Monday, March 13, 2006

Monday, Monday......

Fun week ahead-March Madness is here, the NFL free agency period is in full swing, and maybe we are one day closer to Paul Allen becoming the former owner of the Blazers. More on the latest Blazer/Vulcan PR mess below.
But first, make sure you sign up for our Cingular 1080 The Fan Fan Frenzy-free of charge, and you can win some great prizes. It is easy and you can do it in conjunction with your office pool brakets. Check it out:

March Madness and the Day the East Coast Bias Died!
Once again, there is no perfect system in college athletics. Anti-BCS fans always point to the NCAA Basketball Tourney and say that is the way to do it. Well, ask Cincinnati, Maryland, Florida State, Missouri State and Maryland among others how well the system works. Personally, as a West Coast guy, the fact the major division 1-A conferences (i.e. I don't count the 1-AA types such as the Big Sky, WCC, and Big West) West of the Mississippi got multiple bids was a great day. Did Air Force deserve to get in over Maryland? Gary Williams thinks not, but the committee did so the Falcons are in. Two years ago Utah State was ranked 25th in the AP Top 25 but got upset in it's conference tourney and was not invited. This year, they lose to Nevada in the WAC title game, and still get in. Good for the Aggies. Tough SH&% Cincy! At some point, even though the Big East is the greatest conference ever known to man, you can't take the bottom feeders from that conference. Win more games and you get in. Cincy lost in the first round of the Big East tourney. Stop Syracuse from starting it's roll and you are in. Instead, the NIT is calling. Enjoy. If Utah State missed out from the WAC, or Arizona or Cal from the Pac-10 didn't get in, would the East-Coast based media be calling out the committee? Probably not.

A Conversation???? Who did PA speak to and what was this all about?
I have been trying to wrap my arms the "Conversation with Paul Allen" from Friday night since, well Friday night. In case you missed it, and many did since he put out a statement or as Vulcan called it "A Conversation with Paul Allen," on FRIDAY NIGHT via, in effect, the Blazers owner called out the noteholders and ownership group, many of them by company name, and in effect was groveling to the public to side with him in his battle to get a better lease. How did it work? Not well.
Once again, the Deathstar known as Vulcan was involved in a PR blunder. If you really wanted to get your message out, then do it via a news conference, with cameras and tape recorders rolling. State your case to the people who have supported the team in the past, present and who will continue to do so in the future. But instead of doing that, Paul Allen and Vulcan hid behind the keyboard and computer screen. Nameless, faceless, and once again lacking in accountability. The noteholders of the Rose Garden have been taken to court and spent far too much money to work with Vulcan and Allen to create a new lease agreement. The city of Portland, as much as I would like to blame them, can’t take responsibility for this mess. There is now, and really has been only one solution: HE MUST SELL THE TEAM.
Of course this only works if a new owner also has the opportunity to also buy the building or get a better deal in place as the main tenant. It is my understanding that both of the above would be possible, but only for someone not named Paul Allen.
Would it be a good investment? Sure. As one Blazer executive told me last night, "you can’t kill the brand." In other words, despite everything, there was a great crowd last night and at least for two and a half hours, they fell in love with the team again. There was no reason to go unless you were a Phoenix Suns’ fan, and unlike games against the Lakers, Cavs and Heat, the majority of the crowd last night was cheering for the home team. It is a true testament to the quality of the Blazer fans. Everyone says they have "the best fans in the league" but last night proved to me that they are as good as it gets here in Portland.
The franchise has broken the hearts of the fans in this community many times on and off the floor, but never more so than lately with the hidden agendas and veiled threats of bankruptcy, a move or folding the franchise. Despite all of that, this community still loves it’s only major league sports franchise. Paul Allen and his nameless, faceless empty suits at Vulcan have tried to kill that love affair, but it won’t die. Now is the time for Paul Allen to be a real man-step up to the podium, answer the tough questions from the local media here (as opposed to a scripted web site release), take responsibility for a bad lease, and if you can’t make it work, realize that it is time to do the right thing and get out.


At 1:59 PM, Anonymous Chris Snethen said...

My favorite parts of the "conversation" were where he threw Marshall Glickman then Bob Whitsett under the bus. What I didn't understand was the defense of the Skinner deal. That was an old school Harry Glickman move. Historically the Blazers are always at their best with a smart guy at the 4 and they haven't had one since they traded away Brian Grant. If you want to read a cool story about Grant his leadership, check out bojack. The Blazers could use someone like that in the locker room.

Paul's selling. I don't understand the kabuke he feels like he has to perform.

At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In fact, the people behind the unsavory tactics are not nameless or faceless at all. Their faces and their backgrounds are available on Vulcan's website. Some of you might recognize them from the Blazers "restructuring" a couple of years ago.

At 7:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You would think that one of the privileges of being a wealthy person would be the ability to do business in an honorable way. Even not-so-wealthy business people do it every day. Why Paul Allen would stiff creditors, ruin people's lives, and the like, as he breaks his toys and indulges his interests, when he doesn't have to, is an open question. All I know is that the hatchet men at Vulcan seem to whisper in his ear, and out comes Paul to screw people over for what must be nickels and dimes for him. Allen and Vulcan do not deserve any help. Let them go.

At 10:24 AM, Anonymous Chris Snethen said...

So help me if the Emmert/Drexler/Porter/Schrempf group manages to buy the Blazers, I'll slit my wrists. With Terry and Clyde at the helm, we'll be right back in this same spot within five years.

At 10:57 AM, Anonymous Chris Snethen said...

Emmert, not Porter.

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Michael Namba said...

To the regulars:

What say we kick in a fund to buy Ian a laptop:)

ps. buddyjay, where are you?

At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Chris Snethen said...

Laptops offer no guarantee of more frequent posting. I should know. Furness once got after me for not posting frequently enough. It doesn't look like a lot of work to put these things together, but when you've got a full-time gig plus whatever other responsibilities in real life, suddenly a couple hours a day for this is pretty daunting. Maybe if Glasgow kicked in a few extra bucks, you'd see more frequent posts.

At 6:59 PM, Blogger BuddyJay said...

This is Ian's private blog, not affiliated with compensation from Entercom; therefore, it's success is tied directly to personal effort.

I offered to help Ian fill in the time gaps, but he insisted this was his thing and did not want other perspectives coming in on the editorial level.

Multiple factors of a successful life have helped me back off the sports radio OCD plaguing my consciousness. Maybe better topics than rave reviews of a "Gay" remark will suck me back in. I thought that topic was queer.

Media knows best? I think not. Check out how bad the on air staff is doing in the Entercom Fan Frenzy college basketball tourny contest. I know they are ALL below me and several hundred others involved. Bold accountability, give them props for that.

You can read my take on stocks and business in the Vanguard, an independant publication in Vancouver, WA. This month's issue just hit many retailers shelves. I feature Micron Technology and my article on the Columbia River Channel Deepening is featured. Check out coffee shops and indi businesses all over Vancouver for an issue.

At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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