Team. Town. TA. (or What we can learn from an 8 year old)

Team. Town. TA.

Say those words, and then imagine what the perfect blend of those three things would look like.

If you were at Jeld-Wen field today, or if you watched the videos or took a peak at the pictures, then I can pretty much guess what your vision would be. What we all witnessed today was the embodiment of those 11 letters.

By now most of you have the background, but it bears repeating because there is a point here that is so important – a point that, again, embodies the mantra of team, town, and TA.

Atticus was like any other 8-year-old boy playing soccer, when he learned he had cancer. His treatments forced him to miss his final soccer game with his team, the Green Machine.

When Make-A-Wish contacted him and asked what he might like to do, he could have said, “I want my family to go to Disneyworld”. NOBODY would have faulted him for that.

Instead he said that he wanted to do something his whole team could share in – he wanted to play soccer against the Timbers.  He is an 8-year-old boy who is the definition of “wise beyond his years” – he wanted to share it with his friends and community – or, saying it another way, his team and his town.

And, so, a match was set. The Timbers would face the Green Machine in the late morning on May 1st.

The second – and I literally mean the second – the word of the game hit social media the Timbers Army was flooded by members offering to help out.  It was amazing.

The hardest part of what we did today wasn’t making it happen, it was making sure everyone who wanted to be involved could be involved. The outpouring of love that went into the tifo, the chants, and everything else was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

When over 3,000 of us walked into the stadium we probably thought, “Man, Atticus is going to love this” – and I’m sure he did (at least I hope he did). But, there was something else.

In the midst of all that, some of us were lucky enough for the first time to really feel what it means when we say team, town, TA. It’s nearly 5 hours since the match ended, and there are still tears welling up in my eyes.

I wish I could articulate exactly why. Part of it is because I’m a father, and I cannot fathom how terrifying it would be to have one of my kids diagnosed with cancer. Part of it is because I’ve always believed in the power of sport to bring people together, but this was overwhelming. And, part of it is because I’m completely taken aback by how much love and community I have felt this afternoon.

Atticus wanted to share his wish with his team; I wonder if he had any idea how much it would mean to the rest of rest of us.

I should close there, because really that’s the message – sometimes you think you’re doing something for someone else, but you actually end up getting more out of it than you could have ever put in.

But I can’t wrap up with acknowledging all the folks that made today special.

On behalf of the 107ist board of directors I’d like to thank:

  • The people who came out to help paint the tifo a few weeks back
  • Our amazing capos, drums, and trumpet crew for their contributions
  • The flag crew (and ad hoc volunteers) who set up the North End today
  • The entire Timbers organization, from Merritt to his staff to the players and coaches, all of whom showed the world the definition of class today
  • Make-A-Wish Oregon for reaching out to us
  • And, of course, Atticus – Thank you for letting us take part in your wish.

Team. Town. TA.

This entry was posted in 107ist, Community Outreach, Official News, TA Blogs, Timbers Army. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Team. Town. TA. (or What we can learn from an 8 year old)

  1. Joe says:

    While I am a Timbers fan, I am not a card carrying member of TA. I always thoughtthe Army were a group of over the top lunatics (and I mean that is the best possible way). Today, I was proved right. Who else but over the top lunatics could get 3000 people out or an event at 11:30 on a Wednesday morning? I felt proud and extremely priviledged to be able to be there and watch the TA make a little boy’s wish come true, and to be allowed to sit in that part of the stands and sing along. The world needs more folks like the members of the Army: Dedicated, devoted people with huge hearts willing to give their all for their team and town. A little lunacy along the way is a special added bonus! Thank you, Army, for all you do!

    • Basmah Rahman says:

      “Who else but over the top lunatics could get 3000 people out or an event at 11:30 on a Wednesday morning?”

      That was amazing and 2 days later i’m still riding the feeling of joy and pride I felt on Wednesday. . .I definitely chanted harder for the Green Machine this week than I did last night vs. NE (we won’t go there…).

      Wednesday’s match was SO MUCH FUN. . .and the videos showing the kids in the locker room when they first saw all the gear from the Timbers was absolutely PRICELESS.

      “Can we play you, can we play you. . .can we play you every week??”

  2. Michelle says:

    Going to the match today and seeing the immense outpouring of love and support is beyond words. I am more proud today than ever of my team and my community. Being a part of the Timbers Army has never meant more to me than it did today! RCTID!!!

  3. Kim MacKinnon says:

    I couldn’t agree more with this article. I thought I was going to support this awesome boy, but I got so much out of this experience. Today was amazing. I had to run into work after the game and I was bubbling with so much excitement that I know it radiated off of me to my coworkers. I am so proud to be a part of this soccer community. You are all amazing.

