I spent the day trying to put words together to express this feeling. I’ve failed miserably.
Everything is scattered. My attention span is running an average of eight seconds. I feel…hungover.
I’m not. I’m just…I don’t know what I am.
It’s just a game, right?
It was a game for which I had extra tickets. There are four in my group, but I was the only one who could go last night. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. But there I was with these three extra tickets.
I could have invited friends who were new to the Timbers or new to the game, folks who might not have otherwise gotten a chance to see the first team. But I didn’t.
One of my tickets went to a 107ist board member, the other two to a capo and her wife. I’m glad they did.
Because I wouldn’t have wanted anyone new to have been with me there last night.
There are those better suited to breaking down the game minute by minute, explaining what went wrong, where to find fault. That’s admittedly not my strong suit. What I saw was a $1 million starting XI playing not for the badge, not for glory, but for…something else. I don’t know what that something else was.
A lot of people are talking about whether the team played with heart. What was the final tally? Forty-three shots on goal. Sure, some of them soft. Sure, some of them insanely misplaced. But 43? In our last MLS match – 14. The one before that? Nine. But did they play with heart?
I don’t know. Maybe. Not as a whole, perhaps, but as individuals. One or two were all in. Others, not so much.
This weird, dysfunctional family fun-time vacation is over. It has been for a while but we’re at the point when it feels like we’ve been in the station wagon a very, very long time. In Death Valley. With no air conditioning.
The kids are crying. Mom and Dad are frustrated. Nobody got to ride the log flume.
We’re all frustrated. We’re all hurt. We’re finding new and exciting ways to bitch at each other. Everyone has an opinion. And, strangely enough, none of us are wrong.
That’s right. None of us are wrong.
Two and a half weeks from now, our club, our boys in green, our beloved Timbers will travel to Los Angeles. The week after that, Seattle comes to us.
In the coming days, we all have some work to do. Get out the frustration. Rant on Twitter and message boards. Write songs. Break things. Whatever you have to do, do it.
When we come back, when we gather again, we come to play. On the pitch and off.
In the meantime, here’s Chris Cooper. His words, in the heat of the moment, come together far better than mine have with 24 hours to recover.