Blazers playing with time

In the latest issue of ESPN The Magazine, Ric Bucher explores how the Portland Trail Blazers are using the fact that they’re a Pacific Coast team to their advantage. (Insider subscription required.)

After consulting with doctors and a sleep expert, the team decided the best way to succeed away from home was to act as if they’d never left. So the Blazers stay on Pacific Coast time, no matter where they are. On the East Coast, that means 11 a.m. wake-ups and 10 p.m. practices to go with the club-kid bedtime.

So instead of starting a trip with an early-morning flight, the Blazers take off closer to noon. Players get a full night’s sleep in their own beds. That makes them less likely to nap after boarding. And no napping means they rarely miss meals. Sure, the guys can’t explore the local nightlife immediately upon arrival; that’s when they practice. But they do get to skip the traditional morning shootaround on game days in favor of another good night’s rest.

The Blazers haven’t lost their edge back home, either. [Dr. Charles] Czeisler has taught them about circadian rhythms and body clocks, so now they know that by the start of a second half in Portland, an Eastern squad will be feeling the effects of melatonin, the body’s hormone that regulates sleep. “We look for it,” Jensen says. “We know it’s our chance to jump on our opponents.”

We see it all the time in sports. An East Coast team has to travel to the West Coast and they underperform (or vice versa). There’s definitely something to this theory and the Blazers are smart to try to use it to their advantage. Unfortunately, East Coast teams can’t do the same thing. No matter when they fall asleep or when they wake up during a West Coast road trip, game time is still 10 PM or 11 PM Eastern, and that’s when the melatonin kicks in.

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Inside the mind of Rick Reilly

In an interview with, Rick Reilly discussed a number of different topics, including how he feels about sports blogs and his relationship with Bill Simmons.

“I don’t really go on the blogs, because they don’t really like anybody. Jesus could do a column and they’d be like, ‘What the hell is with the hair?’ It’ll always be something. Charles Barkley told me a long time ago always half the people are going to hate you and half the people are going to love you. If you suddenly change who you are, the other half will hate you. I don’t really care what people holding down couch springs do or say.”

I get it now. So since he has read some negative stuff on the blogs about his writing, bloggers must dislike everything. That makes perfect sense. Rick might want to consider that bloggers are just a subsection of his audience that actually has time to write about what they like and don’t like. Sure, there are blogs out there that just throw mud at everyone, but here at The Scores Report, there are writers we like and writers we don’t like.

He commented on his (outrageous) salary…

Read the rest after the jump...

Correcting Rick Reilly, Part 2: Rick wants coaches to show less class

Every issue of ESPN The Magazine ends the same way. I absolutely dread flipping to Rick Reilly’s back page column because it usually throws me into a state of depression. I can’t believe that ESPN is paying Reilly what they are when the guy can only produce a good, entertaining column once in a blue moon.

Reilly’s column for the Feb. 23 issue is no different. He starts off with a bad joke.

I’ve been fired more than pottery.


Hey, at least he didn’t shoehorn in some stale pop culture reference. I’ll give him that.

He then runs down his personal employment history, or at least those jobs that didn’t end well.

I was fired from my first job at 12. Some people apparently don’t want their tulips mowed. I was fired from my babysitting gig at 13. Who knew a diaper wouldn’t completely flush? Got fired as a machine/tool rental store assistant at 16. Thought the boss said, “Fifteen parts oil, one part gas in the jackhammers.” Turns out, it was the other way around. Pick-ee.

And how did I react whenever I got canned? Not well. Once, my pals and I egged the offending organization’s window front.

So he performs horribly at his job and reacts to getting fired by vandalizing his ex-employee’s place of business? Nice.

He then goes on about how coaches are too nice after they’ve been fired.

Read the rest after the jump...

Rick Reilly plays fantasy football with Barack Obama

I’ve been meaning to post something about Rick Reilly’s new gig, but I just haven’t been able to find an angle that didn’t make me sound like a hater. Based on what I’ve read of his work, I’m not really sure how he got to where he is. I guess I should take notes, however, because the guy has my dream job.

Last year, he signed a big deal with ESPN the Mag to become its back page columnist. I have read just about every one of those columns and have come away unimpressed.

Now he has a piece where he describes flying to Dayton, Ohio to pick his weekly (salary cap) fantasy football team with none other than Barack Obama.

Now, The Scores Report is apolitical, but let’s just say I would have jumped at this opportunity.

It’s a good read, especially for those voters out there that like their Presidents to be sports fans.

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