Remember our contest for Timbers Army in Exile? Eight lucky 107IST members from outside Oregon and Washington won round trip airfare on Alaska Airlines and tickets to the Timbers-Whitecaps match on May 26th. Here are some of their stories:
From Stephen Sedler:
Alaska Airlines only flies to that stinky fish town to the north from Minneapolis, so I had to take a short detour on my way to Portland. I held my breath the whole time I was there. As my plane was taxiing to the gate in Portland, I spotted the Timbers Jet parked at the terminal. It must be a good sign, I thought. It was my first match back at PGE Pa… err… JELD-WEN Field since the Sunflower Goal. Last year I was able to make it to Colorado and Chicago away, but it was good to be back home. I ended up going to the match with family and friends. After riding the MAX in from the Sunset Transit Center, we waited at Gate 1 for an hour and a half to avoid the doubled-back Gate 3 line. I just knew that the doubling-back was not a good sign. We found a spot in section 103. When capo Rob took his place down in front, my dad pointed at him and said, “You know him, right? He’s the one that gave me the evil eye one time.” Keep up the good work Rob. He now just randomly chants at home with the reason of, “I’ve got to get ready for the game!” Then there was the goal. Euphoria. The crowd response was like nothing I’ve experienced before. TV doesn’t do it justice. Then there was the equalizer. RCTID. After the match was over and the players had left the pitch, it was time to head to Little Big Burger for some hometown eats. Sunday involved another trip to Little Big Burger followed by the reserve match. The reserve match was another enjoyable experience. The atmosphere was like a cool-down jog after a marathon. The result was unpleasant, but that is nothing new. The flight back to Minneapolis the next day again had a stop up north. Everyone there was as anxious to leave as I was.
Attached are a couple of pictures from pregame. Friends and family are all the ones looking at the camera. I’m in the black hat wearing the “Your Magic is Real” scarf.
From Drew Olsen:
Thanks again for the chance. I had so much fun.
I got in from DC on the Wednesday before the Vancouver game, and through some luck got tickets to the Valencia game. Attached is a picture from that game of me and my mom. It was her first game since 2002 (in fact, I just went back and found the game recap – she and my dad, who has since passed away, are clearly visible sitting in the beer garden in the bottom left photo of Gavin. Insane.).
That was also the first Timbers game I ever went to. I don’t remember much about the game (though according to the recap, it looks like it was a great one) but I do remember sitting for the first half at midfield before joining the Army in 107 because they were clearly having so much fun. I was instantly hooked.
I really wish I had taken more photos, but some the highlights, in chronological order, are below;
- While on layover in Seattle, giving evil stares to people in their fluorescent Flounders jerseys.
- Meeting some of the Southsiders at a bar the night before the match.
- Meeting a Timbers supporter from Ft. Lauderdale who had flown West for the game.
- Buying scarves and schwag for my friends back east who haven’t ever been to Jeld Wen Field but are still Timbers Army faithful and members of the TA East Coast Platoon.
- Drinking something other than Budweiser and Sam Adams.
- Realizing that even after a year or so since my last game at JWF, I still remember most of the chants.
- “Goals, all I really want is goals” (Because girls are overrated).
- Running into folks who I had met at the games in New York last season and in New England this year.
- Standing and singing with my old brethren in 108.
- Starting a chant of “Suzuki, wo-oah, Suzuki, Wo-oah, he swam here from Japan…”
- Kris Boyd’s goal in front of the Army.
- Having no voice left after the match.
- Pints at the Bitter End.
From Cesar Díaz:
New York, NY – I want to thank the Timbers Army and Alaska Airlines for giving me the best
American Soccer fan experience of my life. I’ve attended enough MLS, NASL, USL Pro matches
and international friendlies here in New York City and throughout the United States to make this
Because of you, I was able to purchase my No Pity scarf from the No Pity Van. I was able to watch a match at JELD-WEN Stadium where I met Timber Jim, a soccer legend who I have nothing but respect for. It was also great running into Timber Joey who I met last at Red Bull Arena. On top of that I was also able to chant, cheer and moan while appreciating the Timbers Cascadia Cup match against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Because of you, I had the privilege of meeting Timber Army members such as Sheba (for her hug when she presented me my Match ticket), Brent Diskin (who designed the NYC Loggers posters), Hermes (who gave me a copy of Shed Culture), Matthew Talley (who gave me a Cascadia Flag patch) and many more at the Bitter End and throughout Portland. Their generosity and good-natured personalities is what truly embodies the Timbers Army.
It was also great to meet fellow Timbers Army members who also attended Northern Arizona University at Flagstaff, AZ. Great conversation talking about another town I love.
Because of you, I was given a polo shirt by the Football Factory at Legends, the NYC sports bar who has regularly played Timbers matches. Speaking of NYC, the best non-Timbers highlight of my trip was going to Powell’s Books and purchasing a book on NYC fictional detective Shaft. NYC has the Stand but Powell’s Books puts it to shame. Best bookstore I’ve ever been to.
Now that I’m back in NYC, I have to admit that I miss Portland. Not only because of the Timbers but because Portland is my kind of town. It’s the kind of town rich with diversity and art that I could see myself living. Plus, I would have loved to have had more time to hit the trails.
As I wait for the Timbers to resume MLS action, I’ve been singing Green is the Color often. I’ve caught myself chanting some of the Timbers chants at work. In addition, I’ve been talking with other soccer fans about my Portland experience.
While I look forward to the Timbers match against the Galaxy, I’m salivating as I wait to wear my third kit against the Sounders in Cascadia Cup action. One thing that NYC and Portland supporters have in common is their hatred for Seattle.
In closing, you have an amazing town. I definitely intend to visit more often. Thank you again Timbers Army! We in the East Coast Platoon are looking forward to your August visit when our beloved Timbers face the Beast of the East, the New York Red Bulls. We’ll continue to spread the message and support from the East Coast.
RCTID from NYC!