I have a terrible, sinking feeling that my latest screen printing project may be cursed. Which is truly unfortunate.
Before you continue reading this post, I do want to make an important point: I’m not a Fan Girl. And I’m certainly not a Channing Frye Fan Girl. If I were going to be a Fan Girl of any of the Trail Blazers players, it would have to be Martell Webster. Yes, I know Rudy Fernandez is the flavor of the month, but, for me–if I were to become a Fan Girl in a parallel universe–it would have to be Martell. (Now you may click through to the rest of the post, and settle in for a lengthy post.)
I’ve mentioned here before that I’m a big fan of the Portland Trail Blazers’ backup power forward, Channing Frye. (And you should be too, even if you’re not a basketball fan–you can read a great article about him here.) Seriously, the dude seems like a total Portlander–kind of geeky, really funny, super into food like the rest of here in Portland, writes a highly entertaining blog, etc, etc. And, like most everyone else here, he has some funny-looking dogs. So, theoretically, to quite a few Portlanders/Blazers fans, he’s “one of us.” And in Portland, that means something.
While the guy’s definitely developed a pretty big fan base here in Portland, I like to think I was an early passenger on the Frye bandwagon. He did some really entertaining interviews when he was first traded here from the Knicks, including one in which he declared that he was a “…buffet of goodness…” and then, shortly after the trade, Josh and I saw him wandering around the Pearl District–which was sort of cool, since at least we don’t see a lot of the Trail Blazers players around town, since they mostly live out in the ‘burbs and probably frequent P.F. Chang’s at Bridgeport Village or El Gaucho downtown. Honestly, it reminded me of back in the day when people used to see Trail Blazers players at Costco or whatever. (Seriously, everyone and their uncle once claimed to have seen Jerome Kersey at the grocery store. I don’t know if he was really into food shopping or everyone was full of it, but it’s sort of funny. Oh, and quite a few people I knew saw Kevin Duckworth at the Fred Meyer in Oregon City. And Tonya Harding. Not together, obviously, but it was the same early 1990s time-frame. And the same Fred Meyer.)
My point is, I was pretty excited about Channing Frye early on. I used to have fairly regular arguments with a guy I used to work with about whether or not Channing was “awesome” or not (although I think we probably should have defined the term “awesome” first–since I think we were working with two entirely different definitions of the word). And I’ve also successfully converted a number of people into “Chan Fans”–including my husband and my mom. It’s actually kind of a weird secret handshake or something–I cheered really loudly for the guy for some reason (possibly that he was actually getting to play?) and all the sudden Guy Who Sits Next to Me at the Blazers Games (I have no idea of his name) stands up and yells, “Yeah! Channing!” Then he sits back down, looks at me sheepishly and says, “Channing’s The Man.” Ever since, Guy Who Sits Next to Me and I have regular conversations at the Blazers games. There have been other instances like this as well that I won’t bore you with–assuming you’re still with me. Oh, and one time I was forced to stare down a really uncouth dude who was sitting behind me at a game screaming some really unprintable things about Channing. (I have a whole other thing about people yelling negative stuff at our own team–it’s pretty unacceptable in my book, unless the person’s a criminal. Or has missed a game because they’re visiting a strip club instead of going to a funeral.)
Turns out, Channing really has grown to love Portland, has met a Portland girl to whom he’s now engaged and is, apparently, planning on making our wonderful city his lifelong home. Pretty cool, right? Except, unfortunately, the guy’s future with our team is looking kind of bleak. I could get all into the details, but this is a sewing/crafting blog, not a sports blog (despite all the Trail Blazers-related posting I do, and Josh’s dabbling in vintage football-inspired craft projects), and if you’re really wanting to understand it all, read the Willy Week article I referenced earlier in this post.
Awhile back I went to the Trail Blazers fan shop at the Rose Garden, and was looking for a Channing Frye T-shirt or something–since I have a pretty decent selection of Brandon Roy shirts already, I thought it was probably time to diversify to my selection for the forty-one games we have to go to througout the season. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a single item. There were tons of Rudy Fernandez, Brandon Roy, Lamarcus Aldridge, Nic Batum, Travis Outlaw, Joel Pryzbilla, Sergio Rodriguez and Greg Oden items. Hell, even Steve Blake has some stuff at the shop. Even Ike Diogu! But ZERO Channing Frye items. Perhaps there was a run on stuff, but I kind of doubt it for some reason. More irritated than I probably should have been, I decided to create my own Channing Frye shirt to wear to some games. You know, to sort of prove a point.
