able to purchase it because the grain elevator is owned by the father of Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Seinfeld's Elaine). He is either unwilling to sell or the asking price is too high. I don't know how true this is, but this is what he told us.

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Our friends at the Blazers were generous enough to put us in the section where the opposing team would be shooting free-throws in the 2nd half. Here we received free Thundersticks used to distract the opposing team when shooting free throws

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Documentation of arena #3 of 30!

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Brandon Roy was instrumental to the Blazers win. He showed that he is clearly one of the next superstars in the NBA. While on the tour, Jerry told us the Brandon Roy called several of the Blazers players during the summer and convinced them to come to Portland and participate in "2-a-day" practices to become a more cohesive unit. These practices were strictly voluntarly as teams cannot ask players to practice between the end of the NBA Finals and the beginning of training camp. Yet the Blazers chose to do this to make themselves better. Very admirable!

"Hustle board" provides us with the necessary stats

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I loved the Blazers. I even got to appear on the jumbo-tron 3 times! A sell out crowd on a Tuesday night...unbelievable! Dan was a bit shocked by the reaction of the very first rebound; you would've thought a Blazer had just made a game-winning shot by the fan reaction. They were loud all night. Until the final buzzer, the fans made it seem as if I was attending a playoff game.

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TrailBlazers get the victory:

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After the game, Dan and I would proceed to drive 11 hours through the night to Oakland. Tiring.

Random Portland pics:

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Thank You's: Brittany Davidson, Mike Golub, Jerry Moss, Josh McCormick, and John Canzano.

Take care everyone. Next blog installment recapping the bay area of California should be next Monday or Tuesday!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Drew and the Portland Trailblazers for getting me in to my first basketball game. I could not have expected it to be any better. Can't wait to see the pictures from your next games. Have fun and good luck with the last 90%! McCormick

Anonymous said...

I think you should dedicate the bicycle sign to your Uncle Del!
Love Mom

Anonymous said...

I'm not a big NBA fan, but I think I saw that one guy on "Dancing with the Stars," go Clyde!

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