Monday, May 11, 2009

Canzano: If I Did It

The sidebar here at GFT looks different today, because this past weekend two things happened in Portland pro sports.

First, Portland's box (indoor) lacrosse team lost a first-round playoff game to San Jose 20-16.

And then the Lumberjax ownership announced that the game was the last that the team would ever play in Portland.


I'm sorry. I enjoyed the game, I liked the team, despite all the ridiculous bush-league nonsense (the roaring announcer, the ass-shaking "dance team") that went with the events.

But as irking as the entire debacle was, the MOST irking thing was a column that Portland sports columnist John Canzano wrote the next day.
"The LumberJax will cease operating immediately?

Wonderful. Because this city has had enough with skateboarding, riverboarding, and low-level golf and motor sports events. We deserve more than to choke in the nauseous fumes left from those trying to sell us sideshow sports as if they're main events...the sports sediment that floats around the bowl makes Portland feel, and look, like a smaller market than it really is."
I have no problem with Canzano hating the indoor lacrosse game, or the particular team. My beef with the guy is that he spent his entire column slamming the Jax, the NLL and the sport without ever mentioning his own, and his paper's, responsibility for the failure of the franchise and all the other "non-Blazer" professional sports in Portland.


I have never picked up the Oregonian sports page and seen a Jax, or a Timbers, or a AAA Beavers story on the front page above the fold. OK, there's usually one story right before their seasons open and one on opening day/night. Every so often they'll run something about a special event, like a U.S. Soccer match or a visiting team, or an all star game in PDX. But most of the time? Page four, at best, behind the Blazers, pro baseball (critical for all the Mariners fans here...), the NFL draft, NASCAR...Canzano and the O have never accepted their part in building support for local pro sports here. I'm not talking cheerleading, but, damn, man! You have a pro lacrosse team in your town! Isn't that more important sports news that what the hell happened to the Mariners in Seattle? You have a pro soccer team in your town? Shouldn't that be front page news when your NBA team isn't playing?

Canzano could have generated buzz for the Jax. He could have talked about players, trades, game strategies, the connection between the pro game, the big colleges, box lax in Canada, the OSAA and the clubs. He could have badgered the sports editors into doing more features on the club. He didn't. And then, when the team dies, instead of having the tact to shut his piehole, he vomits all over the sports page about how the NLL and the Jax were "muddled and forced" on Portland.

OJ would have been proud.


Charles Gittings said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charles Gittings said...


Incoming --

Please send me your email address at

I will be making a road trip to Portland, Spokane, Chelan, Portland, and home this month; ETA 1-3 weeks, depending on variables being resolved this week.


Pluto said...

Good to see that you're alive and posting, Charly. Hope things are going as well as possible for you.

Charles Gittings said...

Hi Pluto,

Actually things have been going really well considering... to the extent that I can actually say that the cancer has been a blessing in many ways.

But I'm not a favorite, though I do have a fighting chance and a fairly decent outlook for some significant time.

But the bottom line statistical picture is that five years out, only 5% of the people in my situation are still alive. But my cocky ex-USN oncologist thinks he can do better than that. My radiation oncologist is also ex-USN interestingly enough. I've been really happy with both of them.