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Kelsey Plum shows off rocket arm at Spurs game

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WNBA

Kelsey Plum shows off rocket arm at Spurs game

Kelsey Plum, the former Washington Huskies star guard and the number one overall pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft has quite the future… in the NFL(maybe).

Plum, who recently joined the San Antonio Stars of the WNBA, showed support for her new home when she showed up to a San Antonio Spurs playoff game. Now only did was she in attendance, but she help with the NBA arena ritual of throwing free t-shirts into the stands.

Anyone who has been to an NBA game knows two things: 1) Everyone wants one of those shirts. 2) Unless they are using the slingshot or a t-shirt cannon, the shirts probably aren’t getting past the first 10 rows.

Enter QB, we mean PG Plum. Plum did her best Uncle Rico impersonation and dang near threw the t-shirt over the mountains.

That is the definition of a rocket arm, a cannon, a bazooka, a rifle, or whatever other analogy you want to use to describe something that shoots a projectile really far, really fast.

Plum will most certainly set the WNBA on fire this season, she was the top pick for a reason, but if this basketball thing doesn’t work out there may be some other sports calling for her services.

Mike Barrett involved with group attempting to bring MLB to Portland

Mike Barrett involved with group attempting to bring MLB to Portland

A management group has been working quietly behind the scenes for more than a year on a plan to bring major-league baseball and a stadium development to Portland.

The spokesman for the group, and a managing partner, is the former television voice of the Trail Blazers, Mike Barrett.

“There is a formally organized, sophisticated and seasoned management group running this initiative,” Barrett said Tuesday. “We will keep you fully apprised of any and all developments as this project progresses.”

Barrett, who did not identify anyone else in the group,  said they prefer to operate behind the scenes at this time but are pursuing a "smart and careful approach" and "doing it exactly the right way,"

Barrett was known for his work in basketball, particularly his play-by-play duties with the Trail Blazers, which began in the 2003-2004 season and ended after the 2015-16 season. But he was also an all-state pitcher at West Albany High School and is a lifelong baseball fan.

“After the Trail Blazers, I was weighing several opportunities but I didn’t want to leave the area,” Barrett said. “And when I was approached by this group, with a chance to help bring major-league baseball to my home state, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me.”

Portland began to sneak into conversations about MLB expansion during the last year or so.  Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred mentioned the city recently during an interview in Seattle, saying Portland would be “on a list” for expansion, emphasizing a need for a team in the Pacific time zone as part of a expanded and reconfigured 32-team league.

In a story published this week in Baseball America, well-connected Hall of Fame baseball writer Tracy Ringolsby outlined a 32-team expanded MLB with realignment that resulted in a 156-game schedule and four eight-team divisions, with Portland listed in the West division.

Ringolsby referred to Portland as a city with a “legitimate” ownership group, which is the group Barrett is associated with:

“And there is a legitimate ownership group in Portland that has the necessary financing along with support for a stadium, which would be partially funded by a $150 million grant. Approved by the state of Oregon to help finance a stadium when efforts were underway in 2003 to be the site for the relocation of the Expos (who instead moved to Washington, D.C.), the grant is still available.”

 

 

Donate at GoFundMe to help a partner of ours, Julian Rogers, who lost his home in the California fires

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Donate at GoFundMe to help a partner of ours, Julian Rogers, who lost his home in the California fires

For many years now, we have had a partnership with a local sports site, OregonSportsNews.com. They provide written and podcast content on a vareity of the Northwest sports teams. You can find their content on the right rail of the main page here at NBCSportsNorthwest.com

One of their writers, Julian Rogers, often had Seahawks related stories appear on our site. We got word today that he and his family lost everything (including their home) in the Santa Rosa fires in California. 

A GoFundMe page has been setup for Julian and his family. There have been a lot of natural disasters affecting our country lately, but if you have the means to donate anything please think of Julian and his family. Even if its just a few dollars, it all adds up. 

If you'd like to donate to a more general cause for victims of the California fires you can check out this story which has a variety of charities helping out those in the area. 

Prime Fighting 10 - Saturday 9/30

Prime Fighting 10 - Saturday 9/30

Be sure to check out Prime Fighting 10 coming up this Saturday at the Clack County Events Center. 

Tickets start at just $35 with doors opening at 6pm. Get more info and details on the fighters at PrimeFighting.net

TBT: Delta Dome and how Portland's big-league dream was barely derailed in 1964

TBT: Delta Dome and how Portland's big-league dream was barely derailed in 1964

Do you ever get frustrated that Portland doesn’t have an NFL team? A major-league baseball team?

