Op-Ed: How-to TA

I’ve written a few pieces related to this over the past couple years, mostly for the benefit of n00bs new people entering the Timbers Army section. Some of them are first-time season ticket holders. Some of them are migrating from other sections. Some of them bought tickets from a scalper.* Some of them were mistakenly given tickets under the impression they’d be in the Key Club section.**

Regardless of how you ended up in the Timbers Army section, please rest assured we welcome you with open arms. We may look and sound obnoxious… no wait, we ARE loud and obnoxious. We are that way because that’s how much we love the boys on the pitch. We hope you leave the match with the same feeling.

While we may come off looking like an anarchist collective, please know that we do have a few guidelines. Some are rules, some are merely suggestions. They’re all stated here to ensure we all have a positive experience in the North End.

  • Nothing racist/homophobic/sexist/etc. should come out of your mouth, fingers, whatever. We do not tolerate this AT ALL! The best way to not say anything racist/homophobic/sexist/etc. is to not be a racist, homophobe, sexist, etc. You will get tossed, and you won’t be welcome back. Ever.
  • Don’t deal with scalpers. Don’t buy from them. Don’t sell to them. These scumsuckers ruin the beautiful game by overcharging for tickets that were meant to be sold at a price more suitable to our community. By dealing with scalpers, you reduce the odds of poor-but-deserving kids who love the game from being able to attend a match in the future. This is not a ploy to keep money out of Merritt Paulson’s wallet. (Trust me…the scalpers aren’t giving him a cut of their profits.) This is a ploy to enable our community to attend a Timbers match within reasonable means. If you apply yourself (ahem), you can acquire tickets in a fair manner.
  • Read your chant sheet. Get to know the lyrics and music. If you can’t remember the words, ask your neighbor. They’re friendly. They won’t bite, and they’ve had their shots (some sections more-so than others).
  • Follow your capo. That’s the person in front of your section leading the Timbers Army in unified spirit and song. They’re a very coordinated bunch. Now that you’ve memorized all the chants, show them respect by singing even louder than they are. They love that even more than beer!
  • Speaking of which, don’t throw your beer. It’s rude, and it’s a waste of beer. Studies have shown that drinking your beer is 100% more enjoyable than not drinking it. If you spill your beer on someone, apologize and go get a refill. If you spill someone else’s beer, apologize and buy them a refill. If you drink your beer without spilling it in the North End, congrats, you are match-fit!
  • Join 107ist. Those flags. That smoke. The killer tifo display. That stuff isn’t free! For just $25 per year, you help to ensure that the Timbers Army looks its best at every match. Plus, you’ll get that money back in no time with all of the local partner discounts throughout greater Portland.

I’m sure other TA folks will kindly add more suggestions in the comments section below. If you’re not sure, just observe from a safe distance at your next Timbers match. If you ask someone a question, and they’re being a dick, that person is doing it wrong and should be ignored. Just move on to the next person.

We love you. Hugs and snuggles. Now get to Tetris-in’!

* – don’t do that!
** – sorry you missed out on the buffet.

This is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the 107ist or the TA.

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19 Responses to Op-Ed: How-to TA

  1. Mike Coleman says:

    While the Facebook group is great, as a 107ist member you also get access to members-only forums. One of said forums is for buying and selling tickets, and I can assure you there are number of us who sell on those forums before we ever post on Facebook.

    Another great reason to join the 107ist.

  2. Mike Pacific says:

    I’d add, have a friend that supports another club? Great, but they can’t sit in the North End sporting their colors or cheering for a team other than the Timbers. It’s for their safety and for the safety of others in the TA.

  3. Jonathan Cotton says:

    It might go without saying, but don’t save seats. It’s one thing if your buddy goes to get a beer and leaves his scarf to mark his spot. It’s another thing if you have “10 friends getting beer” and they’ve been getting beer for over an hour….

    • Gary says:

      As the wristband you are wearing will instruct(presumably if you have a seat worth saving, you also have a wristband)–one scarf one seat. I.e., saving one seat is ok, saving more is not. Although I wish they’d take the ambiguity out of the “scarf” part, because it most assuredly doesn’t mean you can put each of your 8 scarves on a seat (although any of us with 8 scarves would know better).

