Wednesday, March 01, 2006

All we need now in Stumptown is 'Rosebud'

I can see the question marks coming off the minds of those of you reading this and you are asking 'Rosebud? What the heck is going on here???' Read on and you will see why that is in the title [or skip to the bottom of this post if you are curious about where it comes from].

In a city where there are questions about the legitimacy of demands for more money for the schools, verbal altercations about the plan to send the LRT into the heart of downtown and in turn try to make Portland into Torino [or Oslo, Copenhagen, Bern, Prague or even Boston] while seeing more empty shops than currently exist in parts of Brooklyn or Detroit and more politically correct rules that are passed than necessary, the big news on the cover of current edition of the Portland Tribune is about the Trailbazers. In particular, about their owner, our version of Charles Foster Kane [nee William Randolph Hearst], Paul Allen and all of those wonderful investments and causes he has been involved in since he bought the Blazers in 1988. Some of these read to be about as the same little financial daliances that Kane had involved himself in.

One can say that the Rose Garden [the building that the Blazers. Winter Hawks and the lacrosse Lumberjacks call home] is his version of the Chicago Opera House from 'Citizen Kane' [the real reference in the movie was about the San Francisco Opera House which Hearst had constructed to please his paramour at the time, Marian Davies, who supposedly could sing opera. From what had been mentioned in other corners, she could not and that failed attempt was featured in Citizen Kane]. Come to think of it, the museum he has built in Seattle; the Experience Music Project could be his version of the large museum/zoo on the premises of Kane's 'Xanadu'. Along with a whole slew of others.

By the by I am not making light of all of this or putting Allen down for making money and being a capitalist. Heck, that would be just plain crazy. With that said, one does have to wonder how someone who has amassed a great deal of wealth can lose money in a business where someone really has to work hard to LOSE money. Owning a sports franchise in the US is no different than let's say...running a McDonald's -- it is licence to print money, as the term goes. A person or ownership group would have to be a complete set of dolts [see the Bidwell family and the Arizona Cardinals] to lose money or make decisions for a team that would place a local icon in the same league as items in the cut-out, $1 bin at the local K-Mart. However, it is also an interesting study as to seeing how some can think that money or the status it can give or bring can just correct any problem or bring a championship just by tossing it around or wishing that it was so.

[Now about 'Rosebud'. Yes it is the sled that is burned at the end of Citizen Kane, but it is also the alleged nickname that Hearst gave his girlfriend because of a particular female body part. Anatomy students, you know what that part is -- impress your friends at your next party with that one. And who said the net is not a place to learn something new *S*?]

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