How did Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith put it? The Portland Trail Blazers have gon’ fishin’. Despite an injury to star point guard, Tony Parker, the San Antonio Spurs were able to close out the series 4-1, defeating the Blazers 104-82 in game 5. Their deep bench and experience prevailed as the Blazers made what some say was an inevitable exit from the playoffs. The lack of bench production from the Blazers was the Achilles heel, but they should walk out with their heads high and sights set on next year’s season. Now that the NBA playoff excitement is over for the hometown heroes, what do sports fans in Oregon have to look forward to this summer? How about some soccer with the Portland Thorns and Portland Timbers, a taste of football with the Portland Thunder, and going a few hours North to Washington for some surprisingly good baseball by the Seattle Mariners.
The Portland Thorns prove that women can get down and dirty on the soccer field too. With a record of 4-2-1, these ladies are playing a great batch of soccer this summer. Their next game is at home on May 21st versus the Western New York Flash. Their big brothers, the Portland Timbers, also play at home on May 17th versus the Columbus Crew. But I’m worried about soccer in Oregon. It’s bad enough women’s sports barely get any hype, but even the men’s side, with a record of 1-3-6, is dwindling. Transitioning from such an exciting playoff run by the Blazers to mediocre soccer just isn’t going to cut it.
Arena Football may not be the big bang, but it’s like an appetizer before the NFL preseason, and the Thunder are trying to make their mark. Their current record of 2-6-0 doesn’t say much, but the game is one of excitement and straight scoring minus the hard hitting (the best part of football, I know). The season goes through to the end of July which is right in time for NFL fun to start. Your football juices will already be flowing and I think fans appreciate the warm up.
Oregon sports fans should truly latch on to baseball this summer, heading north to Washington for the Seattle Mariners. There’s nothing like a great game of baseball on a nice day (live and in Seattle of course) and the Mariners aren’t too shabby so far this year. With a record of 20-20, I’m sure we are all shocked at the .500 position they’re in because let’s face it, the Mariners haven’t been taken serious in years. We rallied behind the talented Blazers and their playoff run, but hopefully a shift to baseball will end in the same playoff opportunities for the Mariners, finally!