It was another one of those nights.
Calls went against us, the result wasn’t what it should have been, we left the stadium disappointed.
Except I’m not really that disappointed.
I got to spend a few minutes pre-match with a friend who, more than anything right now, needs the family she’s found within the Timbers Army around her. She’s going through stuff I can’t begin to imagine and this, even with this stupid result, was time off from real life: a few hours among caring, supportive friends who would do anything within their power to change things for her if they could.
Inside the stadium before the game began, I had the honor of officiating the marriage of two people I’m proud to call my friends. They’ve been together for years and some of their first dates were Timbers matches. I am honored to have been a part of their celebration and Im proud to live in a place that will now, finally, legally recognize their commitment to each other.
I got to stand next to my friend Heidi, in front of Cindy and Joe, with Gabby and Kevin and Alice and MarySue and so many others who I love dearly. And, when Urruti scored his goal, Kris appeared from I don’t even know where and hugged me so hard I thought he’d broken my shoulder.
This is soccer in Portland.
We love the game, this beautiful and sometimes painful game. We love our players, even those whose faults outweigh their talents. We breathe it all in. It sustains us. It drives us.
At the end of the day, our experience is more than the game. It is love. True, passionate, all-encompassing love.
And, win or lose, I’ll never get tired of sharing it with all of you.