It doesn’t matter that the Trail Blazers are rebuilding their team; they are always entertaining to watch. The Rose Garden Arena (not to be confused with Portland’s International Rose Test Garden), where they play, is a magnificent structure designed specifically for the Portland Trail Blazers, but also home to many huge concerts and events.
The Rose Garden is an oval shaped building with a recognizable, layered roof made up of skeletal steel. Driving on Interstates 5 or 405, the structure can be seen, oddly out of place in a city of more traditional structures. I think the structure is beautiful.
Even though the Blazers won their one and only championship a few years before I was born, behind local Maurice Lucas and Bill Walton, they have always been a competitive team and always the best ticket in town. I won some tickets on the radio to tonight’s game and, since my wife isn’t the world’s biggest sports fan, I decide to surprise my son and take him to the game. It will be his first.
It would be an easy drive from our Cedar Hills home, but the MAX stops right in front of the arena, so I go for that option.
We make it to the Rose Garden and I ask my son if he has any contraband. He isn’t sure what contraband is, so he just nods. I laugh and ruffle his hair.
We make it quickly through the security checks and I take my son to the Blazers store and buy him the jersey of his favorite player. We then go to the concessions stand and I tell him that it’s not okay to watch a game without a hot dog, nachos, and gigantic coke. He doesn’t object, and after getting our order, we head down to our seats, which are ten rows from the court. I can’t help but smile. My son is beside himself with glee.
The players come out and I always forget how tall they are. On television they all look normal height but, from here, you can really appreciate these friendly giants.
The lights dim and the player announcements begin. The arena rocks with all the force of a gigantic earthquake; my son stomps his feet and claps his hands. The game starts. He shouts d-FENCE, does the wave, and watches his favorite player score a career high in points. My son’s face goes red with delight. When said player hits the winning shot with no time left and the Blazers win 100-99, I watch him lose his mind. I’m also pleased because with the 100 mark, we get a coupon for a free Chalupa from Taco Bell; Chalupas are my guilty pleasure.
We mosey our way back through the arena and grab our coupons. We hop back on the MAX towards home. We swing by Beaverton Taco Bell for our Chalupas before returning home to our nice little bungalow in Cedar Hills. My son tells his mother all about the night before heading to bed. My wife smiles at me brightly, thanking me for creating these memories for our son. I smile, knowing the memories were made for me too.
By Justin Price