Well, let me tell you how close we came to having both, way back decades ago –- back at a time when even politicians were on board for an exciting Portland sports future.

It was 1964 and the Houston Astrodome was being built and everyone knew that at some point, major-league sports had to come to the Pacific Northwest. And didn't a domed stadium seem like the right way to get them?

Seattle and Portland were on equal sports footing at that time – minor-league baseball franchises in the Pacific Coast League and minor-league hockey in the Western Hockey League. Seattle was still three years away from landing the NBA Sonics.

The idea of a domed stadium was originally part of a plan for a Portland bid to host the summer Olympics, which in those days was still an affordable plan. The centerpiece of that bid was a domed stadium in Delta Park, north of Portland, surrounded by a myriad of other sporting venues.

Eventually, when it was apparent the Olympic bid was  going nowhere, people began to get the idea of chasing pro football and major-league baseball – beating Seattle to the punch.

Then-governor Mark Hatfield and Portland mayor Terry Shrunk were behind the proposal and pushed hard for it and a hastily put-together campaign began -- to get a ballot measure passed in the city to fund what was then a $25-million project.

The 46,000-seat stadium would feature a dome that would be plexiglass and would not enclose the stadium – just cover it. There was to be a breezeway between the roof and the seating area, meaning it would not have been climate controlled. Still, for its time, it was a very innovative project.

Even better, there was a very real possibility of big-league sports being lured to Portland.

The American Football League Oakland Raiders were still uncertain about their future in that city and the prevailing rumor was that their youthful general manager, Al Davis, was ready to load the moving van and bring the team to Portland if the local ballot measure passed.

Believe it or not, in 1964 that didn’t bring about a whole lot of excitement. Nobody knew at that time the AFL, behind Davis as its commissioner, would force a merger and become part of the NFL. In fact, the NFL wasn’t even that big of a deal in those days.

There was also hope for a major-league baseball team because there were franchises in trouble and rumors of expansion.

Sadly – for sports fans at least – the ballot measure failed in Portland by fewer than 10,000 votes. Later, the same measure was put up for a vote in Multnomah County and failed by about the same margin.

Seattle, of course, landed the MLB Pilots in 1969 and they played in tiny Sicks’ Stadium, the Triple-A ballpark. That team left after one season and Seattle didn’t get an NFL or big-league baseball team until after the Kingdome was built in 1976.

I’m convinced Portland could have beaten Seattle into both leagues with that dome.

And that ballot measure should have passed in Portland, by the way, but mistakes were made.

First off, the advocates didn’t do a very good job of convincing Portlanders that big-league teams could be lured to the stadium, But history shows they probably could have – a domed stadium would have been impossible for expansion-minded NFL and MLB owners to pass up.

Yes, even in those days, it was difficult to convince the locals we could actually become a big-league city.

The biggest reason for the measure’s defeat, though, was the location. First of all, it would have been better to get the stadium measure passed without naming a location.

Delta Park was too much to overcome. The fact that 1964 was fewer than 20 years after the Vanport flood, which saw the area of Delta Park under water, really hurt the effort. Even though they were assured that Columbia River dams would keep that tragic event from happening again, too many people were worried the new stadium would end up floating away in a flood. There were also complaints at the time that the stadium would be closer to Vancouver -- which was not paying any part of the bill -- than Portland.

As it turns out, the area has never been flooded and the city of Portland has pretty much extended past Delta Park. And Portland remains pretty much a minor-league town other than the Trail Blazers.

Because of a paltry 10,000 votes.

Editor's note regarding photo:

"A postcard of a proposed stadium in Portland, Oregon which was up to a vote on the county ballot. Measure 2 approval would have meant the Delta Park area of Portland would have been converted into a 40,000 seat domed multi-purpose stadium. Votes ultimately rejected the bond."

Seattle has a plan to renovate Key Arena -- likely for the NHL

Seattle has a plan to renovate Key Arena -- likely for the NHL

A private group based in Los Angeles seems to have a plan to renovate Seattle's Key Arena, with the idea of finally making it suitable for hockey and, of course, eventually land an NBA franchise for the city.

The group, Oak View Group, is headed by Tim Leiweke, who has been involved in the Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League, as well as other sports ventures. Dynamic super-manager/promoter Irving Azoff serves on the board of Oak View.

Leiweke has virtually guaranteed that if the arena project is completed, Seattle will get "a team:"

"We're going to get you a team," OVG CEO Tim Leiweke told reporters following the winning bid. "Mark it right here. I promise you … we're going to get you at least one team."  

