Quiero Taco Bell

Last night I joined by brother and father for the Blazers/Rockets game at the Rose Garden. I am not a huge fan of basketball, but I do like sports and I love going to live events. Even if the action’s not the best, the energy is fun.

As it turns out, Taco Bell has a deal running with the Blazers – they may have this with NBA teams nationwide – that if they score 100 points in a single game, everybody who showed up gets a coupon for a free chalupa. That’s right, folks.




If the Blazers scored 100 points. This would have made more sense with the late 90s/early 2000s Blazers. It’s a fair bet they were always craving late night fast food. But as promotions went it was pretty clever.

Halfway through the 4th quarter, the Blazers have 95 points. We get possession and start moving down the court. The following things happen:

  1. The Blazers’ mascot, “Blaze,” comes up on the jumbotron. Instead of his warmups, he is wearing a sombrero and sarape. He is holding maracas.
  2. The entire crowd – 20,000 fans – begins chanting “Cha-Lu-PA! Cha-Lu Pa!” to the rhythm of Blaze’s shaking maracas.
  3. The Blazers miss the shot, Houston gets possession. Everything returns to normal.
  4. The Blazers regain possession. Start again with step one.

Normally I’m a big participator in this kind of action. I didn’t go all the way to Alaska to not get a picture hugging the guy in the tacky bear costume. Nor did I go all the way to China to avoid doing tai chi with octogenarians in the park. I didn’t go to the Blazer game to not raise my voice alongside 20,000 of my countrymen and demand my share of the American Dream. However, I was unable to participate in this particular event. I was too busy trying to stop myself from laughing my colon right out my left nostril.

Portland’s beloved basketball team has a talent for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Just ask the 1991-1994 Chicago Bulls. They nearly failed us, missing shot after shot and letting Houston close up the gap aggressively in the last six minutes of the game. But with a three-pointer and a lay-up, they managed to break 100 to the roaring of fans. People were hugging each other over these free chalupas. All in all, one of the more bizarre spectacles I’ve witnessed so far this year.

I wonder what stuff like that does to the point spread.

Thanks for listening.