May 15th, 2011


Take one dose of The Beautiful Game

Got out. Saw crowds in two places for Portland Timbers-Seattle Sounders. First crowd: at the Bagdad, which showed the game in the theater (and, I'm guessing, the Backstage Cafe). I'd wanted to try watching the game in a new-to-me place, though, so I walked up to the Belmont Inn. Not a crowd: one TV out of the six or seven in the place was tuned to the game, without sound. I wasn't really "feeling it" there, so I took Sabrina Miller's suggestion and made it to Spirit of '77, a sports bar across from the Convention Center that's named in honor of the season where the Portland Trail Blazers won the NBA Championship. I "felt it" there. So did the crowd. Second crowd of Timbers-watchers I joined tonight. (Not including the crowd that actually made it to Qwest Field and was LOUD for the team, because I only saw them on TV, not around me.)

We got a 1-1 draw. Getting closer to a road win, Timbers! And I enjoyed myself in non-soccer ways, too: explaining my Trek in the Park T-shirt to a patron who hadn't heard of it before, appreciating how one Spirit of '77 server could win in a Martha Quinn lookalike contest (yes, I'm a member of the first MTV generation) and also playing some rounds of basketball hoop-shooting. I also laughed ruefully at how the Spirit of '77's receipts include the message "Both Teams Played Hard." I'll explain later why that's funny to me.

Anyway, I got out, saw a good game, better appreciated how quickly a soccer game can change so that there's so much the players have to be ready for when playing, and felt better. After the bar, I went downtown for a bus ride back to my neighborhood (the easier option that time of night) and visited briefly at Big-Ass Sandwiches to say hi to its late-night Saturday crew. Then home. Now sleep. Or at least soon sleep. If I fell to sleep now it would
Good Omens

Both teams played hard

Why I laughed (as mentioned here)? NBA Playoffs, April 2003. Portland Trail Blazers winning against the Dallas Mavs in Game 4. I was home. I'd listened to the Blazers on the radio. And in an epic -- EPIC -- post-game interview, an exhausted and annoyed Rasheed Wallace answered five freakin' questions in a row with "It was a good game. Both teams played hard." The way he said it, it became almost Zen. Surly, surly Zen.

As I just found out, Wallace's comment later even inspired a web site, run by Jared Wade, who's said (among other things) "I believe Come Fly With Me, Casablanca, White Men Can’t Jump and Anchorman are the only four flawless films" and "I think Plastic Man narrowly edges out The Rifleman, Enormous Mormon, The Microwave and Bad Porn for the best NBA nickname of all time." (Wade even marked the remark's sixth anniversary.)

Helps to have a sense of humor about Portland sports. Doesn't it help to have a sense of humor about sports in general?