That team quite obviously is in the NHL, which now features an odd number of teams and needs another franchise in its Western Conference. I have two things to say about this announcement:

  • First, it means Portland's immediate chance of landing an expansion team in the NHL are likely zero. That league has seemed totally sold on Seattle over Portland for a while now and this pretty much locks it up. The chance of moving an existing struggling franchise to Portland still exists, however -- although I have heard nothing about such a thing in a while.
  • I've never been all-in on the idea of renovating an existing arena or stadium. It's been done before at Key Arena and didn't have much of an impact. At the cost of this renovation ($600 million) it seems like a very big project. But it's a fixer-upper, just the same. I've seen cities do this in an effort to save inadequate arenas and stadiums and they usually end up not working. Better to just find a plot of land and build something new. I've seen Portland's stadium go through so many iterations to get to the point of being Providence Park and it's still a stadium with charm -- but inadequate concourses, rest rooms, concession stands and sightlines. For all the money spent on it over the years it would have been better to build something updated and more comfortable. I'd say the same for Portland's Memorial Coliseum -- the only renovation that would work there is to just level it and start anew. In Seattle, they better have a great plan because these remodels are often tied to an inadequate structural support system. And that's enough money to come very close to constructing a new arena. Politics, though, have made that almost impossible in Seattle.

 

 

Blazers, Thorns, Timbers, Winterhawks, and Hops combine disaster relief efforts

Blazers, Thorns, Timbers, Winterhawks, and Hops combine disaster relief efforts

The following is a joint press release from the Trail Blazers, Timbers, Thorns FC, Winterhawks and Hops

PORTLAND, Ore. (September 5, 2017) – With disaster response and relief efforts happening in their own communities and across the country, the Portland Trail Blazers (NBA), Portland Timbers (MLS), Portland Thorns FC (NWSL), Portland Winterhawks (Western Hockey League) and Hillsboro Hops (Northwest League) will band together to raise much-needed funds and blood donations to channel through the American Red Cross.  This is the first joint-philanthropic initiative among the five local professional franchises focusing on a specific cause – to bring aid to victims of Oregon’s wildfires; Hurricane Harvey in Texas; and the potential impact of Hurricane Irma in Florida.

“The destruction we’ve seen from the Oregon wildfires and Hurricane Harvey is heartbreaking,” said Chris McGowan, President & CEO of the Trail Blazers and Rose Quarter.  “The journey to recovery will be a long one for all impacted areas. The professional sports community here in Portland is rallying our respective fan bases, employees and partners to contribute resources to assist in the effort where it’s needed most.”  

“Our hearts go out to the families and individuals affected by the devastating fires in Oregon and the communities in Southeast Texas as they begin the process to rebuild and heal,” said Mike Golub, President of Business for the Timbers and Thorns FC. “By working together with our local partners, we are able to maximize our collective impact in support of the communities affected by the devastation caused by these disasters."   

The first steps taken will be to hold individual blood drives starting tomorrow, with each team hosting its own specially-designated day at the headquarters for the Portland American Red Cross, located at 3131 North Vancouver Avenue.  The need for blood is constant and the American Red Cross is the largest supplier of blood and blood products to hospitals in the nation. 

Fundraising efforts by each team will take place in the coming weeks and months at select home games and events to be announced soon.  The Timbers, Thorns FC and Hops seasons are currently underway, with the Winterhawks and Trail Blazers beginning their 2017-18 seasons soon.  Additional information will be posted on each team’s website and through their social media channels.

“We’re pleased to be involved with the team effort to raise funds and support the relief efforts locally and nationally,” said K.L. Wombacher, President and General Manager of the Hillsboro Hops.  “Having two players on our roster that we care deeply about being from the Houston area, Hurricane Harvey hits home for us. Our hearts go out to all those who have lost so much over the last week. We hope to do everything we can to help them get their lives back.”

"Between the forest fires threatening the Northwest and the hurricanes causing catastrophic damage on the Gulf Coast, the resources of the American Red Cross are being stretched to the limits," said Doug Piper, President of the Portland Winterhawks.  "We are proud to stand with the Portland sports community and bring aid to those who so desperately need it.”

