'These are for the Blazer fans': Blazers radio network producer sharing Rip City audio history from 'The Schonz'

Bill Schonely (left) and Rich Patterson (Photo provided to KPTV) 

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – All of this downtime for sports fans has allowed many to go back to relive some classic games and plays.

A Portland born and raised audiophile acquired a treasure trove of Trail Blazer history ahead of the 50th anniversary in Rip City. FOX 12 chatted with “The Captain” about his great collection from “The Schonz.”

Rich Patterson, “The Captain,” has worked 2,574 consecutive Blazer games with the Portland Trail Blazers Radio Network.

It’s even better you when have a great friend like “The Schonz.”

“Growing up, listening to ‘Schonz’ and then being able to work with him was like listening to the Beatles and working on an album with McCartney,” said Patterson, a longtime Blazers radio network producer.

The beat goes on for Patterson, who was once a little kid who loved listening to his favorite hometown announcer, Bill Schonely, make the calls of his beloved Blazers five decades ago.

“To kids, ‘The Schonz’ was the man! He was the man. He is the man!” Patterson said.

The man was original voice of Trail Blazer basketball who coined, “Rip City”, baby – a move this fall had the soon-to-be 91-year-old “Schonz” unloading his personal archives for “The Captain” to salvage and upload to a permanent home.

“To know that ‘Schonz’ trusted me with all of this amazing, rare audio, is just an honor that I can’t begin to describe,” said Patterson.

He said, “The earliest known tapes are these 1977 games because nobody thought to record the games prior to that. Even some of these games, if ‘Schonz’ didn’t record these, they wouldn’t exist.”

Patterson added, “A lot of the games from the championship run that I thought were gone, that nobody had, and here are these tapes. It’s unbelievable for a Blazer fan like me who, that was one of the best days of my young life when the Blazers won the championship. These are for the Blazer fans. These aren’t for me to keep and hoard on my own. I want to share these things and as you know, I recorded the championship game back in ’77 and that was something that Schonz did not have that I was able to give him a number of years ago. People would make fun of me back in the day of recording all of this stuff off the radio, ‘Why are you doing this?’ They’re not laughing at me anymore.”

If you want to laugh and cheer on a nostalgia trip, Patterson continues to upload these classic calls to SoundCloud. Here are the links:

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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