Paul Allen riding emotional wave with Seahawks, Blazers

Seattle heading to Super Bowl, Blazers near top of West

By Micah Rice, Columbian Sports Editor



PORTLAND — Paul Allen’s sports world is an exciting place these days.

With his Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl and his Portland Trail Blazers among the top teams in the Western Conference, Allen is riding an emotional wave.

Allen discussed that and more Thursday at the Moda Center during halftime of Portland’s game against Denver.

The craziness of Allen’s schedule was displayed Jan. 11 when he attended both the Seahawks playoff win over New Orleans and the Blazers’ home win over Boston.

“In a game like that, you are so full of adrenaline,” Allen said of the Seahawks victory. “I probably wouldn’t have come down if we had lost the game. But we won, so I was still full of energy. It was great to be able to zip down here.”

Part of that thrill comes from Seattle’s rabid fans, and he sees common threads between the 12th Man and Blazermania.

“Any time you have a smaller city, people are that more passionate,” Allen said. “The whole gestalt of the 12th Man has really taken root in Seattle and made everybody feel a part of it in a very unique way.”

Much of the pre-Super Bowl attention has been focused on Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman’s post-game rant about San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree.

“Richard is an extremely intelligent and passionate player,” Allen said. “The NFL, as compared to the NBA, is so physical and emotional on every play. Some of the emotion was present when he made those comments. When you go to the Super Bowl, everything gets magnified.”

Now in his 36th year of pro sports ownership, Allen was asked what he’s learned that has allowed his teams to flourish this year. He talked about needing front-office personnel who have a “golden gut” when it comes to scouting and acquiring players.

After a period of unrest in the Blazers front office, Allen is pleased with general manager Neil Olshey and coach Terry Stotts.

“It all certainly starts with the general manager and the coach,” Allen said. “I’ve gotten a lot of comments in the past about the number of changes we’ve made. I made those changes because I felt we didn’t have the right person in the role.”

Would Allen prefer a Super Bowl or NBA championship?

“Any time you get to compete for the championship in a professional sport, it’s just a magical thing,” Allen said. “This is my fourth time, and I haven’t won a championship. If I did, that would be fantastic. They’re both such amazing things.”