rip city

What's PDX known for best?

What do sports fans mention first? Soccer or basketball?
By Cliff Pfenning,

When drivers for Uber or Lyft pick passengers up at the airport and describe Portland on the way to a downtown hotel, the many nicknames for the city easily glide off the pallet - Rose City, Bridgetown, Bridge City, Stumptown among the top ones.

And, Portland has two very distinct monikers for sports: Rip City and Soccer City. Or is it Soccer City and Rip City?

That's the Sports Jury question for this week, which you can vote for on the front page of

Portland has an equally fanatic fanbase for both basketball and soccer, but which one would come up first as in if there were an election and every resident could only vote for one? Ultimately the outcome might be 50.1 - 49.9 percent. One of the names would need to come first. What do Portlanders know Portland best for?

Is it Rip City? Portland got the nickname in 1977 during the NBA Title run, when radio play-by-play commentator Bill Schonely came up with it to highlight the key moments of the stirring season. Bill Walton, Maurice Lucas, Lionel Hollins, Bobby Gross, Dave Twardzik - they were Red Hot and Rollin' in the Rip City. Portland began a sellout streak at Memorial Coliseum that engrained 12,666 - a full house - in everyone's mind.

Portland is Rip City.

By 1977, though, Portland had already developed the nickname Soccer City from its inaugural season in the North American Soccer League due to the large, loud crowds that took over Civic Stadium for Timbers games. When the team actually outperformed its expansion expectations and reached the playoffs, not only did the Timbers win, they set attendance records twice on the way to Soccer Bowl '75.

The team and league folded less that a decade later, but the rebirth of the franchise in 2001 and it's move to Major League Soccer in 2011, have come with a fanatacism the rest of the nation has watched and admired as the way to support an American team with European flavour.

Portland is Soccer City, USA.

But with just one vote, which one gets it?



The real season begins for Rip City

Portland faces Houston with plenty to prove to the NBA
April 20, 2014 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

After a highly successful, and surprising, regular season, the Portland Trail Blazers are back to where they were three years ago - trying to play their way out of the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

That mission begins again today at Houston, a familiar foe from the playoffs.

Portland faced Houston in the first round in 2009 - the first of three consecutive first round playoff series losses. Houston won the series in six games, despite the Blazers having home court edge.

Portland's playoff appearance in 2009 was a very similar situation to this season in that it was almost completely unexpected. The Blazers were a hopeful contender for a playoff spot, but turned in an outstanding 54-28 record, improving their win total by 13 wins from 2007-08. Portland finished 54-28 this season, an improvement of 21 games from the 33-49 record of last year.

The Blazers enter the playoffs having won nine of their final 10 games with four of their starters completing the entire season on the court. Only starter LaMarcus Aldridge missed games. Aldridge and point guard Damian Lillard were named All-Stars.

Houston features All-Star starter Dwight Howard, and All-Star shooting guard James Harden, who averaged more than 30 points per game in four outings against the Blazers this season.

Houston won three of four games against Portland, although one of the wins ended in overtime.

Portland hasn't won a playoff series since 2000.





Blazers keep moving forward despite loss

Portland loses at Oklahoma City, heads home after eventful road trip
March 18, 2012

At least the Blazers are playing with some pride these days.

Criticized for not having pride in their game after consecutive blowout losses last week, the Portland Trail Blazers responded with a win at Eastern Conference leader Chicago and then survived a slow start to eventually lose 111-95 at Western Conference leader Oklahoma City Sunday.

Portland fell behind 31-15 after one quarter, but got within eight in the third quarter before the Thunder pulled away, ending a three-game home losing streak.

The Blazers, who went 2-5 on a seven-game road trip, return to the Rose Garden Tuesday to play Milwaukee.

Portland is 21-24 on the season and 2.5 games from a playoff spot, while Milwaukee is 20-24, but just a half-game from a playoff spot.

The Blazers will field a new-look roster after trading Gerald Wallace and Marcus Camby, then firing coach Nate McMillan at the trade deadline Thursday. Portland established a franchise-low five assists in a loss Tuesday at Indiana, then got blown out at New York Wednesday. The Blazers also waived injury-prone center Greg Oden.

Portland assistant Kaleb Canales was bumped up to interim coach for the remainder of the season.

Mehmet Okur stands as the key addition from the trades, brought in from New Jersey, which got Wallace. Portland's roster features just three players: LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, and Wesley Matthews, who were in the regular rotation last season, although it did recently pick up center and fan favorite Joel Pryzbilla from the free agent listing.

Jamal Crawford, an off-season addition, led Portland with 23 points Sunday, while Raymond Felton added 19. Aldridge tossed in 15 points.

The Blazers have 21 games remaining on their 66-game schedule, 16 of which are against teams already secured among the playoff contenders in the East or West, or competing for a spot. With the eighth seed likely going to a team that finishes three games over .500, the Blazers would need to close the season at 14-7 or better to reach the playoffs for the fourth-straight year.


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