Ken Belson of The New York Times is the latest to pound the Portland pavement to get a sense for how much the ongoing NBA lockout and the lack of a Portland Trail Blazers season is impacting the city and its citizens.
"This is terrible," said Timothy Davey, who runs the Spirit of '77, which refers to the year that the Blazers won their only N.B.A. title. "Our vitality is at stake."
"Just because there isn't much of a macroeconomic effect doesn't mean there aren't a lot of people hurt," said Patrick M. Emerson, who teaches economics at Oregon State.
In a city where water-cooler talk revolves around Brandon Roy's knees, Greg Oden's health or the prospects for the new point guard Raymond Felton, fans are learning to cope. Eric Levine, a high school teacher who shares two season tickets with a friend, has had to explain to his young son why basketball is not on television.
"There's definitely a gap, but we're powerless," he said. "We're a one-horse town without a horse."
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter