I never expected to get all choked up watching a game at 3 AM between China and Lithuania, but there I was, listening to Steve Jones and hearing the immortal 'NBA on NBC' bumper music. Amazingly, I had to break out the only John Tesh CD I ever purchased just so I could hear all of those tunes again. Who doesn't remember the theme they used over and over for every single highlight reel after the games? (BUHHH BUH... BA BA BUHHHH BUHHH... I know you know the one)
Am I the only one who truly misses Steve Jones? Hearing that voice kind of gave me that 'warm cuddly Morgan Freeman voice over' kind of feeling. His analysis was second to no one. He has a great sense for the game. I remember thinking that he always seemed to be so impartial and that when he sent out a compliment, there was some substance behind it. He and many other of the broadcasters, at least for me, are almost as significant in my Blazer memories as most of the players. I didn't realize I missed hearing the guy so much. Come back, Snap!
I couldn't believe how much hearing the Snapper's voice could transport me back to the days of Blazer Cable, to hearing his go rounds with Bill Walton on NBC, to listening ot the Swami and hinging on every prediction, to the sheer elation that came with sitting in front of the TV waiting for the claymation rabbit followed by some cheesy video of Uncle Cliffy and Mercy Mercy Jerome Kersey in hardhats on bulldozers (!) that signified the game was coming up. Or, in the event of a national game, turning down Hubie Brown's volume (Kevin Porter... what?) and cranking up the broadcast with Schonz instead. Yes, I did have a subscription to Rip City magazine. Yes, I shopped Blazers on Broadway regularly. Yes, I have the 'Blazermania LP'. Yes, my cupboard is still filled with DQ glasses. I still have my bootleg Bart Simpson playoff shirt which I bought at a roadside stand off of I-5. Yes, my phone's ring is the Blazer trumpet fanfare from the 70s and 80s.
All of this stuff is so prominent in my psyche. I realized last night that so much of that came from listening to all of those guys. I treasure each and every one of those times and look forward to many more with MB and Ricey. Rice cracks me up and is a huge part of Blazer history. MB is a local boy, which is cool, and seems like the kind of guy with whom you could have a beer and enjoy a game. That and he let me into the studio at the Rose Quarter to watch the end of a road game when it was pouring outside. Tell me how many broadcasters would do that for a stranger? After all this time it still feels like family.
I guess I felt compelled to write this as somewhat of a man-crush love letter to the broadcasters that shaped my youth and continue to bring me joy today. Schonz, Eddie, Swami, Lafferty, Wheels, MB, and Snapper... you are all aces in my book. You've played a significant role in my life and I just felt like saying thanks. Bingo Bango Bongo baby.
Would love to read some other broadcasting related memories. Please no diatribes on homerism. I am and will always be a homer. And proud of it.