PORTLAND - If you ve been to a Blazers game in the past 17 years, then you ve heard Mark Mason. He s the Blazers P.A. announcer at the Rose Garden.
Mason won an audition in 1996 to get the job and he has not missed a game yet. The Blazers game against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday was his 700th consecutive NBA regular season game.
It doesn t seem like it s been that long at all, said Mason. I love it, are you kidding me?Center court in the NBA?
It maybe the best seat in the house to see some of the greatest players and games of all-time. But Mason is working, working the microphone.
The hardest part of my act is everything up to and including the introductions, said Mason. When the introductions end, it s almost like I can take a breath. That to me is the most fun time, but also the most stressful.
With 41 games a season and 17 seasons, the streak continues, but there have been a few close calls. He s had the odd case of laryngitis and even car trouble.
A muffler fell off my car once driving in, says Mason. And I crawled under my car in my suit and I had a coat hanger in the trunk and somehow jerry-rigged the muffler to hang on my car enough to get to the Rose Garden that night. And every other night.
During the day he teams up with Dave Anderson on the Mark and Dave show on KEX Radio.
This is what I've wanted to do since I was a kid, Mason said. I would sit in my house doing fake radio shows when I was a kid. Now I m actually doing it and they are paying me for it.
He loves being on the radio and doing the Blazers game.
It s work, said Mason, but it s enjoyable work. And it s so different from the radio show that It s like two different lives. It can happen in the same day, that we have a game and a radio show all the time, but I never get tired of it.