From Matthew, otherwise known to the Twitter faithfull as @PDXWilly:
I remember the moment well. Earlier that day, I was absolutely gutted to learn I’d be off on a business trip for the Timbers’ first home playoff game. Being an event that gets me incredibly excited just to think about, I was now going to be stuck in Texas, not only unable to attend the match in person, but quite possibly not be able to find a bar willing to put the game on. I’d miss it entirely. Gutted I say. Gutted.
Then twitter lit up. We’d play leg 2 of this series on Thursday the 7th instead. Flights were changed, plans were made. Arriving an hour before the gates opened, I’d drive straight from the airport to take up my position at the 107ist table, and my wife would meet up with me for an amazing Timbers-filled evening.
The only problem with this plan was Etta, our little drooly 5-month old daughter- the one born with a smile sure to cost me a pony one day-goes to bed at 7. A couple of calls yielded pay dirt. Leslie would put her to bed, and a sitter would come and hang out while she went to the game.
The plan was on.
On Sunday morning I woke up, kissed my daughter goodbye, and headed to the airport. Waiting for a delayed flight, I started going through videos on the Timbers website, enjoying a look back at what has truely been a remarkable season, played by remarkable atheletes, and watched by remarkable supporters.
Watching one-by-one took an hour or so, and then I came across one by Portland’s attacking midfielder, Diego Valeri.
You may or may not know this, but he comes from a place that’s incredibly violent when it comes to sport. You know, the kind of place that would kill Mozart for chiming in with an E sharp when it really should be a B minor.
Seriously? He could have gone almost anywhere. England. Spain. Mars.
That’s right. Motherfucking Mars. He’s that good.
He chose our little outpost in the middle of nowhere..Our home of a sitcom that was boring before boring was cool. That’s right. Portland. Why?
That’s right. The love he has for his child has made him take his craft to a foreign outpost of support in a country not known for valuing his talent..sure, partially out of safety, but really, mostly out of pure love. Oh we’ve returned it. And he’s returned it back. Rinse…and repeat.
Turns out he’s given me something else. Something intangible: a dose of perspective. Deciding to think over the flight to Seattle, and my awaiting connection.
I had my decision made by the time I crossed the Columbia, and altered Thursday’s plan a little.
I land at 5pm.
I’ll get home in time to watch my daughter splash around in her bath, dry her off, feed her one last bottle for the evening, sing her a lullabye, put her to bed…
…and then settle in to watch Diego and company advance his teammates, supporters, city, and state to the next round of the playoffs.
The choice is easy really.
So I’ve got a couple of tickets in my hand, and thought maybe we could do some good for them; hell, the perspective this team has managed to give me is worth 20fold the value of the tickets. Maybe? Just maybe? We can do some good with them.
To that end of this rambling post, I donated my tickets to the Army, who will raffle them away tonight at 9pm. So go throw 5 bucks at it if you will; who knows, the cash we raise might just bring us a new Diego, hopefully one with the same perspective as the current one.
The link to the raffle page on TimbersArmy.org can be found here: http://timbersarmy.org/playoff-tickets-raffle