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The I-5 Corridor

A place for Oregon sports stories, from Tyson Alger and Aidan Schneider. www.i-5corridor.com

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Episode 38: A conversation with John Canzano

This week on The I-5 Corridor podcast I’m joined by John Canzano of JohnCanzano.com. Ok, still getting used to that one, but it’s certainly been interesting watching The Oregonian’s former columnist and 2021 Oregon Sportswriter of the Year navigate his way through the independent publishing field over the last few months. “I wake up every day and I get to write what I want to write,” he told me in this episode. We talk a little about Canzano leaving The Oregonian, Phil Knight’s bid to buy the Portland Trail Blazers, the reason he’s not a welcomed visitor of Tulsa, Okla., and why he’s looking forward to taking his dad to this weekend’s Worlds of Sport convention for Father’s Day. For more, listen to this podcast in the player above or find us over on Apple or Spotify.Thank you for reading The I-5 Corridor, produced right here in St. Johns, Portland. Consider a free subscription for future unlocked stories or become a paid subscriber for access to all stories and podcasts.— Tyson Alger@tysonalger This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.i-5corridor.com/subscribe

15 Jun 2022

Rank #1

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Episode 37: How Brian Koch turned Lombard House into Oregon's best beer bar

The reason for this podcast? I’m damn proud of a friend. For the better part of pandemic, Brian Koch was driving up and down the streets of North Portland in a Volkswagen van trying to keep his dream alive. He opened up Lombard House in 2016 and quickly turned it into one of the area’s best community hang outs. Then the pandemic shut him down, switching Brian’s role from friendly host to delivery person. “It got weird, man,” Brian says. “I drove around in that Volkswagen for nine months, all day, every day, delivering super expensive jars of beer to people who were essentially handing me charity money.” Brian is no longer the pandemic milk man. Lombard House is back open, only now with a new designation: Last month, LH tied with The BeerMongers for the award of “Best beer bar/tap house” in 2022 Oregon Beer Awards. I sat down with Brian this week at Lombard House to talk about keeping his dream alive, camping spots, good places for lunch and how this random bar in St. Johns turned into Portland’s best Philly bar. For more, listen to this podcast in the player above or find us over on Apple or Spotify.— Tyson Alger@tysonalgerThank you for reading The I-5 Corridor, produced right here in St. Johns, Portland. Consider a free subscription for future unlocked stories or become a paid subscriber for access to all stories and podcasts. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.i-5corridor.com/subscribe

47mins

3 Jun 2022

Rank #2

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Episode 36: The road to the Pre Classic 400

You ever reply “Yes” to an email a little too quickly? Happened to me a couple of weeks ago. One minute I’m a happy, sedentary sports writer. The next, I’ve impulsively agreed to participate in Saturday’s media only 400-meter “Race the Wavelight” competition to kick off the second day of the Prefontaine Classic. Like anyone who’s visited Hayward Field before, I’ve imagined what it would be like to run down the final stretch. But I’ve also avoided running for the better part of my life. You know why hockey is great? You can coast on ice. On the track it’s just you, your legs and, now that I’m reading the fine print, “camera and TV crews will be allowed on the track to shoot the media Race the Wavelight competition.” Oh. All publicity is good publicity, right?Thankfully my old pal Andrew Greif from the L.A. Times — and a former member of the UO track team — is running, too, and he joined me this week on The I-5 Corridor podcast to go over strategy. He also previews what he’s watching for when the actual athletes get on the track later in the day. That includes Colin Sahlman, a prep senior from California chasing Alan Webb’s high school record of 3:53.43 in the 1500 meters set at the Pre Classic in 2001. Greif was there for that one, too. “There’s an argument to be made that [Sahlman’s] having the best season as a distance runner in U.S. history,” Greif said. “…I would just keep an eye on that. A little bit of magic could happen there.” For more, listen to this podcast in the player above or find us over on Apple or Spotify. — Tyson AlgerNote: The winner of the media 400 wins $500 to donate to a charity of their choice. In the rare chance I don’t win, consider a donation to Run Freely. It’s a charity founded by former ESPN anchor Kenny Mayne, which raises money to cover the costs of getting veterans moving again. Thank you for reading The I-5 Corridor, produced right here in St. Johns, Portland. Consider a free subscription for future unlocked stories or become a paid subscriber for access to all stories and podcasts. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.i-5corridor.com/subscribe

40mins

25 May 2022

Rank #3

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Episode 35: A conversation with Oregon's Kenny Farr

