The Pressure of the Chalupa

Pressure is no foreigner to me.

I have been given the ball late in many close games. Maybe I will shoot a 3 or maybe I will dunk. But I will always attack. Unless I pass the ball.

But there is a kind of pressure in Portland that is new. I have seen it at work and it is daunting. I refer to the pressure of the chalupa.

The chalupa is Spanish. At home, it is a fried tortilla in the shape of a boat, with a spicy filling. But in the U.S., it is filled with intimidation. This is because every human in the Portland crowd gets a free chalupa if we win by a hundred points or more.

In the recent Utah game, we had 98 points and a lead when Travis Outlaw took to the free throw line. “CHA-LU-PA!” the crowd roared. I could see my mate's concern. Travis made the first shot.

The rampant bellowing grew louder. “CHA-LU-PA! CHA-LU-PA!”

Would it be a surprise to learn that Travis missed the second shot? The crowd groaned in disappointment. Head down, Travis retreated to defense. It would be days before he recovered.

This is the pressure of the chalupa. It exists in many NBA arenas. LeBron James was catcalled in Cleveland for it. He let time expire when one more point would have brought free chalupas to the people. The King was angered:

“I can't believe people who buy season tickets get worked up over a g****** $1 [word of badness] taco.”

Sergio and I obtained chalupas to understand their power. We found them bland! Then Sergio showed that each one has 427 calories and 27 grams of fat.

Leaping upwards, we reviled the accursed chalupa and its pressure. My hope is that I am not called upon to bestow them to the crowd anytime soon.

Adición: A kind Spaniard comments that a group of countrymen gave shouts of "Pincho de Tortilla" in the lieu of "CHA-LU-PA." This is much appreciated!

Final Adición: Casey Lute had done much chalupa research, including finding which Blazers since the 2003-04 season have bestowed the most chalupas upon fans. As of March 5, 2009, they are: Brandon Roy (12 victories), LaMarcus Aldridge/Travis Outlaw/Zach Randolph (9), Damon Stoudamire (7), Steve Blake (6), Ruben Patterson/Rasheed Wallace (3), Shareef Abdur-Rahim/Jarrett Jack/James Jones/Darius Miles/Sebastian Telfair (2). (Sergio and I also have "won" twice.)


  1. The Spaniards watching the Utah game shouted "Pincho de Tortilla" instead of chalupa but, of course, you couldn't hear us... we were too far up and were only 20 of us in the RG

  2. Hahaha....Rudy, You are so funny!

  3. Your words are funny. You should make your opponents on the court laugh, to distract them, help your play.

  4. Rudy, please understand that 90% of Oregonians recognize the chalupa as a disgusting fast food artery clogger! It is simply a way for the arena to achieve financial success. When I saw you on the jumbo tron dancing in a sombrero I felt immediately embarassed for Portland and its insane antics!

  5. RU-DY! RU-DY! RU-DY!

  6. Rudy, reading your blog enlivens my days at work. Muchas gracias!


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