Once in a while, my employer – Meyer Memorial Trust – plans social events for staff members and their families. This year we went to a Portland Timbers game (oops, I mean match), a first ever experience for our family, although Ric and Blaine have watched games I mean matches on television.
First we met at the Mellow Mushroom (surely named by someone from the 60s), where I must say Ric and I both went for the Magical Mystery Tour (see what I mean?!), which is a pesto base pizza and crust with button and portobello mushrooms, mozzarella, spinach, feta and jalapenos. Way way tasty. Blaine had a big pretzel, cheese bread and a slice of cheese pizza.
From there we walked to Jeld Wen Field, a bit of a trek for Blaine, but Ric and my boss Doug Stamm took turns pushing him up the hills. The stadium is quite beautiful, much improved from its last incarnation as PGE Park where the Portland Beavers played. And for once, all three of us got to sit together at an event, which was totally awesome but maybe not the usual arrangement, maybe we got to do it because we had the whole section. In nearly every case, only one of us can sit with him and the other has to go solo somewhere in the crowd. Not so very family friendly.
Although I confess I didn’t really follow the nuances of the game and it looked to me like most of the kicks and head butts resulted in the ball going in pretty much totally random directions, I’m sure those in the know saw all sorts of subtleties and it made total sense to them. Perhaps I didn’t have enough beer.
Speaking of beer, Portland is known in soccer circles for its Timbers Army. Let me walk you through it. About one third of the stadium is occupied by people who might be normal in their regular lives, like maybe they are shy librarians and socially awkward beancounters and so forth, but when they don their scarves and other army uniform apparati they become uninhibited extroverted soldiers who literally stand and sing and/or chant odd and strangely familiar-sounding fascinating songs, following a script, and whip ginormous flags back and forth and hold their scarves up and perform other maneuvers for at least three solid hours without a single pause. For no apparent reason.
Perhaps it’s a fitness regimen? Some kind of happiness therapy? Or an anger management diversion program?
You gotta hand it to them. Next to this, Blazer fans seem… well…. underwhelming. Disorganized. Tame.
So I wonder why soccer has an army but baseball and basketball and football (I know, I know, soccer is the real football) don’t? Imagine if the whispering sports like golf and tennis had armies? That would be pretty awesome, I think. Will somebody please get on this stat?!
Uh oh, looks like I went astray again… back to the game I mean match, the Timbers won! They beat the leading team in the league 2-1! When a Timber goal was scored, everyone cheered, the army went even more batshit crazy, green smoke was set loose into its ranks. And a logger guy wielding a huge chain saw sawed a circle off the end of a log. That must be the timber part.
The Timbers win wasn’t the only victory in town though. We got drywall nailed and the first coat of mud! It almost looks like a room now. I kinda feel like standing and singing for the next three hours!!