This week on The I-5 Corridor podcast we have an interview with Oregon equipment administrator Kenny Farr. On and off with the staff since the 1990s, Farr is one of the most recognizable faces on campus and the most popular among Oregon’s athletes. For good reason: He’s the guy who makes sure the school known for looking good looks so good week in and week out. Today we talk about how his job has changed over the years, the risk of wearing chrome helmets at the Rose Bowl, what coaches took the most interest in jerseys and what uniform concepts got left on the design room table. Listen in the podcast player above or find us over on Apple or Spotify. Or, you can go ahead and watch this episode of The I-5 Corridor podcast on YouTube. A written Q&A version of this podcast will be sent out later today for I-5 Corridor paid subscribers. — Tyson Alger Thank you for reading The I-5 Corridor, produced right here in St. Johns, Portland. Consider a free subscription for future unlocked stories or become a paid subscriber for access to all stories and podcasts. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.i-5corridor.com/subscribe

36mins

11 May 2022

Rank #4

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Episode 34: The AJ McCord exit interview

AJ McCord leaves Portland having covered a Rose Bowl, the NBA Playoffs and multiple Super Bowls. She anchored KOIN 6’s sports coverage, was the only woman in Portland hosting a sports radio show and was named the 2021 Oregon sportscaster of the year by the National Sports Media Association. It’s an impressive list of accomplishments for someone who came to this state five years ago without a job and was looking into becoming a pole vaulter. AJ’s off to something new now — which she’ll announce at a later date — but before she took off, she spoke with The I-5 Corridor about her time in Oregon and how she found her voice. Listen in the podcast player above or find us over on Apple or Spotify. Or, you can go ahead and watch this episode of The I-5 Corridor podcast on YouTube.— Tyson AlgerHey, thanks for reading The I-5 Corridor. Consider a free subscription for future unlocked stories or become a paid subscriber for access to all stories and podcasts. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.i-5corridor.com/subscribe

46mins

6 May 2022

Rank #5

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Episode 33: The I-5 Corridor's guide to Portland's one nice day of spring

This podcast from The I-5 Corridor is free for everyone thanks to the support of Dark Star Barbers. If you’re a Portlander — or just coming through town — Dark Star is a fantastic shop for quality cuts and conversation in the Jubitz Travel Plaza. Book an appointment with Tyson — great name — or Adam at Darkstarbarbers.comLook Oregonians, we get it. Mother Nature has thrown just about everything she has at us this last month. The constant drizzle of the winter gave way to the wettest Portland April on record, with the heavy downpour only interrupted by the occasional hail storm. But today is a gift. Look outside. The sun is shining. The mercury is rising into the 70s. There is blue in the sky. Don’t look at the forecast beyond today. Do listen to today’s episode of The I-5 Corridor, which features Aidan Schneider, Justin Myers and Tyson Alger drafting their top five things to do on a glorious day such as today. Plus: What to make of Oregon’s lone NFL draft pick. (37:18)Listen in the podcast player above or find us over on Apple or Spotify. Or, you can go ahead and watch this episode of The I-5 Corridor podcast on YouTube. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.i-5corridor.com/subscribe

1hr 6mins

4 May 2022

Rank #6

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Episode 32: The kids are here, now can the Mariners score runs?

This podcast from The I-5 Corridor is free for everyone thanks to the support of Dark Star Barbers. If you’re a Portlander — or just coming through town — Dark Star is a fantastic shop for quality cuts and conversation in the Jubitz Travel Plaza. Book an appointment with Tyson or Adam at Darkstarbarbers.comIn the last 48 hours the Seattle Mariners have lost two games, scored two runs and wasted one fantastic pitching debut from a rookie. Is this 2007? Or 2012? Or 2017? Or….You get the picture. It’s been a long 20-plus years of playoff futility for the team just up the I-5 Corridor, but 2022 is supposed to be different. Led by young stars like Julio Rodriguez, Jarred Kelenic and Matt Brash, many publications around the country actually picked Seattle to end the longest postseason drought in professional sports. Through five games, the Mariners are 2-3. Is it time to worry? Mariners beat writer Corey Brock from The Athletic stops by to give us an update about where the M’s stand after the first week. Some highlights:Is this a year to pay attention to the kids or to actually go all in as a playoff supporting fan? You can do both. I think we started to see signs of this last year when the Mariners somehow won 90 games despite having one of the worst offenses in baseball. You remember that final series against the Angels? Three games. Three sold out crowds. I think people are starving to come back out and support a winner. There’s exciting young players and they made a trade in spring training that hopefully will improve their offense. I think it'll be a wildly fascinating year. I mean, I can't sit here and say today that the Mariners will win 90 games again. In fact, I don't think they will. But with the expanded playoffs, I think there is certainly a greater opportunity for them to get into the postseason. I think these guys are trending upwards and there might still be a move or two to make here with this group. They may have to go out and get another bat. I thought they were a bat short coming out of spring training. You don't want to read too much into these early results, but I still think scoring runs might be a little bit of a struggle for them. But again, I think the pitching is really good. So we'll see where this leads them.When you first started at The Athletic you really dove into the rebuilding of the Mariners farm system. Where do you see it now that those young players are at a point where they’re being called up to the big leagues? The farm was pretty bad before they went down the rebuild path and they’ve acquired a lot of young players over the last three or four years. Some have panned out  — some haven’t — and I think generally the farm system has gotten a lot better. They’ve drafted very well. There was a stretch there where they took three college pitchers with their first pick — Logan Gilbert, George Kirby and Emerson Hancock — and what it’s done is, by building your farm system up, it can not only help you at the Big League level, but you can end up using some of those assets to get you win-now players. And that’s what they did. They traded Brandon Williamson, one of their top left-handed prospects, to the Reds in February for Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winkler, and there still may be more trades coming. I think a lot of people in the industry really think a lot about the Mariners prospects, some of which they have no intention of trading and rightfully so. But there are still a few people and a few players that they can move. When you’re not the Dodgers or the Yankees or the Red Sox, these competitive windows are pretty finite. When it opens a little bit and you get your foot in the door, you better take advantage of it. I think they view their window as now — this year and next year. They already brought up Kelenic and Gilbert last year. Julio Rodriguez is here now. Matt Brash had a big year in the minor leagues last year. So they have some guys. Now, can those guys help them or indirectly help them by being a part of a trade? I seem to think that [General Manager Jerry Dipoto] will go out and get a bat. You can’t do that in April and May when teams are just kind of settling into their lineups and want to see what their guys can do. But I do think this roster could look different, maybe even dramatically different, by the end of the season. For more from Corey on the Mariners, listen in the podcast player above or find us over on Apple or Spotify. — Tyson Alger This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.i-5corridor.com/subscribe