  4. Tom Camp says:

    It was truly a magical experience. I was blown away when I got to Jeld Wen and saw the huge line of people waiting to get in and it only got better from there!

  5. TX Bill says:

    I just saw a link to this on CBS Sports website and just had to take my hat off to the Portland Timbers organization and it’s supporters. All I can say is wow !!! Well done and a great example to all of the other MLS clubs. And this coming from a Houston Dynamo supporter. Class.

  6. Bruce Eaton says:

    I want to feel like this every day.

    Everybody feel free to remind me of this, from time to time.

  7. Holly says:

    You forgot somebody: Mike Coleman, without whom this would have been a far smaller and much less successful venture. You made this thing what it was, and you should take a bow.

  8. Rhonda Henderson says:

    This morning, along with the other days leading up to this I thought “Oh it is going to be so fun to help make his wish great for him” After being there my thought changed a little bit to “I feel so fortunate that he was willing to share his wish with all of us”. Truly an amazing kid! Good luck to you Atticus. We are privileged to be part of your circle and you will be in our positive vibes and prayers!

  9. Brenaldo says:

    This diced onion epidemic in Portland is getting ridiculous. Damn you and thank you Mike for writing this, I’m about all cried out for the day after reading this one. The Timbers and the TA’s organization and passion to deliver such a wonderful experience for all involved is greatly appreciated and respected.

    Onward Green Machine! Onward Atticus!

  10. sagcat says:

    I am so bloody impressed by Atticus. I mean, the kid had an enormous tumor when he was in second grade. He has the tumor and a kidney taken out and then goes through Chemo. Then when approached by Make-A-Wish, instead of getting something awesome for him and only him, he includes his teammates and classmates from Sunnyside Environmental School.

    Then he includes US. And wow, that was fun today. Thank you, Addicus, for involving your community. That’s something people way older than you wouldn’t have even considered. You’re an inspiration.

  11. Anonymous Freak says:

    I was amazed to think there MIGHT be 1000 people there. When I saw a Tweet two hours before the gates opened that there was already a line, I was floored.

    When I arrived at 11:30, to have an usher tell me “head that way, there are seats open in 203-204, I started to tear up. Then came half an hour of pure joy, silliness, and fun.

    I’ve done my fair share of “good deeds” before, including being the sole person making a difference at a nonprofit event. Yet this, the least “work” of any I’ve done (watching a bunch of kids play soccer?) among the largest group I’ve been in (therefore the smallest “piece” I’ve been,) felt the most impactful.

  12. Kerri Olsen says:

    Never have I been more proud of being a part of the TA, the Timbers and Portland.

  13. zfreeman says:

    Thanks Mike! Can’t think of a worse day to have to work…I would trade in attending tonights match in a heartbeat. Love you all so much for your effort. For proving why what we have here is special. To Atticus, for having the will to fight through, and to reward all of us in this way. Guess I’m going to have to bring it stronger than ever tomorrow night. #RCTID #TAFL

  14. Jonathan Hannon says:

    The diced onion epidemic has spread to Atlanta, GA, where I just watched this video in an airport lounge. It’s a good thing there is a stack of napkins nearby. Pure class. Thanks to all for making this happen.

  15. Jonathan Hannon says:

    Oh, and 15 minutes later, Atticus is on SportsCenter over my right shoulder. Awesome.

  16. Tim Howard says:

    It is moments like this that I am encouraged by the humanity, kindness, passion, pride and love I get whenever I tell people I am a TA.


  17. Janet Potter says:

    MIKE COLEMAN AND ALL THE TA: Well written and well played – from the FO to all the TA and Portland!!! Such an amazingly wonderful day for all of you – thanks to the videographers who captured the magic of the day for the rest of us to share! I love you all and am overwhelmed by my TA Family and City of Portland!!! PTFC – RCTID

  18. Joel says:

    On behalf of a random soccer fan and Dad from Ohio: THANK YOU TA! Just brilliant stuff. You should be very proud of your members and community. OUTSTANDING!

  19. My son was playing alongside Atticus yesterday. The night before I tried to dial back expectations around the size of the crowd. I knew the Sunnyside kids would be there, and Facebook said something like 1000 were coming, so I pegged it at something like 300. That’s really all I was expecting.

    Then I came into work yesterday and saw pictures on social media of the lines at the stadium and I couldn’t believe it. Then I sat down in 108 and saw Sunday at her capo stand, singing her heart out, along with 3000 others. And I couldn’t believe it.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Team, town, TA and tots!

    • Bruce Eaton says:

      Your son’s excitment in the locker room video when he saw his name on his shirt was one of my favorite things in the monumental amounts of footage from yesterday.

      I am still soaring emotionally from it all.

      I hope your son, Atticus, and the rest of the boys know how much joy they brought to us all. WHATADAY!

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