Portland celebrates first annual "Rip City Day" in honor of NBA team

Feb 19 2020, 3:57 pm

Officially declared by Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, February 19 will henceforth be known as Rip City Day.

On February 18, 1971, the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers play-by-play announcer Bill Schonely blurted out a spur-of-the-moment exclamation, “Rip City! Alright!” after guard Jim Barnett threw up a wild shot late in their game against the Los Angeles Lakers to tie things up. “I don’t know why I said it,” says Schonely, the man who birthed a movement.

Portland has since adopted the nickname as part of its identity. One man’s phrase has become an iconic character-defining feature. It’s a mindset. A way of life. Portland is Rip City.

Today, we celebrate the first Rip City Day.