Bill Schonely passes away at 93

Nathaniel S. Butler NBAE via Getty Images

Legendary Portland Trail Blazers broadcaster Bill Schonely has passed away at the age of 93. Schonely was hired in 1970 by the late Harry Glickman, the founder of the Trail Blazers. Born in Norristown, Pennsylvania he would call many different sports from ice hockey to basketball and baseball.

He coined the signature phrase “Rip City” during a Trail Blazers game against the Los Angeles Lakers when he exclaimed the term Rip City! All Right! While Portland ultimately lost 136-114, the phrase would stick. He also coined other phrases such as “Bingo Bango Bongo” and “Good evening basketball fans wherever you may be,” but it was Rip City that stuck.

Schonely called a total of 2,522 Trail Blazers games on television and radio starting with the team’s very first preseason game in 1970 through the team’s appearance in the 1998 NBA Playoffs. He also called games for the Portland Beavers Triple-A baseball team. Schonely became so synonymous with Portland and the Trail Blazers that there was a restaurant in the Moda Center named after him called the Pyramid Taphouse at Schonely’s Place.