Come on, governor, dare to think big


Yes, it's summertime, and the living is easy. What better time for a shower of cold reality:

• It's really exciting that Portland is going to host a first-round NCAA men's basketball tournament doubleheader, isn't it? The governor, even, says he's 'pumped' about it. Who can blame him?

I'm sure Gov. Ted Kulongoski never figured this city could possibly climb up to that special echelon of sports cities like Spokane and Boise, did he?

The governor, by the way, issued a news release last week calling the quest for a first-round regional 'an ambitious goal' and saying, 'It's a win for Oregon's economy.'

It will have economic impact, but come on - it's two days' worth of basketball games. This is the same governor who vetoed the proposal of a tribal casino-for-stadium trade that would have handed Portland a new ballpark for free.

If a couple of days of college basketball every three or four years is a real economic win, then what would a Major League Baseball franchise be, governor? And what would the economic impact be if Portland owned the only NHL team in the Pacific Northwest of the United States? Is the governor, the mayor or anyone else in local politics involved in that quest?

Wake me when someone around here has the courage to think big.

• Please, Blazer fans, calm down. This is summer league. Qyntel Woods starred in the summer league. Travis Outlaw made the all-star team there last summer. Take a deep breath and relax. These kids have a chance to be pretty good - but it's going to take time.

All the buzz about this year's rookie crop goes to show you there's still plenty of hope just beneath the surface of discontent with this team. Many people in Portland are waiting for an opportunity to gracefully jump back on board the bandwagon.

• We hear now, from two different sources, that the Blazers and Rose Garden bondholders have reached an agreement on the sales price for the two entities and that the financial book is finally ready for prospective buyers to peruse.

There are still those rumors around that Paul Allen isn't going to sell the team, and certainly the Big Guy isn't confiding his secret ambitions to me. Could all this be a ploy just to get a better lease arrangement at the arena? That wouldn't surprise me.

One of the prospective purchasers of the team, whose name has yet to publicly surface, says he's yet to see the book but knows for sure that Allen is serious about selling.

'But,' he added with a smile, 'he could also be the buyer.'

• OK, someone has to say it. You play for a month to decide the world championship of soccer and then it's decided on penalty kicks? Might as well decide the Super Bowl with a punt, pass and kick contest, too.

Love the way those guys roll around on the ground in near-death agony after someone pushes them to the ground, too. Funny stuff. And memo to ZZ - if you want to head-butt someone, butt him in the head, not the chest, tough guy.

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Dwight Jaynes will be appearing tonight on ESPN2's "Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith" -- which airs on most cable systems at 8 o'clock PDT.