We're LIVE at the RoseModaGardenCenter, where the home team has proven they're not merely a figment of this fair city's Rose-colored imagination.
Everyone is rushing to call the Blazers "for real" (or "fo reeeeeeal" when you're this pumped) now that Portland has stormed out to the best record in the Western Conference nearly 1/4 of the way through the season. And why not? They're only topping power rankings, impressing vaunted pundits (twice) and generally making this arena a fun place to watch competitive sports again.
But now that everyone's paying attention, can Rip City stay red-hot and it rollin'?
They'll have a fine chance to do so tonight against a young Utah team that already trails first-place Portland by 12.5 games out West. The Jazz have four wins this year and haven't exactly shot the lights out: They're last in the conference in scoring and worst in the Association in road point-gathering (technical term). Exposed by a rough-and-tumble schedule of late, Utah appears to be easy pickings for an upstart Portland squad that's stood up to the likes of San Antonio, Golden State, Indiana and—most recently—Oklahoma City.
Hey, the Blazers are good again! And it's too frigid to go outside! So go ahead and snuggle up to the warmth of your laptop and click past the jump for all the action—on and off the
Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers take on the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Blazers are riding high after knocking off the NBA-leading Indiana Pacers on Monday, an instant classic that cemented Portland’s status in the upper echelon of the league. And while that game was indeed a high water mark, tonight’s contest is clearly more important as the NBA Championship Belt is on the line. Or, you know, it’s a tough game against a really good division rival. Either way.
Between hectic game winners and ridiculous circus shots, things are going well for the Thunder. Hell, even their fans are getting in on the action, knocking down half-court shot after half-court shot. Despite Portland’s great opening record the Thunder are right there lurking: Oklahoma City is currently riding an eight game winning streak that has them a game back of the Blazers in the Northwest division.
Look at that! Three paragraphs of Blazers/Thunder talk without once mentioning the 2007 NBA draft. Baby steps.
If you haven't checked out the Epic Rap Battles of History series (in which historical characters engage in... you know... rap battles) you are really missing something wondrous! Start your education with comedians Key and Peele who star in this heeelariously hot rap battle between Space Jam's Michael Jordan (who also played basketball for a team called the Bulls, I hear?) and poet Muhammad Ali (who apparently fought other people for money). I DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT SPORTS! (But I know funny and this is funny.)
Live from the
Entertainment 720 headquarters Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the NBA-leading Indiana Pacers.
The Blazers return home after splitting a pair of games on the road, losing again in Phoenix and narrowly squeaking out a win against the Lakers. And whew, last night’s game at the Staples Center was a close one. The Blazers got the win but only after blowing a twenty point lead in the fourth quarter. Hello, PTSD!
Portland has their work cut out for them tonight as they face the best team in the league. Indiana is on a whole new level this year, sporting the league’s best defense by a mile. Seriously, a mile. Nobody is close to their level in terms of efficiency and points allowed per game. Add in the meteoric rise of noted grape-eater Paul George, the emergence of Lance Stephenson, and basketball-gobbler Roy Hibbert eating up every shot in sight, and Indiana is looking primed to make a title run this year. Their league leading 16-1 record is no joke.
It’s going to be a great game, but mostly I’m just interested in seeing if I can get Hibbert to take me there.
Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the New York Knickerbockers.
Much like Parker Lewis before them, the Blazers just can’t freaking lose. Portland took home another victory in Saturday night’s contest against Golden State, and their winning streak is now up to ten in a row. Ten! The knock on the team before the weekend was that they hadn’t faced any major competition, but after dispatching the Bulls and Warriors in back to back nights that is no longer the case. The Blazers are seemingly for real.
You know who is not for real? The Knicks. New York is scuffling out of the gate, having dropped nine of their first twelve contests. Things are so bad Carmelo Anthony may start demanding a trade back to Denver. Tyson Chandler is out with a broken right fibula, Amar’e Stoudemire (!) and Andrea Bargnani (!!) have forgotten how to play defense, and J.R. Smith might be trapped in a garage. Above it all, notorious shredder—and, okay fine, Knicks owner—James Dolan and his win now attitude are looming large over the struggling franchise.