Red Cross blood donations can be conveniently scheduled online at www.redcrossblood.org for any of their blood drive locations throughout the region; or through the mobile app by texting BLOODAPP to 90999.  Here is the schedule of upcoming blood drives hosted by each Portland-area pro sports team (**Note:  Donors should use visitor parking for their vehicles, or dial (503) 528-5800 for parking guidance if visitor spaces are full):

  • Wednesday, September 6 – Hillsboro Hops; 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 7 – Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns FC; 80 appointment slots from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Friday, September 8 – Portland Winterhawks; 7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 9 – Portland Trail Blazers; 100 appointment slots from 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

For financial donations, text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief, which helps people affected by disasters such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, wildfires and tornadoes.  Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Donors must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Message and Data Rates may apply. Text STOP to 90999 to STOP. Text HELP to 90999 for HELP. Full Terms and Privacy Policy: hmgf.org/t.

McGregor picked the right opponent -- and so did Mayweather

McGregor picked the right opponent -- and so did Mayweather

You have to hand it to Conor McGregor. He went into the ring Saturday night in front of the whole world and acquitted himself quite well. He lasted until the 10th round before his bout with Floyd Mayweather was stopped. He put on a much better show than most people expected.

But the best thing McGregor did, all in all, was pick the right opponent. The 40-year-old Mayweather was hardly the same fighter who gained the reputation as one of the best ever. The 50th consecutive win of his career was nothing like most of the ones before it. McGregor found an opponent who couldn't beat him senseless -- which, when you think about it, is just about the most important thing when you're shopping for someone to trade punches with.

Ironically, it was the same for Mayweather. He also found someone who couldn't put him away, even though McGregor gave Mayweather a pretty good pounding. McGregor landed 111 punches in just a bit more than nine rounds. That's amazing considering nine of Mayweather's opponents had been able to land fewer than 100 shots on him in 12 rounds. But this obviously wasn't the same Mayweather.

Through the first few rounds he chose to watch, rather than fight. He threw only five punches in the first round. Most of the early rounds he spent covering up and later claimed it was the game plan all along to let McGregor punch himself out.

That was a fine game plan but a younger Mayweather -- the man is now 40 -- would have danced and avoided contact, which he did just about as well as anybody. But Saturday he didn't move much and mostly just covered up and took the blows on his gloves until he realized that McGregor really couldn't hurt him with his punches -- which very often had no leverage or power behind them.

McGregor's jabs, after the first few rounds, were patty-cakes. Love pats, with little behind them. And while commentators talked about seeing a "new" Mayweather, one that was coming forward instead of retreating, I'm pretty sure that was because he was facing his first opponent in years who didn't pose any threat to his well being. There was no need for caution against McGregor's weak arm-only punches.

Mayweather had discovered that McGregor didn't have enough power to hurt him.

I'm guessing, too, that Mayweather -- known to place wagers on himself -- may have had a prop bet that the fight would go eight rounds or longer because he really didn't get serious until that point of the fight. When he did, he rained punches on the Irishman. But strange thing, the punches didn't have much effect. Mayweather's hands, by now, are worn out. He's broken them and banged them up so often that there isn't much left in them.

His own father said prior to the fight he didn't think his son had enough left in his hands to bring a knockout:

“I ain’t gonna say a knockout, because my son got a hand problem,” Mayweather Sr told FOX Sports 11. “That’s a true story, he got a hand problem. He gonna make Conor McGregor look like a fool. Believe me.”

By the end of the fight, Mayweather had hit McGregor with everything left in those sore hands but not only didn't he knock him down, he didn't even cut him or force major swelling. Afterward, McGregor was like a kid who had emerged from a final exam with a C-minus but was elated he still passed the test. He made a small fuss about thinking the referee should not have stopped the bout and made sure that everyone knew he still had all his senses about him.

His problem, of course, was fatigue. In no way was he ready to go 12 rounds and even though he wasn't hurt, he was dead tired. He could barely stand -- not from his foe's punches but because he was out of gas.

It made for an entertaining enough fight, much better than most people thought it would be. But I'll say this with all sincerity. Nether man should get back in that ring again. Mayweather is pretty much done and without movement and punching power, I'm not sure he could handle the world's best any longer.

And as for McGregor, he picked the right opponent. He fought one of the all-time greats -- but a man far past his peak -- and made a boatload of money. Had McGregor been in the ring with even a good 150-pound fighter -- not a great one -- he'd probably have been carried out of the ring in a daze. I hope for his sake this fight didn't delude him into thinking he's a great boxer, because he's not.

Matchups make great fights and in this case, the matchup was better than expected. And so was the fight.

