Someone on Twitter yesterday offered to buy me a beer if I’d come sit and talk Timbers history with him. As much as I’d like to take him up on the offer, and as much as I tend to be the historian wherever I go, the history here, the history surrounding the Timbers and the TA, this history is not yet mine.
I’m learning as I go, a piece at a time. There are things I remember from afar, some of the events of MLStoPDX for example, but did not take part in. But I’m still one of the new kids and I probably will be seen as such for years to come.
I’ve been lucky in the acquaintances that I’ve made along the way. At one point in June, I looked up and realized I was surrounded by legends: the guy who brought the chainsaw, the first player signed by the Timbers, men who’d played for the national teams of Northern Ireland and the United States as well as Scotland’s U18 and U21 teams. Who am I?
I’m someone who’s trying to put the pieces of our shared history together.
We opened Fanladen a while back. It’s a pretty significant step in a long line of pretty significant steps. A physical space for the Timbers Army to call its own outside of Jeld-Wen Field. The opening was a celebration not just of the space, or of the Cascadia Cup so recently won, or of our survival of such a ridiculously dismal season, it was the opportunity to begin the next chapter in our collective history.
And the beauty of this, and of the piece of that history that was gently placed in my hands that day, is not lost on me.
A lot of us walked out of there that day with prints of Mike Russell’s Culture Pulp piece from April of 2005. If you weren’t there or didn’t get one, you can find it online here.
I’m told it’s a pitch-perfect snapshot of who we were at the time. Shoot, it’s a pretty good look at who we are now. A lot of those characters are still here. We stand shoulder to shoulder with them in the North End, and we owe them a debt for this thing they’ve built, this thing I have a hard time explaining to people who haven’t experienced it as I have.
Lucky. Grateful. Curious.
So, here’s my call to the TA OGs. Tell me your stories. Tell me your stories and let me retell them here. You who tell us n00bs that we should know our history, I call upon you to teach it to us.
Who wants to go first?