Blazers go from Schonz to skint

A year after tanking the season, the Portland Trail Blazers have apparently decided that their TV and radio announcers won't be going on the road with the team from here on out. They'll be calling the away games while watching them on TV monitors.

Why? To save money. How much? I'm no travel agent, but I'd guess a million or two a year. Do other teams in the league do it? No.

This from a Blazer organization whose annual player payroll is something like $156 million. This from a team that put on the floor last year one of the most miserable products in the history of the franchise.

Will people keep tuning in? I guess so. Inertia is a powerful force. See also P. T. Barnum regarding the birth rate of certain individuals.

[I]f broadcasters aren’t on location when calling games, they don’t get a full picture of what’s happening. They can see a player drive to the hoop. They can’t necessarily see his teammate sneaking out to the three-point line as the play develops.

Furthermore, a remote crew is at the mercy of the home team’s director and cameramen. An audience in Portland might prefer to see shots of the Blazers bench during a time-out. The crew in Los Angeles, though, would naturally be more focused on LeBron James and company.

Oh, well. The anemic Portland team is going to be sold soon, and maybe moved. They're currently in negotiations with the geniuses of Portland City Hall to renew the lease on the ground under the arena. The mayor, Dud Wheeler, says it will all go smoothly. Maybe this thing with the announcers is some bizarre negotiating point. Or maybe they're just alienating the local fans so that the move will upset fewer people.

It would take an awful lot to get me back on the Blazer bandwagon. More than the current owner is willing to put up.


  1. So, no basketball and no soccer. That sorta leaves you with Hops and a Pickle. Go Niketown!

    1. Hard to get behind the local teams. The Hops are okay. Lewis & Clark, Portland State, Oregon State too.

  2. The estimate is around $500,000. I emailed Hankins and told him it was a bad move. He was nice enough to reply to me and (not sure I'm 100% going with this version) said the decision was his and not upper management. Sounds a bit like falling on your sword, but I will wait and see. He has been backtracking a bit lately because of all the backlash.

    I am not sure this decision is all about money, I think it also has to do with the foolish attempt to try keeping the covid bug away from staff. The virus has mutated to pretty much only infect the boosted- which I highly advise everyone to stop taking because of the adverse outcomes.


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