Oh, where to start?
Okay, so season ticket prices are not going up next year. That’s fantastic. Rather, it’s to be expected.
That’s right: expected. You make this grand statement that your team is going to make the playoffs in its second MLS year, things get all crazy, you fire your coach, ship your keeper to Canada and call your season ticket holders morons, idiots and, most distastefully, customers. Yes, we idiots and morons would have paid the higher ticket price, but you need the goodwill. This is probably the best choice you’ve made in a good long while.
However, that does not solve the problems here.
I’m no longer sure what solves the problems here.
A new coach goes a long way. The right coach.
Somebody said to me on Twitter a while back that they thought Gavin was just fine as the Timbers coach since the players “didn’t seem to mind him.”
I don’t want someone they don’t seem to mind. I want someone they will crawl through flaming broken glass for.
Is Caleb Porter that guy?
I have absolutely no idea. What I do know is that the current problem still exists.
Caleb Porter’s reputation is as a coach who can develop young talent, something we have an abundance of. Bringing him in and staying with our current raise-them-from-puppies course means we’re not playoff bound for a year? Two years? Longer? Sure, he took a championship at Akron pretty quickly after arriving there but MLS is a much, much different animal.
Maybe he can do it. I’d like to see him try. But I must admit that any opinion I have of him at this point is based solely on what I’m reading and hearing from others. I’m skeptical of pretty much everything that comes from the FO or Portland’s traditional media, but it was a tweet from Ian Joy that put me in Porter’s corner:
Caleb Porter. Young, exciting coach but he needs 2 be given the full reigns GW & @MerrittPaulson need 2 stand aside & let him work his magic
That says it all, doesn’t it? Here’s this young coach facing a pretty incredible opportunity. He could come in and save the team from itself. He might be the spark that ignites possibility anew. WE’RE GONNA WIN THE LEAGUE!
But with Gavin Wilkinson still employed by the club, this team will not be Porter’s team unless he’s willing to stand up to Gavin. And, as has been documented elsewhere, those who stand up to Gavin are not long associated with this club.
Here’s where the #GWin folks start yelling at me again. I get it. We won one game. ONE GAME since Gavin took over.
One game does not change the pattern of insanity that has been laid out this season. No, I’m not saying Gavin is insane. Insane I could understand. Whatever it is that Gavin’s doing is something I most decidedly don’t understand.
Did I see journo-tweets earlier suggesting that Perkins was traded after consulting with a coaching candidate who had not yet signed a contract with us? Who had not even been presented a contract to review? Really? That seems…bush league. Who does that?
So, guess what, #GWin folks? The #GWout folks will still be here, loud and proud, because we believe that Gavin’s departure is in the best interest of the club in the long run. This is not new. This is not bandwagon. This is something that has been brewing for a very, very long time. One win, even a Cascadia Cup match win, does not change things.
In order for Caleb Porter (or whoever finally takes the gig) to be a successful coach of our beloved Portland Timbers, Gavin must go.
And here’s where we get to #TAout, a hashtag that appeared briefly Saturday night after the match.
Let’s remember that lots of stuff happened Saturday night. Nearly all of it made me incredibly proud to be a part of this organization. Prematch, the Timbers Army presented a check to Cody Goldberg for Harper’s Playground in the amount of $47k. Incredible.
Then, without any sort of cue I was aware of other than Gavin’s arrival on the field, a flurry of GWout two-sticks and banners went up. Not the dozen Canzano saw. Rather, many dozens. This is by no means a fringe movement anymore, if it ever was. Don’t be surprised to see more at the next match. This isn’t going away.
And then they came down and we cheered our players.
And the tifo. I cannot imagine the number of hours folks put in on this one. Thousands of flags (not just plastic sheeting as we’ve used before – actual flags on poles) in the colors of the Cascadian Doug went up after the anthem along with the profile of the Douglas Fir itself, as tall as the stadium. Stunning.
So, here’s the thing, #TAout folks: without the TA, you don’t have tifo of that magnitude. You don’t have a ridiculous amount of money raised to support a playground for kids with disabilities. You don’t have capos. You probably don’t even have the Timbers.
So, to sum up:
Caleb Porter? Yes.
Season ticket pricing freeze? Yes.
Now, let’s see what tomorrow brings.