Speaking of large? (Insert Raymond Felton fat joke here.)
Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Chicago Bulls.
What’s that? Oh, just eight wins in a row—including four straight on the road—for the red hot Blazers. They inexplicably find themselves with the third best record in the entire league, a high water mark that nobody would have predicted for this team before the season started.
Are they actually this good? No. The quality of opposition during this winning streak has been...below average, to put it nicely. But Portland’s offense is absolutely this legit, and their defense is improving from awful to mediocre by the day. And hey, eight wins is eight wins, even when two come against the
Washington Generals Sacramento Kings.
The national media is starting to notice that there are some things brewing in Rip City and for good reason. Terry Stotts has crafted an offensive juggernaut, one that is all spacing and passing and three pointers and LaMarcus Aldridge mid-range jumpers. It can’t last—Wesley Matthews is currently hitting 50% percent of his three-point attempts, an unsustainable mark for everyone this side of Steph Curry—but the ride has been fun as hell thus far. With apologies to Nate McMillan and his plodding offense, this is the most aesthetically pleasing Blazers team since Arvydas Sabonis was throwing no-look behind the back passes to infinity.
Dust off the Sega Genesis and let's basketball.
Gape at lots more sweaty fun with Masonite Burn's shots from last weekend's roller derby bouts at the Oaks Park Hangar. They are stellar, as always. Hit the jump for some brief recaps of the battles between Portland's Heartless Heathers and Bend's Smokin' Ashes, and a double header between all four of Portland's Rose City Rollers junior derby home teams. (Or, you know look at fictional roller derby from the 1970s, that's fun too. Different, but fun. Here.)
PLUS! There's a few roller derby events shakin' out this weekend. Those Heathers, who so soundly smoked the Bend gals last Friday, are hosting a wine-release party for a special Rose City Rollers-themed cabernet franc from Leah Jørgensen Cellars called "Flat Track." They promise live music, fire dancing, non-fire dancing, specialty cocktails, wine guzzling (AKA tasting), and food carts. Sounds fun. Wear party pants. Tonight, Coava (1300 SE Grand), 8 pm-1:30 am, $5 ($8 w/wine tasting)
Sunday, you can head over to the Mount Scott Community Center Skating Rink (a place that Steve calls the Wild West of Roller Rinks) for the book launch party for Roller Derby for Beginners. This sounds like the most fun book signing ever... because it has free roller-skating! Written by retired roller derby player Frisky Sour, this succinct and helpful guide to dipping your toes into the bruise-covered sport of derby is a delightful read—humorous, thoughtful, and encouraging. Bring money for a copy of the Kickstarter-funded book ($15), because the skating is free, and the door prizes are numerous. Book launch and signing, Mount Scott Community Center (5530 SE 72nd), Sunday, 6-8 pm, free
Live from the Moda Center, as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Phoenix Suns.
The Suns were not supposed to be this good. Coming into the season most analysts had them pegged as one of the five worst teams in the league, and that was before they went and traded starting center Marcin Gortat to the Washington Wizards for a future first round pick. Phoenix is hoarding picks, the idea being they would suck this year to try and secure a better draft position for next year’s ridiculously loaded draft.
Nobody gave the tanking memo to new coach, and noted face toucher, Jeff Hornacek. He has the Suns off to a scorching 5-2 start, tops in their division. Suddenly Portland’s first loss against Phoenix, way back in game number one, doesn’t seem quite as bad. At least not with the Should Have Been Terrible Suns playing this well.
Grab your giraffe bones and penguin skulls and let’s basketball!
Live from the Moda Center, as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Detroit Pistons.
The Blazers come in riding a two game winning streak. Funny what playing the Kings back to back can do for a team. While Portland was able to come away with two easy victories on Friday and Saturday, DeMarcus Cousins shredded them inside to the tune of sixty-eight points between the two contests. Defending bigs has been a bit of a problem for the Blazers in this early stretch of the season, and teams don’t get much bigger than the Pistons.
