taco bell

Thinking Outside The Bun: Taco Bell Sponsors 3000 Tickets to the CFB Playoff

I gained a lot of respect for a certain fast food chain a few days ago. I never thought I would be saying this, but THANK YOU TACO BELL! Taco Bell has always been a pretty big influence on my...

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Blazers’ Corner: Aldridge’s Crazy Summer, No More Chalupas

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The Hectic Summer for LaMarcus Aldridge

There’s been a lot of drama surrounding LaMarcus Aldridge this summer.  During his April exit interview, the power forward said that the team was probably two years away from returning to the playoffs and that just getting there wasn’t good enough for him anymore.  Blazers’ coach Terry Stotts told Blazersedge in July that he’d received no indication of unhappiness from Aldridge during the summer.

The former No. 2 pick told multiple media outlets, including The Oregonian, that he had not gone to management to demand a trade, yet Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune reported that Aldridge told a reporter that he did in fact go to GM Neil Olshey to request a trade.  According to Chris Haynes of CSNNW, Aldridge “loves Portland.”  But then talk to Jason Quick of The Oregonian and he’ll say Aldridge “wants out” of Portland and believes the city is “too small” and “too boring.”

So as you can see, there’s been a lot of he said, she said, regarding Aldridge’s true feelings toward not only the team, but the city of Portland.  Most likely aware of all of this confusion, the Portland All Star decided to clear the air recently and his comments were reported by Yahoo! Sports and CSNNW.

LaMarcus Aldridge
LaMarcus Aldridge

“I wasn’t ready to make a move yet.  I was just frustrated in the moment.  I haven’t given Neil (Olshey) a chance yet,” said Aldridge to Yahoo.  That comment was in reference to speculation that he asked for a trade.  He denies asking for a trade and that he was just frustrated with the way the season ended.

He also said he never said anything negative about the city of Portland.  “Portland doesn’t bother me.  I don’t have an issue with the city of Portland.  I’ve been there my whole career.  I like the smallness of it and the passionate fans.”

He went on to say that he is looking forward to the upcoming season and that he is very encouraged by the moves the organization made during the offseason.  Aldridge has one more year left on his current contract and he would not say whether or not he intends to re-sign with the team.  “I’m focused on next season and how we can come together to be a playoff team.  That’s the only thing on my mind.”

The chances of Portland making the playoffs this upcoming season are strong.  Despite having one of the worst benches in NBA history, the Trail Blazers were competitive and in the playoff hunt well into March last season before nagging injuries to the starters eventually took them out of the playoffs and into the lottery.

With a deeper bench, improvements on defense and one of the better starting five in the league, Portland should return to the playoffs this season.  How far they advance is another story however.

Aldridge has said that he isn’t satisfied with just making the playoffs at this point in his career.  If that’s the case, then Portland will have to get out of the first-round cellar that they’ve resided in off and on for the past thirteen seasons.

Portland is the only team in the Western Conference not to advance past the first-round since their deep playoff run in 2000.  So if you’re going by that statistic, fans should brace themselves for this upcoming season being Aldridge’s last in a Blazers uniform.

No More Chalupas at Moda Center

I attended one Blazers game last season and despite the game ending in defeat (By two no less), I and the other 20,000 people in the arena were treated to a free Chalupa after Portland reached the century mark.  As a matter of fact, I still haven’t used that!  Checking the wallet …. and yes, I still have until the end of September.

Chalupas - portlandroundballsociety.com
Chalupas | (portlandroundballsociety.com)

If I or anyone else decides to go to a Blazers game this season, we can no longer look forward to the added bonus of free food.  The organization and Taco Bell will no longer run their popular promotion at games during the 2013-14 season.

Apparently the higher-ups at Taco Bell ultimately decided against continuing the partnership.  It kind of makes sense since the arena is now the Moda Center, named after Moda Health, an Oregon-based health insurance provider.  When you think of health, Taco Bell isn’t exactly the first thing you think of.  Oh, irony.

It seems like the Blazers have been doing this promotion for years.  I have fond memories of games going down to the wire and hearing fans chanting CHALUPAS, CHALUPAS!  Sometimes it felt like they were more interested in the free food rather than the win.

The organization is interested in establishing a new, in-game, free-food promotion with another company according to Blazersedge, but a plan hasn’t been put in place.  They need some incentive for the benchwarmers.  Free burgers, fries, how about a free shake?  It’s a great feeling being the guy that gets fans free food.  Just ask Luke Babbitt.