This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 16, 2012 7:44 AM. The previous post in this blog was From Matt Wuerker. The next post in this blog is Best in show, Week 2. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Match report: Timbers 1, Sounders 1

Through the good graces of a friend in a high place, we found the entire family at the Timbers game yesterday. We decided to drive the car to a place on the east side where we could pick up a bus direct to the stadium, and that turned out to be a good move; although it set us back $16.60 for the day, the bus dropped us off and picked us a half-block from the field, and a block from our car on the other end.

It was a gorgeous day, with bright sunshine and temperatures in the 70's. Portland was hosting its rivals from the north, the Seattle Sounders, and national cable network TV was there to beam the video to the couple hundred thousand viewers who wanted to watch it at home. Every seat in the house was taken.

The action on the pitch was spirited, although marred by what seemed like a lot of dirty play. The first half saw no scoring by either side. That made three straight halves of Timbers action that we'd attended with not a goal to be seen.

In the second half, things got more interesting. The Timbers goalie was knocked out cold in a collision with a Seattle player:

Surprisingly, he got back up and stayed in the game for about a minute, but then he withdrew, apparently because he had injured his hand or wrist in the collision. Seconds later, his replacement gave up a goal on the very first shot he encountered, and Seattle was ahead.

Later in the half, though, the Timbers made a couple of good rushes at the goal, and one of their shots actually went in, which seemed miraculous:

Later on, one of the Portland players went out of the game with an injury, and his team had no more substitutions left, and so they had to play, as the soccer player in our household explained to us, a man down. At that point, it seemed as though Portland was playing not to lose rather than to win, and on that note, the match ended in a tie.

We had fine seats, which allowed great views of the action, the only problem being that we were surrounded by folks who wished they were in the Timbers Army. They stood up the entire afternoon, which meant that we had to, too, if we wanted to see anything. Here's the view sitting down:

It was not that way throughout the stadium, but it definitely was in our location. Given that the beautiful game is sometimes as exciting as watching paint dry, it's ironic that in this sport and this sport alone, fans are allowed to stand up throughout the contest when the people behind them would like to sit down for a spell and savor their $8 beer.

Anyway, it was a wonderful afternoon, and our crew enjoyed it immensely. During the slow moments, we got a chance to reflect a little bit on the nature of sports, and the character of Portland, and of our country. We enjoy watching soccer, which we vaguely understand, but we'll never get what the Timbers Army scene is all about. Thousands of beer-soaked, lily white people, mostly 20-somethings, waving large flags and singing inane song parodies at the top of their lungs, nonstop, for the entire afternoon. Lots of F-words in the lyrics, chanted with great gusto. It's just not our cup of tea, and never will be. To us, it's dark.

But then we thought, everything's pretty much that way for us in Portland any more. These same people will be voting for Jefferson Smith, who is one of them, and for Earl Blumenauer, an older version of themselves who never grew up. They're determined to be different, to be weird, to fit in by not fitting in. They know the price of everything and the value of nothing. They're following voices that they haven't listened to with a critical ear. Or maybe they chant ever louder to try to drown out the hard times they're in, and the harder times that are likely coming. Sometimes there's a hint of desperation behind all the green smoke.

Oh well, the beer was cold, the sun was warm, the cotton candy was sweet, and the Timbers managed a draw. For us, it was a great family day.

Comments (10)

As John Lennon wrote in Working Class Hero, "You're all F'ing peasants as far as I can see."

The young members of liberal class may or may not realize that they have been effectively neutered, but they are certainly acting like it. Neutered by endless war and the constant state of fear. Neutered by a failed liberal class that sold out to the corporate state for a meager pat on the head from master's cold, uncaring hand.

So off you go drinking hard and singing naughty bits, while being plastered with corporate logos all over your garb. You become part of the mob, able to spend a few hours escaping reality.

A reality that you are living in denial, denial that you are nothing more than a toothless peasant in a lawless land.

Wow, Tim. I was pretty much going to say the same thing, but your statement is very insightful and true that I cannot do better.

All I can add is that what this country is lacking is optimism. And the idea that we can fight city hall and their cronies - we don't have to lay down and be rolled over by the machine. The only thing standing between us and our constitutional freedoms is our willingness to fight and a Supreme Court that has it's head where it's supposed to be (not that other place). Pretty hokey, but it's the only thing we've ever had so we should use it.

What I thought was interesting was that yesterday's game was not on a cable network, but instead broadcast on regular NBC. I wonder what the ratings were like nationwide. I watched the game off and on, great rivalry with Seattle, but still kind of boring.

Oh, and one more thIng: RCTIMS (Rose City 'til I Move Soon!).

I will never understand the idea that being a sports fan, or paying admission to an event, gives one the right to verbally abuse strangers (whether opposing fans or participants).

"I will never understand the idea that being a sports fan, or paying admission to an event, gives one the right to verbally abuse strangers (whether opposing fans or participants)."

Portland wants to be European
European soccer fans are hooligans
Therefore Portland fans must act like hooligans....

Thaddeus--It's not just soccer. I'd just as soon not go to an NFL game, and the fans are the primary reason why. Baseball is not as bad, but there are certainly people who believe their ticket gives them the right to say whatever they want to whomever they want. The causes are not European.

We got soe prime tickets for a game last year via a silent auction. Sort of behind and to the right of where home plate would have been, about 15 rows from the field.

Tough to sit for two reasons: knees touching the seats in front of me (I'm not that tall), and seems that most people stand when watching the game.

Lots of dirty play; many bad calls. I guess the refs cannot see everything. Even the replay on the big screen showed the refs error, but there are no challenges.

Not too far from the Timber Army; could barely understand the words being sung.

Sure the spirits were high, but I'll take watching a HS or college game anyday. We're not seeing world-class soccer in Portland.

I won't be back, unless a few tickets find their way back to me and the seats are more comfortable and can be actually used.

Id love to know what rating this game pulled on NBC, considering it was in a Saturday afternoon during college football. My guess is that it drew something close to a Big Bang Theory rerun.

Interesting post Jack. We have season tickets with the Oakland Raiders. We enjoy a very different type of experience there. It's a very blue collar type crowd, with about 30-40% of the fans being other than white. Hipsters and other pretentious types are few and far between. You really don't hear many F-bombs except among a few tailgaters and people letting the refs on the field know what they think. And the Oakland cops have no problem taking out the overly intoxicated or troublemakers of any kind.

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