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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Know your history

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?

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Posted by on December 21, 2012 in Timbers

 

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Boyd underground: Glasgow local edition

Okay, so I’m Cubbie today. I’ve got a source who’s asked not to be named. If you know me, it shouldn’t be too hard to find out who it is, but I’d appreciate it if you didn’t start harrassing him for any more info. He’s a good guy and has been very gracious in dealing with me at length over the last ten months.

Yes, Boyd is training with Rangers. Yes, Smith is training there, too. Yes, Kenny Miller is there as well. My source tells me it feels a lot like 2009 at the Rangers training grounds.

So, my guy in Glasgow had a chance to chat with Kris for a bit today. Kris is optimistic, says he’s training hard in an attempt to be fully fit and ready to impress Caleb Porter straight off at the Timbers’ training camp in January.

Yeah, that’s not much in the way of an exclusive bit of information, but it tells me this: Boyd wants to be ready for whatever opportunity is afforded him and he’s absolutely planning on being here in January. But, lest the entirety of the Boyd Underground get its collective hopes up, there’s still a lot of time between now and January 19th.

But Kris likes Portland. He likes the passion of the Timbers organization and the culture that surrounds it. If the decision is truly his, that goes a long way for a guy who spent years playing for some of the most passionate soccer supporters in the world.

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2012 in Timbers

 

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Well, that was…something.

I’m fine. Really.

Numb. Frayed at the edges. A couple bruises. Nothing I didn’t expect from Day One of Rostergeddon.

Kimura to NYRB. Purdy, Palmer and, possibly, Wallace out. Brunner to Houston. Smith gone.

That’s right.

Brunner to Houston. Smith gone.

I thought I’d prepared myself for this. With the leaks Sunday, it didn’t appear that we’d have any huge surprises. And, theoretically, we didn’t. I just wasn’t ready to let go.

Brunner was unexpected, but understandable. And, as I said yesterday, I fully expect that both my Scots are already gone. But the confirmation of the first departure, which came from Smith himself via Twitter, stunned me anyway.

I know this is a business and everything that happened today was a business decision. I know this.

But it’s a business where we share our highs and lows, our failures and our triumphs on a very personal level. It’s become clear to me that I feel it more than many. Over the last six months, I’ve come to envy those who don’t take it to heart as much as I do. They live happier, simpler lives.

Happier and simpler, but without the same color. Even on a painful day such as this, I wouldn’t trade a minute of despair for a moment of being blissfully unaware.

For every day like this one, there is another. For every day of loss, there is a day of victory.

I took the Kenny Cooper trade pretty hard last year, but I was rewarded (I know some of you will debate whether this was an actual reward or not) with Kris Boyd. The CalFC match was by far one of the lowest points of the season, but the win over Seattle followed quickly. Spenny was fired, but then Boyd threw his fit with Cubbie the very next day.

For every bitter pill, there is a spoonful of sugar.

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2012 in Timbers

 

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Thoughts on the eve of Rostergeddon

Yes. I totally stole that. Credit to Roberto.

I haven’t written much lately, at least not about the Timbers. My distraction has been multifaceted and far-reaching. The words just aren’t there for me to write down or, when they are there, they’re even more awkward and disjointed than usual.

We’re all waiting for it: some shocking announcement that sends a beloved, respected player somewhere unfathomable in exchange for…nothing. That’s been the pattern, hasn’t it?

Changes are afoot. Kosuke Kimura to NYRB, Michael Harrington from SKC and Will Johnson from RSL. There are about a bazillion other rumors, some more plausible than others, all currently unsubstantiated.

Who’s busy packing? Purdy, maybe Futty, hopefully Palmer. I’m working under the assumption that both my Scots are gone and not coming back. Who else will go?

There’s been a lot of chatter about Merritt’s vacuum tweet. And I naively want to read it differently than the rest of you.

keep in mind many moves aren’t made in a vacuum. Often other deals are part of the thinking and announcement timing isn’t aligned…

So, that was two weeks ago and I’ve been obsessing over it ever since. Is this one of those Brian Ching things where we let someone we really like go and then pick them up on the other side of the street when no one’s looking? Or is it that, instead of the wacky seven-team-trades that we’ve all been carefully mapping out, is it as simple as Merritt telling us that we’ve been heard?

People have been shouting about offloading Kimura since about ten minutes after he got here. And now he’s on his way to join Kenny in New York – where he will become assist leader in 2013. If we, collectively, have been heard, Palmer and Wallace will be gone by the end of the week and we’ll have the positions filled that needed filling at this time last year.

Whatever. I don’t know what’s going to happen this week. I just know it’s not going to be simple, it’s not going to be easy and I’m sure that I’ll end up in tears over it at least twice. I am, as one of my fellow bloggers tweeted, the godmother of emotional PTFC moments and I expect that this will be a very, very emotional week.

Helmets on, kids. Safety harnesses secured? Get ready. Rostergeddon is upon us.

12.3.12 Update 8:00 a.m.: I hadn’t even made it to work this morning before this was on Twitter – http://www.kansascity.com/2012/12/02/3945413/harrington-to-portland-thats-news.html. Dammit, Cubbie.

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2012 in Timbers

 

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