It’s 8:30 Friday night. I’ve got clothes in the dryer, an open suitcase waits for them in the living room. I’m on a 5 a.m. flight tomorrow for the first leg of a trip that will take me through three airports and as many time zones.
By this time tomorrow, I’ll be in Columbus, OH, home of the Columbus Crew, Mapfre Stadium, and the site of the 2015 MLS Cup final.
Personally, this has been a ridiculous week. Every minute has been four minutes long. Some hours have been two days long. I have sat at my desk at work and cried every day this week. Encouragement from both editors and writers, extreme generosity of friends, a hurried email to a friend’s wife to beg her to let him come with all of us to Columbus.
She said yes. I cried when I wrote the email and I cried when she replied.
There was the part where I sat in my car in the driveway and talked to the first Timbers beat writer for The Oregonian, a man who covered the team in ’75 and ’76 and later went on to be the director of communications for US Soccer.
There was the part when a friend put up his hotel points so I could have my own room because, as he put it, “No one over the age of 26 should sleep in a room with six strangers.”
There was the part when my TA coworker got to leave work today an hour and a half before I could. Still kinda mad at him.
And there’s the realization that we are going to experience history. Me and something like two thousand of my closest friends will be there in person. Thousands more will watch on tv here in Portland, as well as across North America and around the world.
A friend, the one who’s putting me on a plane in the morning, sent me a message today: “Write something positive regardless of the outcome, k?”
Regardless of the outcome, we will have had one more game together before the darkness of the offseason. We will have seen a magical playoff run. We will have seen history made.