Heads up: this is a crosspost with SlideRulePass purely for my own archives. No need to read it here if you’ve already read it there.
Yes, I got into the press conference. No, I don’t know if they’ll ever let me in again. No, I’m not terribly worried about it. No, I won’t stop whining about not having an actual press credential. No, there was no spiced IPA.
Okay, here’s the nitty-gritty.
You get me wanting desperately to fall in love with Caleb Porter. And you get me faltering.
Don’t get me wrong. I liked his honesty. I like his slow, careful speech pattern. I liked a lot of the things he had to say.
But a spark plug he ain’t. I don’t think we’ll be getting a clever Alaska Airlines commercial or any snarky soundbites out of him anytime soon.
I’ll trade that for a team that wins games. While Porter hit all the appropriate buzzwords (consistency and continuity and a half dozen others in the same vein), he also offered a starkly realistic view of where the Timbers are headed. And I didn’t like that view. I don’t like realism.
I’ve gotten so used to the rah-rah that Merritt gives us that I don’t really know how to react to Porter’s much more grounded approach to the coming season. It made me…sad. It made me feel lonely and grey and left me wishing for something other than what he’d given us. But he was right about everything. Everything.
Okay, one quote.
I’m realistic. I’m not naive. I don’t believe that we’re just going to throw the ball out and play beautiful soccer and automatically pass the ball around and beat the New York Red Bulls on March 3rd.
I know what he’s saying. I get where he’s coming from. I feel for him. I feel kind of like he’s been invited over for dinner, a really great dinner, and arrives to find a bowl of Grapenuts and a host who spends the entire evening apologizing for the mess.
I keep returning to the build up to last season. So much potential, so much expectation, so much anticipation. I didn’t get any of those same butterflies sitting in that room today.
That comes later, right? When Dike starts breaking people in the preseason, maybe? I don’t know.
I still remain semi-hopeful about the coming season, but without the excitement I’ve felt about the last two seasons. If all else fails (and after such a dreary introduction, I fully expect a fair few hashmarks in the fail column), I know that in a few weeks I’ll be back at JWF with my Timbers family and I won’t have to suffer alone.