Blazers ‘Golden Girls’ celebrate final season in the stands
PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - The Portland Trail Blazers certainly have some die-hard fans, and those who have been to a game have likely seen the “Golden Girls” roaming the concourses at the Moda Center.
Virginia Burke, Brenda Nelson and Soosie Byrne met on a golf course and banded over basketball in a Blazers booster club decades ago. Now, the beloved Golden Girls are in the final days of their season ticket lifestyle in Rip City.
“We are all widows so we don’t account to anybody, you know? If somebody says, ‘go,’ we say, ‘OK,’” said Burke.
Going together as season ticket holders in the Rose Quarter since 2012, the ladies have been coming to Blazers games for many decades.
“It’s been so much fun. It’s just been a terrific experience, it really has. We really enjoy ourselves,” said Nelson.
“Everybody has been so, so nice to us. We have been bought drinks all over the country,” Burke said.
Pregame happy hour is definitely part of the deal, and Byrne is the designated driver.
“They let me drive, so I am in control,” said Byrne.
Many may recognize Byrne, either on the wall at Moda Center with Damian Lillard or in a local car commercial.
At 76, Byrne is the youngest, Burke is 87, and Nelson needs a hip replacement. So this 2018 season is the swan song for some of the most famous Rip City residents.
“Blazer games just won’t be the same without the Golden Girls. They just won’t,” said Jay Allen, radio host with Blazers Radio Network.
“There’s no question, no question about it. Maybe there is some time for them to reconsider. Maybe they get the offseason to kind of reconsider, regroup, replenish, refresh,” said Brian Wheeler, radio announcer for the Blazers.
The ladies will go out with a bang. They have booked a Texas trip through Dallas, Houston and San Antonio after Easter.
Thank you for being a fan. Travel down the road and back again.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed it but you can’t go on forever,” said Burke.
This won’t be a full Blazers retirement. The appearances by Burke and Nelson will be spotty, but Byrne is looking for new season ticket partners in crime.
There is a fourth Golden Girl, but health issues forced Georgia Muller to give up her season tickets over a month ago.
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