22mins

13 Apr 2022

Rank #7

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Episode 31: Bill Oram's 'Slowtime'; The Little Cuties go to Texas

Bill Oram, a Tillamook native, has covered the Los Angeles Lakes for nine seasons. As of Tuesday night, the Lakers have now missed the playoffs in seven of those. While movie projects and books have been written about the Showtime and Kobe/Shaq Lakers, Bill might just be SOL. “Probably have the worst record of any relatively long-term Lakers beat writer in franchise history,” Oram said on this week’s episode of The I-5 Corridor podcast. “…Nobody wants to read ‘Slowtime.’” We talk the Lakers’ disaster, what it’s like to work among the most famous people in the world — and, most importantly, Oregon high school mascots. Then, Kevin Palmer and Sam McDonald of Portland’s Little Cuties Hockey Club stop by (53:00) before the Oranges take off for Austin, Texas for a weekend tournament. You can listen in the player above, or find us on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.The I-5 Corridor is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.— Tyson Alger This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.i-5corridor.com/subscribe

7 Apr 2022

Rank #8

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Episode 30: Ducks dig the long ball; Final Four memories with Steve Mims

Oregon baseball won a lot of games with “Horton Ball.” Under former manager George Horton, the Ducks played a purist’s form of the game. Horton’s Ducks got on base. His Ducks advanced the runner. His Ducks, at their best, would manufacture runs and ride pitching and defense the rest of the way. In 2012, it got Oregon one inning away from reaching the College World Series. That year, the Ducks hit 29 home runs in 65 games. Here a decade later, former Horton assistant Mark Wasikowski has gone the opposite direction. In his first year replacing Horton, the Ducks hit a team-record 56 home runs in 2021. Then in the offseason, Oregon moved in the fences at PK Park, long considered one of the friendliest places for pitchers in the conference. How has that worked out? Well, it’s April 1 and the No. 21 Ducks (18-7, 7-2 Pac-12) have mashed 41 home runs through 25 games. They’re also leading the Pac-12 standings heading into this weekend’s series with UCLA. Steve Mims, who has covered more baseball at PK Park than anyone, stops by the show this week to talk about Oregon’s power surge. Then we get into some Final Four and Oregon basketball talk. This is a free episode of The I-5 Corridor podcast. The I-5 Corridor is independent, local sports journalism dependent on its listeners and readers. For access to all podcasts and written material on The I-5 Corridor, consider becoming a subscriber. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.i-5corridor.com/subscribe

44mins

1 Apr 2022

Rank #9

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Episode 28: Spring football and a conversation with Connor Letourneau

On this episode of The I-5 Corridor: Tyson and Aidan catch up after a few weeks, preview Oregon’s spring practice schedule and wonder if Anfernee Simons jerseys come in an XL. Then, former Oregonian sportswriter Connor Letourneau stops by the show. Connor used to cover Oregon State for the O, then went off to cover the Golden State Warriors dynasty with the San Francisco Chronicle. He recently asked off the beat, and frankly, I wanted to know why. Great conversation here.You can listen in the player above, or find us on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.The I-5 Corridor is independent, local sports journalism supported by its subscribers. For access to all podcasts and stories on The I-5 Corridor, consider becoming a subscriber.Not ready to subscribe? We’re not above tips. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.i-5corridor.com/subscribe

1hr 16mins

2 Mar 2022

Rank #10