With John Canzano trying out a new moniker for this season's team, I thought it would be fun to think about the alternate universes in which our beloved basketball team is working its way through troubled eras that have earned similar nicknames. Feel free to contribute your own submissions in the comments below.
1) The Ale Blazers:
Having recently fired Nate McMillan, the Blazers bring former NBA star and notorious alcoholic Vin Baker to coach the team on an interim basis. Baker's bad habits with booze rub off on the team, who show up visibly intoxicated to a game against Minnesota (but win anyway.)
2) The Pale Blazers:
In a blockbuster day of trades, Roy, Oden, Miller, Aldridge, Cunningham, Camby, Batum and Matthews head out the door, replaced by Jeff Foster, Marcin Gortat, JJ Redick, Kevin Love, Manu Ginobili and Steve Nash; also, Steve Blake makes a triumphant return as Nash's backup.
3) The Tail Blazers
The team's family-oriented image is tarnished when a scandal involving four team members and the Exotica International Club for Men strip club in North Portland makes the front page of The Oregonian. Zach Randolph is unavailable for comment.
4) The Fail Blazers
Led by recent D-League call-up and former Duck standout Luke Jackson, Portland sets an NBA record for losses, going 5-77 over the course of a season. They win the draft lottery and draft franchise savior Kevin Durant, who spontaneously combusts on the third day of training camp. Hey guys, it could be worse.
5) The Whale Blazers
Shawn Kemp returns from retirement to start in the place of injured centers Oden and Przybilla. His uncouth eating habits are picked up by his teammates, all of whom gain 20 pounds of fat and can be seen wheezing on the court toward the end of the first quarter.
Can you think of other rhyming alternate universes in which our poor Blazers are struggling? What would John Canzano call them? I eagerly await your responses.