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Sunday, January 6, 2008

Blazer scoop

Did you know that the Trail Blazers had an emotional meltdown at a practice one afternoon in San Antonio this year? That several of the players were ready to come to blows with each other? Trash talk, a broken chair?

Me neither, until I read this column from New Jersey this morning.

UPDATE, 9:42 a.m.: Turns out, it was well covered in the O last Sunday. Lost in the mists of the holidays for me.

Comments (11)

Jack, it was covered in the local papers. I'd even bet the columnist googled that one article, threw in a little flavor, and called it good. Or maybe not. It's New Jersey and I saw nothing. But it brings up the Thomas More bit. When someone says, "Me, neither" and you don't respond, is that agreement? Maybe it was Archie Moore. I don't know - it's early. The important thing is even the fights with this group are inspirational - as compared to Zach Thomas hitting Ruben Patterson. What stood out for me lately from Blazer World was Martell dropping 24 points in 1 quarter against Utah. Let it rain.

There ya go. I missed it. My diligence in reading the O is not what it once was. And I find that John Canzano kid unbearable. He makes Lars seem likable by comparison.

I dunno... I like the fire and intensity. At least they feel something, and it did trigger the start of this win streak.

Well, let's be fair. The same thing happened when Z-Bo sucker punched Ruben Patterson's eye socket. Except with totally opposite results. Good times!

Jack, while I share your basic dissatisfaction with The Oregonian, I think you should give Jason Quick's stories a look. He's very knowledgable about basketball and about the personalities on this team, and he writes clear, concise prose. He's done really good work during the winning streak (extended). In fact, he's so competent, it kind of makes you wonder what he's doing covering sports.

I do need to give his stuff a better look.

Quick is good. And the guy who writes that little bit on page 2 of the Sports section most days, he can be pretty clever. Canzano is the very definition of insufferable. And condescending. And self-obsessed. And ... oh, hell, I could go on forever. He sucks.

I sympathize with Canzano. He's expected to turn out three columns a week of original opinion, plus content for the Oregonlive blog and now a radio show, but the Oregon sports scene can only supply so much material. This isn't New York, L.A. or Chicago where there is an endless supply of high-level professional and college sports to gab about.

How much can you really say about Duck/Beaver football or basketball or Blazers hoops? I think the cloying human interest stories Canzano turns out from time to time are probably inevitable.

Just because players scuffle during practice doesn't mean they're thugs or don't play as a team. Ask anyone who's played organized sports... if you practice like you want to play, you play with passion and competitive drive no matter what. But most of the time, all that stuff stays on the court/field. Brothers fight, and so do teammates.

Personally, I'd be worried if the Blazers didn't get into it with one another.

I like Canzano's stuff. If I remember it correctly he was the guy who had Damon Stoudamire agree to a drug test to prove that he wasn't smoking pot. I loved that. His focus is on the back story, and I think he does a good job at it. It is difficult to point to any other sports journalist in this town who really does a better job of going beyond the "X's" and "O's" of the game in challenging whatever the public relations people are spoon feeding us. He also has a real soft touch for the little guys/gals out there who are looking to find a bright spot in their life by rooting for the local team.

The Blazers are White Hot and Winning

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