Monthly Archives: March 2013

Differences: my support is bigger than your support


This image (meme credit to Andrew Brawley) has been circulating since the Portland-Seattle derby match Saturday. For those unfamiliar, it’s a few fools from the Emerald City Supporters burning a Timbers Army No Pity scarf pre-match.

The scarf sells at the merch van for $10, though the one in the photo is a USL-era scarf that the burners either stole from someone, saved and cared for for years or paid a ridiculous amount of money for on eBay.

Regardless of where the scarf came from, it’s a despicable display. I say this knowing that there are folks in the TA that, should they find themselves in possession of an ECS scarf would set that sucker on fire immediately.

Not my style. I don’t think I should have to pull these kinds of stunts to prove how hard I am, how ultra I am. I’m not ultra. Neither are the bandana-covered fools in the picture. Not ultra, just stupid.

I’d like to believe we support differently in Portland. We choose to build up our team, our town and each other rather than focus on bringing the other team down. Where Seattle and San Jose tifo has taken shots at us, we honor our club, our city and the legends who brought us all together. While our northern counterparts are pre-gaming by burning things in the streets, we’re planting trees and volunteering at the Oregon Food Bank and shelving books in elementary schools and holding blood drives.

(But then we take to Twitter to call each other n00bs for using cell phones at Jeld-Wen. Whatever. When you get a handle on the drunken fools starting fights in the 100s, you can come yell at me and my rogue cell phone usage in the 200s.)

Wait. What was I talking about again?

Oh, right. Support in Portland is different than support in Seattle. This will always be the case. This will always be an argument between supporters groups. And we will always be on the right side of history. If Jeld-Wen Field is our cathedral, our trinity is this: Team, Town, TA.

A tweet went out today with a link to a post on the 107ist message boards. A member of our board of directors (rather, a former member now) has been diagnosed with cancer. She’s stepped back from her board duties in order to (for perhaps the first time ever) put her health and well-being first.

As is our custom, when word got out about Joanne’s diagnosis, people immediately wanted to create a scarf to raise money for her. She refused. I’m sure she said something like,”Oh, don’t be silly” and when she said it, whoever was there to hear it thought it was adorable because, well, accents are adorable.

So, instead of a scarf, Kyle (who leads us in ’80s television theme song-based chants at reserves matches) has suggested we donate to the Gisele Currier Memorial Fund. You can read about Gisele and the scholarship fund that honors her here. If you do donate, and I hope you will, please note “For Joanne” in the comment section of your donation.


While I was writing this, word broke on Twitter that the Southsiders, the Vancouver Whitecaps supporters group, has lost one of their own. Leighanne loved her Whitecaps and her Canucks and was a breast cancer survivor. You can read the Southsiders news flash here and you can donate to the BC Breast Cancer Foundation in her honor here.

We offer prayers of comfort and healing to Leighanne’s husband Mark and to their Southsider brethren.


Apologies for this being a mess of a post. The next one will be better, I swear.


Posted by on March 19, 2013 in Timbers 2013


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Your Magic is Real.

There is a magic here: in this town, among these people. There is a magic I do not fully comprehend, a magic that brings us together and keeps us from killing each other and drives us to greater heights as a whole than we could ever reach individually.


I felt it tonight as I haven’t felt it for longer than I care to admit. I love you people. That’s what this shared magic will do.

What we saw tonight is the beginning of something that none of us has yet seen. And when I say “none”, I mean quite literally that: from the weathered OGs to the newest of the MLS-era fans. None.

Grit, drive, determination. Forcefulness.

Yes, there were lapses in defense that need to be corrected right quick, but there was so much more. The two Diegos, the two Johnsons, AJB. Stunning play. Did I see a stat that put us at nearly 500 completed passes tonight? To NYRB’s 249? I’ll take that as a starting point.

And I’ll take Will Johnson not putting up with any sort of crap from anyone and, quite literally, throwing people (and their assorted Gatorade bottles) off the pitch.

I didn’t expect this, our first regular season match, to be The Point at Which I Declare Victory, but here we are.

Magic, I tell you.

Two weeks ago, one of our TA elders told me he was in line to have Diego Valeri’s babies. I caught him after the match tonight. He’s still in line, but now he’s in line for Ryan Johnson’s babies, too. So great is our love.

So, this week will be spent reliving and replaying and overanalyzing as we do. And Saturday will come with agonizing slowness.

Magic. Prepare yourselves accordingly.


Posted by on March 3, 2013 in Timbers 2013


Falling in love again.

“Do you have a new favorite player?” he asks. It’s 8 o’clock on Monday. We’re in the final week of the offseason or the preseason or whatever it is. This in-between time. This time devoid of games that matter.

We’ve seen half the team turn over since our last regular season match was played in October. October. It feels like a lifetime ago.

So, in answer, I rattle off a couple of names of players I’ve had my eye on in the preseason. I like them okay, but I’m not ready to commit.

“Let’s face it,” I tell him. “There will never be another Boyd.”

His answer is immediate. “Sure there will.”

Yeah. There probably will.

I’ve stumbled through the preseason, not really feeling connected to this team. My team. I can’t explain it, but I don’t think I’m the only one. I feel like I don’t know these guys. Maybe part of that is me trying to shield myself, trying to protect myself after a wrenching offseason. But I’m still here, despite knowing that the longer I stay, the more likely it is that this club will break my heart. Again and again.

So, yeah, I kinda dig Mikey. I always like the ones that play with heart. And I’m looking forward to seeing Silvestre. The man was tweeting pictures of a beautiful, snowy Paris while complaining about the slowness of the visa process and his desire to return to Portland. How do you not fall in love with him? And I worry about David Horst. Because I always worry about David Horst.

When I finally settle down to sleep tonight, on this Merry Timbers Eve, I’ll sleep well. I don’t carry the expectation of last year or the complete cluelessness of the year before. What I carry is hope and, perhaps, a bit of resignation.

There are more changes to come, of this I’m sure. But what we have (on-field and off) is nothing to sneeze at.

I think we’re going to see a lot more grit. A lot more, as Capt. Will puts it, nastiness. But I think we’ll see more finesse as well. With Valeri out there, that’s a given. Beyond that, I don’t know. Do we retain the Cascadia cup? Do we make a run for a playoff spot? Do we go all the way?

I don’t know, but I’m saving money for plane tickets and hotel reservations anyway.

In the mean time, the sound I hear right now is the most beautiful sound in the world.

It’s the sound of the gathering Army. A reunion, a homecoming, a time among family and loved ones. Let’s have it.

Onward, Rose City.


Posted by on March 3, 2013 in Timbers 2013