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Brian Wheeler Gets Some Love

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Skyler Archibald of the Portland State Vanguard has a lengthy piece on Blazers radio play by play announcer Brian Wheeler.

"I knew that it would be a difficult task to replace Bill Schonely, so I wasn't necessarily anticipating getting that job," Wheeler said.

Schonely had been the Blazers' only play-by-play announcer since the team's inaugural season in 1970. Wheeler said that he had expected that the Blazers would look to hire a prominent NBA broadcaster, not someone seeking their first full-time gig in the league.

"I was probably not their first choice," Wheeler admitted, now with the benefit of more than 10 years of hindsight. "And replacing ‘Schonz' was a hornets nest at first. But, I tried to be myself, be humble about the situation and be grateful for the opportunity."

One of the questions raised in the article is what it means to be a homer.  

Wendell Maxey writes...

During the season both Wheeler and the rest of the Blazers broadcasting team (read Wheeler's wingman - Antonio Harvey, and Mike Barrett and Mike Rice on the television side) took plenty of heat from some listeners and even a writer or two during the season about being "homers" in the way they call games.

Last I checked, they work for the organization. They are an extension of the team off the court. Call it a combination of backing and bantering about the Blazers, as much as it is about knowing who cuts the check.

So in this case, is being a "homer" wrong?

Homer or not, Wheels deserves some shine.  To keep his energy level high for 82 games a year is no small task and he is absolutely one of the hardest working men in the business.  It seems like he is on 95.5 FM roughly 14.6 hours a day.

A tip of the hat to Wheeler, who is certainly overlooked on this site.  

And another to Skyler for his impressive profile. 

-- Ben (benjamin.golliver@gmail.com)