This is a cool story that is made cooler by the fact that it gives a little publicity to one of the key people working behind the scenes for Portland Trail Blazers broadcasting.
The Blazers' Radio Network Producer Rich Patterson was featured on ESPN's SportsCenter last week.
Dubbed "The Captain" by former Blazers broadcaster Eddie Doucette -- a nickname that is carried on to this day by Mike Barrett, Mike Rice and Brian Wheeler -- Patterson has worked for the Blazers since 1991. ESPN's story didn't open with Patterson's current job, though, instead going back to the 1976-77 championship season.
As it turns out, young Rich was a Blazermaniac who... well... take it away, Neil Everett.
"1977 -- a 14-year-old Trail Blazers fan steals a cassette tape from his dad's stash, pops it into his deck, holds a mic next to his clock radio and records Portland beating Philadelphia in Game 6 for the NBA championship. This kid, his name is Rich Patterson, he has one of the only original radio copies because neither the team or the station taped that game. Then Patterson grows up to become the radio network producer for Blazers games. You can't script that!"
Here's the SportsCenter story in full, which includes footage from 1977 (video and Bill Schonely's audio call from Patterson's tape) and some discussion of Portland's renaissance this year.
Congrats to Rich on the well-deserved props.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter