Have you ever walked around and noticed how many people wear Portland Trail Blazers gear in this city? Or maybe you’ve been flipping through the channels and found yourself watching a game and thought to yourself, “Hmm that looks like a lot of fun, but I bet I’d look like such an idiot not knowing what’s going on.” Well, we sent our own “sports idiot” to her first Blazers game in a long time. Co-editor in chief Erin Carey will give you a first hand look at what it’s like being new to a real sporting event.
On Feb. 5, Carey attended a game vs. the Phoenix Suns. As any experienced Blazers fan knows, the best day to get tickets online is the day of the game. People slash prices looking to get what they can for the tickets before tipoff. After tipoff the tickets are worthless.
“Getting tickets was really easy,” Carey said. “Especially if you have the passbook app with the iPhone. That was kind of amazing to me, because I didn’t realize that’s what the app was for. It’s really convenient.”
There are many different transportation options for the Moda Center. The easiest way to get there is by riding the Max. If you prefer to drive, there are several cheap areas to park around the arena as long as you don’t mind a short walk, however you will have to deal with the many cars jammed into a compact area. Carey didn’t like the choice to drive.
“My first impression arriving at the Moda Center is that parking sucked,” Carey said. “Also, from what I know the new name really sucks because it should be the Rose Garden, but I do like the lights. The lights are a nice touch.”
Once inside the Moda Center, we stopped for food. The Trail Blazers have started incorporating local food options such as Sizzle Pie and Killer Burger. We decided on another great option, Bunk Sandwiches. What pleased Carey was the variation and getting away from the traditional cotton candy, popcorn and “really nauseating hot dogs.”
We found our seats early so that Carey could start to take in the environment.
“People turn up really hard just to go to a basketball game,” said Carey. “I think that’s a lot of fun. People are also really polite, they say excuse me and thank you when you have to move for them.”
There are many types of people that go to games and Carey saw them all during this one. Ranging from the fan that paints his face, goes crazy for every play, and boos every foul against his team, to the more casual fan who watches quietly, doesn’t wear any team gear but is still there to support.
Carey has a message for you who think that you don’t belong at a game.
“It’s really important that you go to a Blazers game. Just because it’s part of what makes Portland, Portland. The atmosphere is really fun. You don’t have to understand defense, offense, or anything like that. It’s just fun to be a part of it.”
After the game, we experienced the downside of driving, which is getting out of the parking garages. It definitely requires a lot of patience and not being in a rush.
“People just need to be hyper-aware,” Carey said. “Just go, don’t be super nice and let everyone out.” As long as there’s good music on the radio, the experience can be painless.
So, what did Carey think about her social experiment?
“I would definitely go to another Blazers game. I would probably prepare for it a little bit better,” said Carey. “I would probably dress in the right colors and not look like I wandered into the Moda Center.”
However, when asked what she took away from this experience the most, her response was “I think I’m going to marry Robin Lopez.”
Well at least we tried.
story by: Zak Laster