I spent quite a bit of time creating the image for this screen print. It’ actually harder to manipulate sports graphics, because there’s a lot of motion captured in photos–fabric, for example, is in motion, which makes it complex–that can look crummy screen printed, if you’re not careful. My objective was to make it look comic book-y (at least as good as the dorky comic book characters the team uses during the player introductions), which I think I accomplished pretty well. I also had to give a shout-out to the famous “buffet of goodness” line, since it’s so damn hilarious. (I had a running joke with Josh for a long time that if I ever ran into Channing Frye on the street I’d have to tell him that I have that line as one of favorite quotes on my Facebook profile–I “collect” favorite quotations, so it’s one of many, and if you know me well, you know that’s not such a weird thing to say. But, then I realized that would sound slightly crazy, which is never a good thing.)
I printed this on a bright red hoodie–which, as I told Antoinette–was a critical missing piece of my wardrobe. I mixed three different blue inks to get a deep, rich, metallic blue that would really pop on the bright red. (I really picked the blue and red because I love that color combo. I realized later on, that they’re also University of Arizona’s colors, which worked out well, given that’s where Channing played college ball. I have zero loyalty to any Pac-10 school, although I generally root for Oregon State, so I have no qualms about wearing another teams’ colors.)
I also cut some blue felt and appliqued the number 44 on the front of the hoodie (although I forgot to back it with stabilizer–even though I have some–which is too bad, hope the letters don’t eventually warp the knit fabric).
So back to that whole curse thing that I mentioned about a million words ago…
In my thirty years of Blazers fandom (I did take a lengthy hiatus/complete strike from the team for the better part of a decade because of the whole Jail Blazers thing, but I’m counting that time, because it was so painful), I have a long history of rooting for bench guys who inevitably get trade or not re-signed. While I always have a starter or two that I really like, I always have some bench guy that I root very hard for–it’s just my thing. Drazen Petrovic and Danny Young were a couple of my favorites when I was young. If I hadn’t been on Blazers strike at the time, I’m sure I would have been a big Brian Grant fan. And then right after we moved back to Portland, Ime Udoka made the team–and was the reason that I ended my self-imposed Blazers strike. What happen to all those guys? Traded or not resigned. So I sort of feel like “my players” are doomed. Seriously, could it be via some butterfly effect that by my cheering for these dudes they are guaranteed to not return to the team? Have I doomed Channing Frye to not return to Portland because I’ve been cheering for the guy for a season and a half? These are the questions I’m pondering…
This hoodie is further evidence that there may be something to that theory. You see, I’ve worn it several times to Blazers games, and there’s mounting evidence of a possible curse not only associated with me, but with my totally awesome DIY hoodie. I have worn it to two games in which Channing didn’t play at all and I wore it on the day (not a game day, just a normal day) that this trade rumor erupted. Seriously, I’m starting to worry. Susan and I went to the Blazers game last night, and I wore my hoodie and she wore the T-shirt I made for her.
The result? Well, with two custom “Buffet of Goodness” shirts, Channing did play, but didn’t, uh, do anything. He missed his one shot attempt. So, there’s still a possibility that there’s a curse at play, but I would deam those results “inconclusive.” We’ll see… There’s a part of me that really believes in sports curses, and I think this is fairly “normal,” as are good luck charms and other superstitions–just ask Henry Abbott. and hell, even Barack Obama had all sorts of good luck charms that he carried during his campaign.
So, anyway, that was an awfully verbose manner in which to describe my latest project, and its potential downside. I think it turned out pretty sweet, to be honest. And I’m glad that at least one person will be wearing Channing Frye gear at the Rose Garden this season. I hope he gets to stick around. And if not, I’ll keep cheering for Channing.
Note: Check out Susan’s thoughts on the same subject over here.
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