  4. Leo Touza says:

    @Mike, I’d add that there may be some exceptions to that for international friendlies. AIK, Villa, etc. supporters I think were more than welcome as long as they joined in some friendly banter and behaved themselves but yes generally speaking, away supporters should be with their own kind. I could understand the need to want to be part of something better, though ;)

    I’d also add in the spirit of what Jonathan Cotton said, that Timbers Army is General Admission. Take advantage of that! Don’t get too attached to one particular seat in one particular section all the time- there’s a lot less stress involved if you go in there, sit anywhere you like that’s decent and have a blast no matter where you are. Not sitting with your friends because they didn’t get there in time/couldn’t save you a seat? Make new friends with the unfamiliar faces around you! It’s part of the beauty of what makes the TA great.

  5. DCeX says:

    It’s totally ok to be new! What’s not ok is pushing your inexperienced opinions/ideas/goals on others. If you haven’t taken the time to learn the culture, you have no business trying to shape things to your idea of the right way. Shut the hell up, come make tifo, volunteer at Operation Pitch Invasion, buy someone a beer. People will like and respect you for this. Bitch, moan, act overeager – you’re not going to make any friends. I want to be your friend.

    • Mike Coleman says:

      As someone who did it wrong before I did it right, 100% agree with what DCExiled is saying.

      Althought I’m not sure I’ve ever bought anyone a beer – I guess I owe DCExiled one at the next match (and one for Nevets)

  6. Jerry says:

    Remember do not remove flags from the North End.

    Follow tifo directions

    Buy Nevets a beer

    Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and definately do not be afraid to learn

  7. Nick Brock says:

    While your 107ist membership supports the buying of flags, it does not give you the right to take one (or more) home. Leave the flags in the park. Anyone caught outside of JW with a 107ist provided flag is subject to public ridicule, as well as possible banishment from Jeld-Wen.

  8. Lucas Lacasella says:

    By sitting in the Timbers Army sections, please understand that your view WILL ASSUREDLY be partially, perhaps even completely blocked at times. This may not last long, usually in 30-90 second intervals, particularly during the following chants:
    *Rose City ’til I Die
    *You are My Sunshine
    *Can’t Help Falling In Love (the Elvis version, UB40 OUT!)

    To those having a problem with this during just the preseason matches, you’re probably not going to enjoy yourselves in the 100-level unless you can accept this fact. The addition of flags into the mix may just push you over the deep end.

    On the flip-side, as ‘Veteran TA’, let’s all try to make sure we communicate the above to the new folks in a civil manner.

  9. Michael says:

    Good! Now…who ate all the pies?

  10. Justus says:

    For the record… I’m a 107th member AND one of those buffet eating (occasionally) Key Club members. Make fun of us if you wish, but all sections of the field need at least one loud obnoxious enthusiastic supporter to rile up and encourage participation of other supporters in their section, a covert capo if you will. I represent C4 with all of the chants and zeal that would be expected from 107. I have been talked to by JW staff for a confrontation that stemmed from ‘being too loud’ and I am proud of that. I try to expose as many fellow humans to MLS, Timbers and Portland Soccer as possible by requiring co-workers and out of town guest to join me and enticing them with the Buffet and private bar.

    We’re not all in 107, but we’re all 107ist! RCTID

  11. Beelofosho says:

    The hand movements are important to keeping everybody in time. As somebody who sat in 118 for a couple of seasons, I can confirm that the hand movements during the chants really help a lot. As the sound travels around the stadium, it can make one end slightly off from the other… So move those arms and keep everyone together. Get involved in the singing, clapping, and dancing. The TA game day experience is something you won’t forget.

  12. Elizabeth Moore says:

    Great post. There’s just one little admittedly-obnoxious-nit-picky thing I wanted to mention. The Sex Pistols sing: “I am an anti-Christ / I am an anarchist, / Don’t know what I want / But I know how to get it. / I wanna destroy the passer by.” I wish our chant mirrored that a bit better with “Don’t know what I want but I know how to get it,” because that’s the point of that line — knowing the means better than the ends….

    • Gary says:

      Doesn’t really make any sense in the chant context. We ARE something that know the ends: Timbers fans and Oregonians, ergo we do know what we want and how to get it. The original point of the line makes sense in the context of only being anti- and not knowing the ends, not in our usage.

    • Seth Hunt says:

      Analyzing TA song lyrics leads to madness and 20-page message board threads filled with cat GIFs and rave videos. Just making sure that’s really where you all want to go.

  13. Pingback: I Read the New Today Oh, Boy | 5 Minutes to Kickoff

  14. Benjamin Anderson says:

    Also, if you’re not jumping… get in shape and start jumping.

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