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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Portland "ugly" and "minor-league" to Sports Illustrated

Here's how the Little Lord Paulson stadium saga looks to Sports Illustrated. The reporting is mighty lazy. But ominously, it does spotlight another supposedly super-duper important looming deadline for LLP to get his way, or else Portland won't get "major league" soccer. It's October 1.

I have no idea what that's supposed to mean, but the thought of the "major" soccer league turning its back on $35 million in cold cash is ludicrous. They need Portland -- badly -- to keep their dubious business model (or some might call it a scheme) going. Deadlines come and go with these guys, and no doubt they will continue to do so.

The SI piece does have some funny moments. Fireman Randy is portrayed as the lone voice of reason. Shawn Levy, one of the soccer scarf people and a movie critic at the O, basically tells Portlanders that they're a bunch of rubes, and will never be as cool as Richie Rich. He also thinks Portland is like Bologna. He should know, being so full of it himself.

Comments (21)

"Reeling" -- SI says we're going to be "reeling" if The Barefoot Lord doesn't get his way. I wonder why that word seems so apt ... maybe it was on the tip of the writer's tongue because the subtext of the article is all about His Pretentiousness and his toadies on the City Council reeling in millions of taxpayer dollars for their private gain. That's the reeling they want.

I certainly hope every person who thinks Shawn Levy is an ass cancels the O and tells them to read SI to know why --- after all, we're all just envious dullards too dumb to know when we're really taking it to the man.

Levy comes across as Captain Random. I like this statement in particular: "you can walk [on] a colonnade and it feels like you're walking through the streets of Bologna."

I think Levy uses colonnade to mean a column of people streaming out of the match. SI's editors must have said, "No a colonnade is a row of columns--you know, something architectural-like." So they insert "[on]" to make Levy make sense. Only, there are no rows of columns anywhere near PGE Park.

Oh well, on to more pedantic matters ...

If the Oregonian had only kept Ted Mahar there might still be something worth reading in it.

GAS, perhaps the SI scribe intended "reeling" as the verb form for what one does when dancing to Celtic fiddle tunes? That is, Portlanders will be dancing in the streets when the oppressors' scheme unravels.

Mr Levy has certainly prepared O readers for antipodal interpretation of what is written in the local daily of record.

Wow. Dude didn't even bother "interviewing" (aka, copying quotes from other sources) ANY of the people opposed. Like it was all some big over-reaction to Merritt Paulson's name. Okay, I might expect that out of a rookie writer, but shouldn't the editor have asked a few questions before they signed off on this? Horrific.

Daniel, you'll see twelve good Randy Leonard ideas in a row before you see SI give any space to people who question the value of Sports as the Only Thing That Determines A City's Status.

1. Doesn't the picture look like Randy is giving Merritt a hand job?

2. Branch Rickey III: "There's a great deal of trust in Merritt."

As a comedy writer, I'd open with this. You want your first big laugh closer to the beginning.

3. Pele's last professional game was actually later when Brazil played a friendly with the Cosmos in New York. Pele played one half with each team. Portland was the host of Pele's last professional competitive game and - for all you people who think I hate soccer - I WAS THERE! So suck it.

4. Shawn Levy (Part 1). See Garage Wine's take above.

5. The Sam Adam's scandal: Love the way Out magazine's comment about Sam lying aggressively, leads to Sam lying aggressively by calling the distraction "peripheral". It wasn't peripheral enough not to ruin the Inauguration of President Obama for Portland as Sam demanded the spotlight on the day we were finally saying goodbye to George W. Bush.

6. I love it when Randy Leonard talks about beauty. The Costco line is solid, and Randy doesn't blow up once during the whole interview. That was refreshing. It's like a season where Brett Favre doesn't retire.

So we're left with Randy as the guardian of Portland's beauty and Randy thinks these architects are full of it here. Of course, if Portland stuck a giant neon rose on top of Memorial Coliseum, Randy would be writing love sonnets to it.

7. Okay, the matter of Henry Paulson. First, kudos for mentioning him, although there's no mention of him being minority Timbers owner and funding the deal with money probably earned on Wall Street at Goldman Sachs. Still, this is promising. Most pieces I see don't go there at all.

But then the predictable mainstream media spin takes hold.
Henry got more than his fair share of blame for the economic collapse?
I'd hold that line for the end because you want to go out with a big laugh.

There are many who believe that the derivatives bubble was based on fraud: Shaky loans, sliced and diced, repackaged and labeled triple A, and then sold over and over with no possible way to cover them if the bubble broke. There are many who think if Henry Paulson even got a tenth of the blame he should get, he would be playing soccer in the exercise yard of a federal prison.

8. At this point Shawn Levy steps in and manages to speak even with his lips planted firmly on Merritt's ass.

"Please forgive Portland. There's just so few of us internationally sophisticated types here. We barely have enough to form our own colonnade."

The rest of us just arrived on a wagon train, and any feeling that there was a massive rip-off in Washington, D.C. engineered by these East Coast weasels - A RIP-OFF THAT THREATENS THE SOLVENCY OF THE UNITED STATES - is merely the result of what rubes we are. And the worst part? It's just so - (sob!) - unfair to Henry.

9. Conclusion: The enhancement to our reputation that was promised by this deal, is real. Okay, sure, the whole country is seeing that Portland is infested by a cadre of pompous nitwits and phonies at city hall, at PGE Park, and at the Oregonian.

