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Introducing The Gentlemen From

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As jksnake99 noted in the fanshots yesterday, the TrueHoop network has added a Blazers Blog; is written by Erik Barmack and Max Handelman, two smart, successful Portland transplants currently living outside the pdx fishbowl.

In the post-Game 2 euphoria, I exchanged brief emails with Erik and Max in hopes that we might get an introduction to them as writers and people.  

(Basically this was a test to see if they were cool enough to respond. They passed! Kidding about the test. Sort of. Not really. It was cool how quickly they responded!)

Erik handled the heavy lifting during this interview presumably because Max was busy today taking out restraining orders on those of you googling pictures of his wife.  

Here's our conversation...

Blazersedge: It seems like blogging duos get compared to either Batman/Robin or Pacino/Deniro. Does one of those comparisons fit? 


I'd say that we're more like Waldorf and Statler, only younger:

S: Is your hearing aid fixed?

W: No.

S: Then how do you know what I'm saying?

W: I don't!

S: Oh. (does double take)

I'd say I'm Waldorf.      

Blazersedge: How would you describe your writing styles and background?


We try to balance analysis, humor, and good-natured fandom. We wrote a book WHY FANTASY FOOTBALL MATTERS that was sort of a look inside the petty machinations of our fantasy football league, and we sprinkled in tons of pop culture and historical sports references. I've also written a novel, THE VIRGIN.

Max has produced a number of films in Hollywood.

Blazersedge: is the go to site for....


I'd say that we're not trying to be the most comprehensive Blazer site out there (that's BE) or the most analytical (again BE). But we are trying to consolidate a lot of chatter about the Blazers, sprinkle in some humor, and conduct some reasonable analysis about the direction of the team.

We're also shameless fans -- so we want to share the psychology of fandom with others who are frothing up over the Blazers. But we're not going to do play-by-play, cover every post-game interview, and so on. We're going to try to create highly opinionated, somewhat funny, somewhat insightful pieces that consolidate many feelings/thoughts for each game.    

Blazersedge: Favorite current Blazers? Favorite all time Blazer?


I'm a Batum guy. I look at him and I see Prince and Pippen, and I truly believe that he can be an all-star someday. As far as all-time greats ... both of us were huge Drazen fans.

One of my favorite Blazer plays ever was when Drazen was on a two on one during a regular season game, and he dribbled away from the key so that he could hoist a three (he missed). Pure hubris.


I think Erik pretty much captures it when it comes to favorite players. I'm a huge Batum fan, and was a huge Drazen Petrovic fan. In fact, my Instant Messenger name is an homage to Petrovic - [IM Screen name deleted to protect again a BE Army swarm].

My personal favorite Blazer memory/experience was running into and chatting with Paul Allen at an event. And him going on and on about how excited he was to resign a player and make him the cornerstone of the franchise.

That player? Darius Miles.

My, how things have changed.

Blazersedge: I noticed on your site that you make frequent reference to an oft-forgotten period of Blazer history -- the 1980s. Any favorite personalities or memories from those years that you feel get short-shrifted in the telling of Blazers history?


Billy Ray Bates was way ahead of his time.

He once slept through an entire first-half of a game. He once scored 64 points for the Crispa Redmanizers.

He said things like this (from wikipedia): "Those people, they loved me," Bates would tell The Oregonian. "There, I was like Michael Jordan. I could have anything I wanted. All I had to do was snap my fingers. I had my own condo, my own car and my own bodyguard with an Uzi. I had to fight off the women."

He allegedly drank beers before games.

Jerome Kersey claimed:

After picking Bates up at the Portland airport, then-Blazer trainer Ron Culp advised Billy Ray not to carry large amounts of cash around, but rather to open up a checking account so that he could pay bills with checks. Bates had a quizzical expression on his face, Culp recalled, and finally worked up the nerve to ask, "What are checks?"

Just a guy firing away on all cylinders.     

Blazersedge: Who are your must read writers online or in the paper? Both Portland and national?


BE (of course), Quick, Canzano, Center Court, TrueHoop, HoopsHype, The Daily Dime, Vescey, Scott Howard-Cooper, Dwight Jaynes.    

Blazersedge: Anything else I forgot to ask? Open your souls...


We know we're going to have earn the trust of new readers. We just want to be one of many great Blazer blogs, and we hope to bring a slightly different voice to the debate.    

Blazersedge: It's still cool if we call Henry the Blogfather, right?


Yes, he is the Blogfather.
So there you have it. Two cool guys that are ga-ga for the Blazers. What's not to like? A big thank you to Erik and Max for chatting.  

Commence incredibly witty, pithy cracks about your unique dislike for the name of their blog in 3, 2, 1 ... NOW.

But, seriously, don't do that. That's so Tuesday.  

Instead, welcome them to our corner of the internetz. And update your blogrolls accordingly.

-- Ben (