With the addition of Josh Smith this offseason, Detroit now boasts a ridiculous frontcourt of Smith, Andre Drummond, and Greg Monroe. Smallball what? The Pistons are bucking current league wide trends and opting to play as big as possible, and for good reason. Good luck trying to score against that frontline.
Thankfully, what the Pistons have in size they lack in shot selection. Need a fun drinking game? Take a drink after every ill-advised Josh Smith jumper. You’ll be checking yourself into rehab by the time the second half rolls around.
Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Sacramento Kings.
It has been a decade since the Kings were the most exciting team in the league, and their fanbase has been made suffer through some horrible stretches. The Kings are one of two teams, along with the Minnesota Timberwolves, to have not made the playoffs since 2006. They had to put up with the worst owners in the league this side of blatantly racist Donald Sterling. They drafted Jimmer Fredette. There is a reason the Kings were recently voted the worst sports franchise in the US by ESPN the Magazine, but things may have finally turned the corner for Sacramento.
The Kings have a new owner, Vivek Ranadive, finally ridding themselves of frosted tips and insincere freak outs forever. The Maloofs were directly responsible for trying to move the team to a new location: Las Vegas, Anaheim, Seattle, their mom’s basement. But Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson—yes, that Kevin Johnson—stepped in and successfully fought to keep the team in California’s armpit. Here they stay.
New ownership, new coach, new GM—everything is coming up cowbell! Break out the low-fives and let’s basketball.
Live from the Moda Center, as the Portland Trail Blazers host the
2013 Beard Olympics Houston Rockets.
In two years, the Rockets have turned themselves from a mediocre team full of desirable assets into a legit championship contender. The reason? Houston was able to acquire James Harden, a top ten talent in the NBA, for a bag of magic beans. Okay, fine, it was really for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, and three draft picks, but that is still a stunningly lopsided trade that Oklahoma City is going to regret for decades. All hail Dork Elvis.
Add in this past offseason where Dwight Howard decided to take his talents to Galveston—presumably because of the state income tax, the desire to win, and the fact that Chandler Parsons is the only person still laughing at his fart jokes—and the future is looking bright in H-Town.
Live from the
Rose Garden Moda Center, as the Portland Trail Blazers host the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs.
It’s an exciting new year for Portland, chock full of unfamiliar faces, rising optimism, and playoff aspirations. (/checks schedule.) Wait—the Blazers lost to the actively tanking Suns to start the season?! Yep, here we go again.
Break out the Rec Specs, shake off the pins and needles, and let’s basketball!
As you undoubtedly recall, for a while Mike Tyson was touring the country with his one-man show Undisputed Truth... though his Portland stop was canceled AND I CAN'T IMAGINE WHY. (Eye roll.) However, for those who desperately wanted to watch Mike atone for his life, director Spike Lee filmed the entire thing for your enjoyment (?), which will be broadcast on HBO on November 16. Here's the trailer, which is unsurprisingly terrible and cringe inducing.
Want a sneak peak? Take a look at Frank Lavelle's great photos from a bout back in June when the newbies in the draft pool took on the Gorge Roller Girls from Hood River. Lots of those gals will be playing on Saturday, as they got drafted by home teams earlier this month.
Then Sunday, watch the juniors on the Rosebuds knock the teenage snot out of each other. The Little Red Riveters and the Rainbow Bites are friggin' insanely talented athletes, which makes junior roller derby sooooo much fun to watch. Plus they always know how to dress for the occasion—especially with Halloween around the corner. (Rosebuds home teams: Little Red Riveters vs. Rainbow Bites, Sun Oct 20, 2 pm, $10-15, all ages, tix)
See that up there? That is headline news on NBA.com, and when I say headline, I mean all-caps 16pt Helvetica HEADLINE
This a big deal! It's nice that they paid the city a tribute after paying the Blazers to put their name on the building. And they put some thought into it too! Take it away, Mehdi Tabrizi, Managing Director at Ziba, Portland-based experience design and innovation firm!
"Our challenge was to design a new logo and identity that was true to the history and spirit of the arena, authentic to the moda health brand, and meaningful to the Portland community at large."
Okay, sure! So, the roundy thing on the left is a rose, which is plum-colored, as opposed to, uh, rose-colored. Although I guess roses can be purplish, although typically in media, roses are red, which is one of the colors used by the Blazers, who play in the building this plumrose will be glued to!
The lettering is sort of reminiscent of the Blazers original logo, the one that has always, and will always look about 15x better than the current one, which began life as a word .doc with italics turned on.
Although the one on the right has little pointy parts sticking off it now, as if to say "Watch out, basketball players. We're sharp and fast! Like our mascot, Blaze the Trail Cat! Rawr!"
Intimidation. That's the key.
After a bit, I forgot about the torrential rain outside of the fairgrounds building. But then the PA system loudly announced that our cars might be in an engine-drowning mega puddle in the parking lot and the roof started leaking on the track—and that's when the deluge came rushing back. 'Cuz who cares about a little rain when there's 34 hours of roller derby to watch.
This weekend was the Women's Flat Track Derby Association's division 1 playoffs in Salem. Ten teams and nearly 150 skaters gathered to knock the international snot out of each other. There were a few upsets, some amazingly close games, and no one drowned in the oppressive downpour. Success!
Catch the salient and not-so salient points after the jump.
This might be obvious, but there's a lot of hustling going on in Salem this weekend. And not the normal kind, the delightful roller derby kind with a huge international tournament all weekend. It goes through Sunday at the Salem Fairgrounds with 10 of the top teams in the entire world (THE EARTH) knocking the shit out of each other. Sadly, oooooooooh so sadly, Portland's Rose City Rollers played in the playoffs in Fort Wayne, Indiana, a couple weeks ago and didn't manage to better the London Rollergirls. So no championship shot for us. Look how heartbreaking it was (in fact, go look at all of Skippy Steve's photos of the Portland vs. London game—they're excellent!). Ugh. But back to the more immediate point... this weekend... tons of roller derby with Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, Baltimore, Australia, Toronto, and so many more teams playing 17 games, all with the hopes of getting into the Women's Flat Track Derby Association championships in November in Milwaukee. Come on down, it's super fun. And tomorrow sees the huge battle for the all the marbles with the big game for first place at 6 pm. Girls! Roller skates! Smash!
This week has been rich with goodness—a steady stream of really awesome entertainment flowing straight into my face. Here, I'll share the wealth. (And by "wealth, I mean "recommendations," not cash money, because there's a dusting of moths currently living in my wallet.)
1. Videogame: Play Gone Home. Alison piqued my interest with her blog post about this riot grrrl-soundtracked videogame by local game developers the Fullbright Company. But it was reading Ben Coleman's upcoming feature (out in our September 18 issue ) about the unique game that made me buy it ($19.99 for PC and Mac). Described as a story-exploration game and set in an Oregon suburb in 1995, Gone Home is the first true videogame I've played in over 15 years. The less you know about the story the better, but it's a fucking treat of a game—a delightful and subtle mix of teenage romance and mystery. Highly recommended.
2. Film: Go see The World's End, guys! It's soooo good and touching and wholly funny. And you really can't beat seeing the pub-crawling, sci-fi comedy with a bunch of laughing moviegoers. I thought it was by far the best of Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg/Nick Frost's loose Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy. But to be fair, I didn't give Shaun of the Dead much of a chance back in 2004. (Hey Netflix Instant: Let's see that one again.) The World's End is at the Hollywood this week (and other theaters).
3. Comic Book: Read Locke & Key. This series is my favorite comic book—nay, book!—EVER. The horror-mystery series started five years ago and its second-to-last issue came out on Wednesday. That is a lot of month-by-month waiting for a story that is intensely gripping, scary, and thrilling. Get thee to a library or comic book store to catch up on the intricate mysteries of the Locke family and their magical ancestral mansion. Quick, before the very last issue comes out!
