September 12th, 2014
On Friday morning at 10 a.m., buses are scheduled to pick up the Portland State football team at the Stott Center loop and transport the Vikings five hours away to Pullman, Wash, where they will presumably be throttled on Saturday in exchange for a $500,000 payday.
Before that, though, let's solve the "Case of the Missing $20,000," because right now, that little mystery has the chronically fractured and typically divided university that operates on the Park blocks even further fragmented.
Let's back up.
Because four years ago after Nigel Burton was hired as Vikings coach, he was minding his business, driving to what is now Providence Park for his first-ever home game, and observed one of his starting defensive backs walking out of a 7-11 with a Slurpee.
"He thought a Slurpee was the way to go," Burton said. "I'm like, 'No way -- we can't continue that.'"
Burton decided his team would stay in a hotel on game days. They'd eat meals together, have meetings, and bond. In order to offset the cost, and some other travel benefits he wanted that weren't included in the program's $3.5 million budget, Burton decided he'd need to raise the funds himself.