 

 

Am I buying the "fight" Saturday? Of course... and let me tell you why

Am I buying the "fight" Saturday? Of course... and let me tell you why

A few answers to your Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather fight tomorrow night:

  • Am I watching it? Absolutely. Paying for it, too. Why? Because it's an event... a spectacle. It reminds me of a cross between Evel Knievel's jump over the Snake River Canyon and Muhammad Ali's "fight" with wrestler Antonio Anoki. And, of course, the best reason to watch is that I have a bet on the fight.
  • Who did I bet on? Like the rest of America, I bet on McGregor. I put twenty bucks on him as a +450 underdog. If I'd made the bet sooner, I could have gotten an even better number but now it's down to +325.
  • Do I think McGregor will win? Of course not. But $20 at those odds? The possible payoff far exceeds the gamble of the bet. And besides -- it's boxing. It could be a fix to build a rematch, Mayweather could get tagged with a lucky punch, there could be a terrible judge's decision or whatever -- stuff happens. And it happens in boxing with regularity.
  • Do I think it's possible for McGregor to win? Barely. But there's always a chance. I'd expect McGregor to try to make it a brawl. In MMA they call it "dirty boxing." You get in close, grab, clinch and get in shots wherever you can. Frustrate him -- then hope to hit that big inside left that McGregor features. McGregor's advantages are youth and length -- and a possible ability to survive any punch Mayweather will throw at him.
  • Mayweather is an artist... but not a knockout artist. If McGregor is in good enough shape, this fight could go a lot longer than some people think. I'm not sure either man can score a knockout. But I'd also wonder if an MMA fighter can go 12 rounds without being cut up pretty seriously by Mayweather's potshots.
  • I've heard that 95 percent of the bets in Vegas are on McGregor. But not 95 percent of the money. Yet if McGregor wins, the sports books are going to get killed because of bets like mine -- longshot, little-to-lose-and-a-lot-to-win wagers. I'd be happy to be a part of such a thing.
  • Is there a very good chance this pay per view, at $99, is another rip-off? Yes, but I've been had on boxing PPVs so many other times, what's once more?

 

CSNNW set to become NBC Sports Northwest

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CSNNW set to become NBC Sports Northwest

STAMFORD, Conn. – August 23, 2017 – NBC Sports Regional Networks will align the remainder of its five CSN-branded networks, as well as two TCNs, on October 2. The new names will incorporate “NBC Sports” with each of the networks’ regional designations. The announcement was made today by David Preschlack, President, NBC Sports Regional Networks and NBC Sports Group Platform and Content Strategy.

“We’re excited to complete the brand evolution of our remaining RSNs, which will now include the iconic NBC Sports name on all of our networks,” said Preschlack. “This development is a reaffirmation of our continued commitment to provide the best, most compelling local sports coverage to our fans across the country.” 

The brand evolution will not impact the scheduled games, pre- and post-game shows, and other programming currently available on these networks. 

CSN Chicago, CSN Northwest and CSN Philadelphia will combine “NBC Sports” with their current regional designations: NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports Northwest and NBC Sports Philadelphia. TCN will transition to NBC Sports Philadelphia +, and continue to house separate material produced by NBC Sports Philadelphia.

CSN Mid-Atlantic, TCN Mid-Atlantic and CSN New England will also adopt the city names used by their primary team partners, becoming NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Washington + and NBC Sports Boston, respectively. 

The brand progression of the NBC Sports Regional Networks, which began in April with NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California, will be complete in advance of the 2017-18 NHL and NBA regular seasons. New York-based SNY will retain its name.

In addition to new names, the NBC Sports Regional Networks will feature enhanced logos and graphics. They will continue to feature the NBC Peacock, which was first integrated into the networks’ logos in 2012, the year after the formation of NBC Sports Group. 

Many NBC Sports production, programming elements and on-air talent have been incorporated on the RSNs since the Comcast-NBCUniversal acquisition in 2011, much like NBCSN and Golf Channel. In addition to the integration of the NBC Peacock in 2012, “Comcast SportsNet” changed to “CSN” in 2016. Similarly, several NBC Sports Regional Networks collaborate with NBC Owned Television Stations in their respective markets on content and other initiatives.

 

ABOUT NBC SPORTS REGIONAL NETWORKS

NBC Sports Regional Networks is NBC Sports Group’s portfolio of nine regional networks that delivers more than 2,200 live sporting events and original content to more than 35 million homes. Aligned within Eastern and Western Divisions, the NBC Sports Regional Networks are: NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBC Sports Philadelphia +, NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Washington + and SNY; and NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Chicago and NBC Sports Northwest. For more information on NBC Sports Group properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios, headshots and logos, please visit NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com.

—NBC Sports Regional Networks—