4. Cabaret: I have high hopes for Meow Meow and her cabaret show with the Oregon Symphony. When writing up our blurbs for the Time-Based Art Festival guide, I got really excited about seeing the Australian cabaret diva (Sat Sept 14, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, tix). Based on the clips, she's a va-va-voom chanteuse with the heart of a glamorous clown. I'll report back on the TBA blog, but this looks promising.
5. Roller Derby: And finally, my favorite thing to get stoked about: junior roller derby! The hard-hitting monsters of Rose City Rollers' junior derby league, the Rosebuds, are playing a double header on Saturday. It's zombies vs. rainbow kids, and Star Wars dames vs. riveting Rosies. I feel like I harp on this a lot, but junior roller derby is the pure distillation of roller derby at its most fun—these teenage gals are enthusiastic, tough (REALLY tough), and kick-ass athletes. And they throw epic halftime dance parties. Rosebuds Double Header, Sat Sept 14, The Hangar at Oaks Park, 6 pm, $14-20, tix
Tomorrow afternoon starting at 1 at the Portland area's hardest-core gym*, the Warrior Room, there will be beer flowing, food vending, and a bunch of tough broads arm wrasslin' for charity. If you live anywhere near Milwaukie, you should know about this place. Did I mention it's hard core? It's kettle bell oriented, Tabata-informed circuit training in a funny, supportive, wallet-friendly, and pretty freaking festive atmosphere—how many gyms have you attended that have a beer tap? Cuz this one does. I wish I lived closer, because I haven't gone nearly enough to feel prepared for tomorrow's "Honey Badgers & Cobras" all-female arm wrestling tournament, being held to benefit Northwest Housing Alternatives.
I'll be among the women competing in tomorrow's all-female tournament—who also include apparel designers Alicia Wood and Michelle Lesniak, and radio personality Daria, and while I'm fairly certain I'll have my ass beat, I'll be a totally good sport about it, and a little training from trophy-holding arm wrestling champion Wm Steven Humphrey has hopefully ensured that I won't completely embarrass myself. But no matter: it's all in good fun, and this is a work-hard, play-hard kind of crowd. A mere five bucks gets you in to spectate, there will be a full bar, a beer garden, and impromptu $1 throwdowns. What else are you gonna do, mow your lawn? Nope.
*I have not tried them all, but I've tried a lot, and the WR wipes me out as much as my first 90-minute round of boxing training, which is to say you'll be feeling it for a week.
You’ve seen probably seen the pictures. Your Facebook friends or Twitter pals are posting them constantly: They’re wearing athletic gear, slathered in mud, and beaming at the camera. If you've ever wondered why your various social media buddies are suddenly filthy, it's probably because they were doing what I did last weekend: The Warrior Dash, an event wherein adult humans willingly decide to bedeck themselves in liquid filth, all in the name of fun, athleticism, and new Facebook pictures.
The Dash, along with other events like Tough Mudder and Spartan Race combines distance running and an obstacle course in what’s essentially an adult version of Double Dare. The five kilometer run takes participants over hills and through obstacles while constantly slathering the would-be warriors with a steady stream of gooey earth-juice. Last weekend I, along with my girlfriend and two of our friends, were some of those would-be warriors slathered with a steady stream of gooey earth-juice, and while the Warrior Dash isn’t necessarily the SUPER XXXTREME SPORTS ENDURANCE TEST that it hypes itself as, it’s still pretty damn fun.
More after the jump!
"This 9/11-themed golf course ad is a real thing that ran in today's Wisconsin State Journal," tweeted Josh Orton.
Tumbledown Trails, the name of which makes it sound like a delightful place where the Velveteen Rabbit went to retire, is currently having a lively time on their Facebook page, where there are hundreds of posted opinions—most of them accompanied by a surplus of exclamation points and/or ellipses, and most of them serving as excellent reminders of why reading internet comments and visiting Facebook are terrible, terrible ideas.
