Why the Sonics PXP Job Matters Here
The answer to the headline statement is simple: because there is a chance one of the few good things with the Blazers could be heading North.
According to oregonlive's Blazers Blog, and the Seattle P-I, the Sonics radio play by play job is down to three people:
1) FSN's and former Seahawk PXP voice Brian Davis
2) KJR's David Locke
3) Brian Wheeler.
Jim Moore in the Seattle P-I did his own "odds" for who he thinks will get the gig. My thoughts are simple: I hope Wheels doesn't go. He is very, very good, and despite being surrounded by below average talent through the rest of the Blazers' radio broadcast crew, when you listen you are interested and even at times forget that the team he works for is in the process of a second straight sub-30 win season. Wheels is good at his craft, works at it, is well prepared, and outside of the fantastic BOOM CHUCK AH LUCK AH (not sure if it is spelled correctly) doesn't rely on cute cliches and other tricks of the trade. Wheels was able to overcome the move of the outstanding work from color man Mike Rice to television and another horrible season with a great year of work.
David Locke is a good play by play voice but an even better talk show host. Simply put, he is the best I have heard doing a local show. FULL DISCLOSURE: I am biased because we are close friends, but if you listen, you will hear a great talk show talent. Seattle Sports Talk would be worse off without him behind the mike five days a week, but the Sonics would gain a great addition.
Brian Davis is the "Adam Morrison" of this group-the safe pick. He doesn't work for a competing radio group, already does work with the Sonics on FSN, and is a better than average pxp voice.
So why do we care down here? Because the potential loss of Brian Wheeler would be another step back for the Blazers. It doesn't affect wins and losses, but the enjoyment of the product would be impacted.
For the record, I also think the move to Seattle would be a step down. Here in Portland, Wheels is "the man" for Blazers play by play on the radio. Up there, whoever gets the gig, is still playing second fiddle to Kevin Calabro doing 72 games in the regular season, and then sitting out the postseason.
If Wheels really wants the gig, I will be the first to congratulate him if he gets it. But as stated above, down here in Portland we would be worse off.
Thank you and goodbye.