Spare Tires: More from Brian Wheeler
Fun and frustrations
Brian Wheeler's struggles with obesity have yet to pose a serious risk to his heart.
The same can't be said of the Blazers.
When Brian hosted a Super Bowl party a few years back, his guests did not watch the halftime show. Instead, a studio engineer played a collection of the profanity-laced tirades Wheeler spewed against the refs, Blazers, or their opponents during timeouts.
Wheeler is also notorious for banging the table on press row whenever a critical play fails to go Portland's way. Hoping to curtail the clamor, he vowed to give up $10 every time he did so this year ... and was up to $50 by game 10.
Wheeler pulled his catchphrase "Do it 'til you're satisfied!" from a funk song by B.T. Express.
"It's a great day to be a Blazer!" is a variation of John Rooney's "That's a White Sox winner!"
And contrary to popular belief, "Boom shakalaka!" was taken from the Bill Murray movie "Stripes" -- not the video game NBA Jam.
"The only video game I ever played was Ms. Pac-Man," Wheeler said.
Obviously, Brian's relationship with his late stepfather has served as a source of distress in his life. But some of Brad Wheeler's antics were so absurd, Brian can't help but laugh.
Wheeler recalled a time that he needed to take a shower when the house's water heater was broken.
But when one of Brian's stepbrothers asked Brad to fix it for Brian's sake, Brad responded "Let him freeze!"
"I didn't hear him say it," said Wheeler with a smile, "but the way it was told to me, it sounded like he said it like a Batman villain."
On the inside
Wheeler's romantic life has not been ideal, but it's been far from non-existent.
Over the past year and a half, he's had an on-again-off-again relationship with a former model from Los Angeles named Leah -- who did not want her last name disclosed.
Leah, 35, said she was attracted to Brian because of his fun-loving nature and "addiction" to making everyone around him happy.
Would she prefer him to be thinner? Yes. But she's disgusted when people judge him based on his exterior.
"Everyone's got their demons, it's just that his are visible," Leah said. "That's not fair."
-- Matt Calkins