Late yesterday, as people left their offices and subjected themselves to the giant game of vehicular pinball that is “Oregonians somehow forgetting what rain is after two months of 85 degree weather” a tiny tidbit of Portland Trail Blazers news snuck into the ether:
The Blazers will no longer distribute coupons for a free Taco Bell Chalupa as reward for the team scoring 100 points.
Someone standing next to their upturned Volvo station wagon, shellshocked by the idea that all this water could possibly come falling out of the sky, decided to check their Facebook while waiting for a passing bus to vomit the contents of a nearby puddle onto their pants. And that person hit “share” and one of their followers hit “tweet” and so on and so forth until the news had gone viral.
The outcry from Portlanders was such that the Blazers had to issue a second statement, a more comforting one, reassuring potential ticket buyers that their trips to the Moda Center will still be fruitful:
Hey, here’s a suggestion: How about you replace the coupons for refried cowshit in a flour diaper…
Yes! How about that? It would be nice if instead of being “rewarded” with a wallet full of tepid dogfood, I instead got a win from the team I paid money to watch!
Unless most “Blazers Fans” consider a ticket to the game to be not much more than a lottery in which you watch people scramble around a floor from a thousand yards up until someone on the loudspeaker tells you that you won an edible colostomy bag. That's probably not the wisest choice of leisure expenditure.
Reminder: In the team’s glory days, which includes the late ‘70s, late ‘80s, and early ‘90s, fans somehow felt “rewarded” for attending games without the threat of hydrogenated dead animal and shredded cheese product looming over them for 48 minutes. People went home happy without ever thinking to themselves “That was a fun game. I wish I’d won a free squirt of meat slurry though.”
In fact, I submit to you that the last 14 years of this team’s history have been not the brightest. Maybe it's coincidence those 14 years just happened to coincide with an era where fans in the building made it pretty obvious they cared more about whether they got a coupon for free Taco Hell than they did the team actually winning. It probably is.
But there is a real downside to this announcement: Many local vendors of legitimate food honored those coupons, and many less-fortunate citizens of Portland recieved those coupons from fans who gave them away instead of redeeming them. So people who wouldn’t normally have gotten anything to eat that night sometimes did get some food (ish) to put in their bodies. And people who wouldn’t normally have tried out a food cart or a newer establishment, got a nice sampler of what their wares were like. Those experiences are off the table for now, and that does suck.
But that’s not the downside most are referring to when they tweet responses like these, collected by Ben Golliver of Blazer’s Edge.
There are Blazers fans who honestly believed this aspect of attending games improved the “fan experience.” Goddamn that’s fucking weak. If I was one of the people actually playing the game, I might be a little disturbed/concerned that the fans I’m playing for value a half-assed sandwich more than they value my skills. The Blazers did less damage control after the Moda Center name was revealed than they’re doing for this breakup with Taco Bell.
Or, maybe, were I not a vertically challenged, hairy, overweight, potato-shaped lump of constant disappointment, and instead, someone who had made it to the Blazers roster; I wouldn’t be concerned at all! I’d just play my game and do my work and get my money and collect the wins as they came. That's probably the best way to look at this "news": They came to the game? Great! Let ‘em eat shit if they want. Whatever makes 'em happy.
And in that spirit, let us hope that the next turdly reward is one truly worthy of Portland's lusty mooing.
And Adios, readers of my Blazers blogging: This post represents the last of my duties as Blazers beat reporter for the Mercury. I do not know who (if anyone) will be picking up the slack, as I left plenty of it in the wake of (desperately) trying (and failing) to fill Ezra Ace Caraeff's shoes. Whoever it might be, I hope they do a better job than I did in all areas: brevity, consistency, insight, and comedy. It shouldn't be too hard, it's not like I left a high bar to hurdle. For example: The preceding 800 word post about Chalupas.
When it comes to winning footy championships in Soccer City USA, it's ladies first for Portland.
