Monday, January 16, 2006

Proving Your Worth in Fort Worth

Our boys have been on a tear of late, winning three in a row, the last two coming against Orlando on Friday and Cleveland on Sunday. What a weekend. Those three wins, coupled with Houston losing there last five, means that Portland no longer retains the distinction of last place team in the Western Conference. Hold your heads high. Ruben Patterson more than anyone has been the key to this mini-streak of wins, playing great defense, providing a post presence on offense other than Zach, and being an all-around good guy. I'm still of the opinion that Ruben needs to be traded, but every game that he provides a spark off the bench and acts uncharacteristically unselfish weakens the resolve of my distain for the Rube. The way I see it, Ruben has more value now than he's ever had, making the likelihood of Nash getting something decent in return greater by the day.

The big news, though, is that Martell Webster and Sergei Monia have been relegated to the Fort Worth Flyers, Portland's (and a few other teams) D-league affiliate. Martell and Sergei will joins hoops luminaries like Deji Akindele, Kelenna Azubuike, and Vonteego Cummings, who, according to his bio, was born in 1976, but played his college ball at Pittsburgh through 1999, making him a 25 year-old rookie. You don't see that much anymore. I think the move will benefit a guy like Sergei, who's already been around the European block, but a kid like Martell, who is somewhat of a grandmamma's boy, might have a hard time transitioning to another locale, again. So, which hopes of easing the transition from life in Portland to life in Fort Worth, I've provided some tips on things to do in the town whose biggest claim to fame is as an American Airlines hub.

  • Fort Worth is home of the Cowtown Coliseum, which was the home of the first indoor rodeo. Someone might need to explain to Sergei what exactly a rodeo is. For that matter, maybe someone should brief Martell on the subject as well. I'm sure Vonteego could show them the ropes. If there's a better Friday night venue for a 19 year-old Seattle native and a 22 year-old Russian than an indoor rodeo, then I've never heard of it.
  • The White Elephant Saloon was named "One of the Best 100 Bars in America" by Esquire Magazine, and was once featured on Walker, Texas Ranger staring the great Chuck Norris! Tell me that doesn't kick ass. I guess they have a lot of cowboy hats too, which is one of my personal criteria for a good bar. Of course, Martell isn't of age yet, but I'm sure Vonteego could hook him up with a fake ID. Unfortunately, they already missed the Jake Ingram CD release party, which I know really bummed Sergei out, but I'm sure he'll be back when his next CD drops.
  • But there's more to do in Fort Worth than drink beer and watch grown men fight with livestock. According to the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau, Fort Worth is "the museum capitol of the southwest," which is one of the most hotly contested distinctions in the cut-throat world of museum classifications. Martell and Sergei can learn all about the exciting history of commercial aviation at the American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum, check out some dirty pictures drawn by Picasso at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and for the non-traditional cowboy enthusiast (I think both Marty and Sergei fall into this category), there are the National Cowboys of Color Museum and Hall of Fame and the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. So if Martell and Sergei thought that only white men were dumb enough to fight livestock, they've got another thing coming.

I'm sure this demotion comes as a bitter pill for both Martell and Sergei (whom I think we should consider calling "S&M" during their stints in Fort Worth), but I think it's best for both of them to look on the bright side. It surely rains less in Fort Worth, Dallas is just a short drive down Interstate 20, and you're sure to have an easier time finding one of those Cadillac’s with a bull horn hood ornament than you would here in Oregon. I think S&M will kick some serious ass for the Flyers, and come back to Portland better for the experience. Good luck guys, and watch out for Vonteego.


At 2:26 PM, Anonymous MojoMan said...

I think it is about time for a poll: "Who is the MVP is for the last 10-12 games?" My vote goes to Ruben. His hustle has been contagious and he has done the things no one else is really “built” to do, like flying into the crowd for loose balls, cementing the second unit, and setting the tone for defense. He is giving 100% on both ends of the court every minute he is in, producing numbers and defining intangibles. We have seen him deny Kobe his mark and make the King leave the court in wonder. I ask you: If he is traded who will—or can—do what he is doing? I hope Nash & Co. are keeping good notes. — MojoMan

At 6:33 PM, Blogger Sean said...

read my post on the rip city 24/7 blog about rube

At 6:34 PM, Blogger Sean said...

hey lance
can u put up a link to my blog?

At 8:07 PM, Blogger Lance Uppercut said...

Sure thing sean, especially considering that my link to Blazer Zen states that it's no longer a site. You slide into the coveted 7th spot, though I'll be expecting that blazers basketball will be getting a link on rip city 24/7 in the very near future. Screw that google news crap.


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