But it is these people who have acted like rubes in a bad episode of Mayberry, RFD. The Paulson family moves their operations here in 2007, and these clowns are dazzled by that Big City feel. Randy gets wined and dined in New York and he acts like he's been to the prom of the inner sanctum.

They wowed our people, flattered them, pretended they wanted to know them, and now they are taking them in a deal that could go on dinging Portland for the rest of our lives.

So where's the enhanced reputation? Well, at least the national press is noticing a real Portland that's not going for it.

I'll finish with my favorite sentence attributed to Randy, because it illustrates what a mediocre mess the mainstream media has become:

"I've just seen not seen the political will, absent mine, to keep the Beavers here."

Hilarious, Bill! It really does look like Randy is giving LLP a hand job in public!

I have a hunch that Randy and LLP are in the closet, and they, along with Sam, like sports teams so they can hang out in the locker rooms and watch young sweaty studs change clothes and shower. I'm no homophobe, but they could rent porn or see a live show for a lot less public money. Better yet, they could physically express their true feelings for one another. That wouldn't cost me much, either. I'd rather open the public coffers to pay for some lube and condoms than pay a $100,000,000 for a couple sports stadiums. I wouldn't even mind if the city spent a few thousand dollars on a coming-out party for those guys.

...shouldn't the editor have asked a few questions before they signed off on this?

One pieces of this puzzle has already been posted to this blog - Paulson is propping up the Oregonian by offering to continue free subscriptions to readers who have previously cancelled.

We know that whoever pays the bills to keep the lights on is the de facto editor. So, in essence, yes, there was an editorial sign off: it met with Paulson's approval.

This is nothing more than paid advertising, done in a roundabout way, and all that remains to be done is to carry this information across the top of the page, like the Real Estate or Auto sections.

I want Stacey and Clinton (from What Not to Wear) to pick out Randy's prom dress!
Red, ruffles, and lots!!! of roses...
He and Merritt will be the king and queen of the Timbers' prom.

"Only, there are no rows of columns anywhere near PGE Park."

Actually, there are columns all along the west side of the stadium on SW Morrison.

North side. Columns on north side of stadium.

It turns out, the author of the SI piece is an intern from Rice University, a native Portlander majoring in sports management. No wonder he's kissing up to LLP -- he's probably going to ask him for a job.

Randy is boorish and crass. What an unflattering representative Portland has when this meat head opens his mouth and is quoted on a national forum.

Just a disgusting, slanted and badly-written article. Any number of local freelancers could have done a more even-handed and accurate job.

It doesn't get much worse than making the residents of Lents into bad guys. Their reasons for opposing the park had little to nothing to do with Paulson's parentage. Yet the SI writer says nothing about those very good reasons.

Poor, poor Paulson, Randy and Sam.

And IMO, Levy has his scarf tied a little tight.

"People here are resentful and suspicious of that kind of status"

"You come to Portland and people will leave early to bike home and cook locally caught fish on their fire"

So tell me again why this guy feels we are so lucky to have someone like Shawn Levy live in this backwards billy-town?

We really don't deserve people like him and Randy.

I couldn't figure out what he was talking about re. the, "You come to Portland and people will leave early to bike home and cook locally caught fish on their fire" comment.

Who is "You"? Major league soccer? The reader? A citizen of Portland?

What are they leaving early from? A soccer game? Work?

And who do you know who catches fish in the Willamette River and cooks it on a fire unless they are desperate and willing to play health roulette?

This is as bad as inferring that we're still afraid to go out of our houses because of the bears in the hills and the savage Indians in the gulch nearby.

And this guy Levy is a writer and actually lives in Portland? No excuse.

It's probably a case of, "Oooo, I'm talking to a national media outlet! This is important...Darn, it's too bad Portlanders will never read it here in town. Yeah, they're way too provincial and unsophisticated to appreciate Sports Illustrated Online. Maybe if it was a magazine about Wagon Trains. They'd be all over that. And it's a shame because we could sure use some pub for the paper. Ouch, the paper. What I'd give to dump that rag and get a national gig. Oh well, at least I can show my bosses I'm in it....Wait, I've got to do well here, I've got to ingratiate myself with the writer...I know! I'll sell out Portland and almost everyone who lives here!!!!! Screw 'em. What are they going to do if they find out? Stop reading the Oregonian? Ha ha ha....Too late!!!!!"

The classic part is that the ridiculous quotes mirror the star-struck excitement that our politicians first had when they hooked up with the Paulson family.

How the chests swelled with pride. Here was an actual millionaire who wanted to help us!!!!My favorite part at a council meeting about this was when Commissioner Fish congratulated Randy and said he was such a tough negotiator we should send him to the Middle East. At that point there was still no deal and they've been stumbling around ever since.

Oh well. I've got to go. Some kinfolk are coming over for breakfast and I haven't even caught any fish yet.

Long before the Daily Show, people would memorialize these civic entertainments with satiric songs. I think we may indeed be ready for The Paulson Reel. To the tune of "Pull up to the bumper?".


Those article are how that rag came be be known as "Snorts Illustrated".

Hey...Did they put Randy in a bikini?

"And who do you know who catches fish in the Willamette River and cooks it on a fire unless they are desperate and willing to play health roulette?"

The future South Waterfront Condo Squatters.

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