Tobin Heath and Christine Sinclair scored goals and the Portland Thorns withstood playing a woman down for 34 minutes to capture the inaugural National Women's Soccer League Championship with a 2-0 victory over the Western New York Flash on Saturday night.
The Thorns arrived at PDX this morning to a teeming crowd of supporters after handing the Flash just their second home loss and capping a four-match winning streak to end the season. They entered the NWSL playoffs as the No. 3 seed and beat Western New York for the first time in three tries to earn the hardware.
"When our back's up against the wall, I think that's when this team shines," Heath, who earned MVP honors, told espnW.
History will also shine on the Thorns: They're Portland's first pro sports champions since 1977, when the Trail Blazers took home their lone NBA title. To celebrate the end of that dry spell, the team's traveling supporters were treated to an open bar tab by Thorns/Timbers owner Merritt Paulson, who noted he'd buy Timbers Army a bar if Portland's men could match the Thorns' success.
UPDATE (6:05 pm): The Thorns will hold a championship celebration at noon on Wednesday at The Jelly. The event is free and open to the public. From the Thorns:
All fans are invited to attend the free event, which will be hosted by Thorns FC radio announcer Ann Schatz and highlighted by messages from head coach Cindy Parlow Cone and select players, an NWSL championship trophy presentation and autograph signing.
Due to national team call-ups and prior commitments, select Thorns FC players will not be in attendance, including U.S. Women’s National Team members Rachel Buehler, Tobin Heath and Alex Morgan, midfielder Allie Long and forwards Christine Sinclair and Tiffany Weimer.
Check out the Thorns supporters' official hashtag (#BAON) for more sights and sounds from the match and airport arrival. And click past the jump for highlights from last night's action.
Because Russia has promised us that they'll arrest straight athletes and visitors who support gay rights too—not just gay athletes and visitors—so it's all good:
In an astounding statement, the head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Count Jacques Rogge, claimed today that Russia will not discriminate against gays at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, even though the Russians just said the exact opposite in a new letter released to the Associated Press.
In the letter, the Russians are now claiming that their draconian new anti-gay law is not anti-gay at all. Why? Because it threatens to jail heterosexual Olympians too.
The Russians are now claiming, incredibly, that their “gay propaganda” law doesn’t discriminate against gays because it will also lead the incarceration of straight Olympians who say or do anything perceived as pro-gay.
Well, thanks for the clarification, Boris.
By that olympian logic... there was nothing racist about this because the Klan didn't discriminate between black and white Freedom Riders. They murdered them equally.
Down in Milwaukie—before you get to the traffic-clogging McLoughlin closure—the Warrior Room gym is gearing up for their first-ever female arm wrestling charity event, titled Honey Badgers and Cobras (if you're tall you're a cobra, and if you're "small and mighty" you're a honey badger) on September 14. A benefit for Northwest Housing Alternatives, they're still looking for participants, and have added some arm-intensive classes to their schedule to help competitors get ready.
They've also recruited some familiar faces in the fashion community to compete—there's me, Alicia Wood of Ms. Wood, writer and hairstylist Mandy Zelinka, and most recently they roped in reigning Project Runway hometown champ Michelle Lesniak. I'm honestly going to get creamed at this thing (I can't make it down to Milwaukie too often, but when I do I get my ass kicked and the whole "Warrior" thing in the name suddenly seems very literal), but there will be beer flowing and plenty of food vendors, and general admission is just five bucks ($15 if you want to join the tournament). There will also be $1 impromptu throw downs after the official wrasslin' in case you get competitive after downing a few.
And wouldn't you know, turns out Wm Steven Humphrey is a champion arm wrestler trophy holder who took second place in the 165 lb. division, Reno Armwrestling Championships back in 1996, and he promises to teach me the trick to winning, even against those who are bigger and stronger. Or, as Rob Thompson suggests, I could simply follow this lead (anyone have a chicken I can borrow?).
In the meantime, for Milwaukie's September First Friday (the 6th), the Warrior Room is hosting RAW (Rose City Arm Wrestling), who will be giving demos and free safety courses in this most competitive of sports.
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