—by Aaron Flynn; photos courtesy of East Coast Platoon
In the second part of my series on RSG histories, I reached out to Scott Brown of the East Coast Platoon to tell us about their group's origin.
In 2011, the ECP was first started by Brian Fiore-Silfvast on Facebook as a means to help supporters come together in a single place to build community around shared love of the Timbers and to help with coordination for trips to away stadiums.
The group now heads up all of the Eastern Conference away days, with the exception of Chicago and Columbus. When there’s a game in DC and NY, they have heavy involvement from the local groups, DC Federal Reserves and Gotham Company, but those groups still consider themselves to be under the umbrella of ECP.
ECP has produced some fantastic tifo over the years, from the “Always Sunshine in Chester” display in Philadelphia to the Fallout-themed tifo that New England didn’t allow them to take into the stadium. All of the tifo work is ad-hoc. Asked about away day capos, Scott said they are “really volunteer basis, but generally it falls on the shoulders of a few people” who love the team.
Scott reviews chant lyrics with another away day capo.
On the East Coast, the group tries to get together for watch parties, but it’s been tough. “People outside of Portland have no idea how uncommon it is for bars to have any sort of vibrant MLS viewing culture of a hometown team, not to mention that of a team from outside the area,” Scott lamented.
One of Scott’s favorite memories is of the rain delay chant-off with the Sons of Ben in Chester (Philadelphia) in 2013. At halftime, they announced a rain delay and the group was forced into the concourse that was shared with the Philly supporters. As the ECP was marched down, they began to sing “Let it rain, let it pour, let the Portland Timbers score,” and the Philly fans responded with “PHILADELPHIA!” Thus, the chant-off began. For about 20 minutes, the groups shouted chants back and forth. The result was a 0-0 draw, but the chant-off was a memory that no one in attendance would forget.
I asked Scott about the ECP’s traditions and what makes them special. He told me: “In addition to being the best-looking regional group (which isn’t really that unknown), we’re also the smartest.” He mentioned that the group likes to make swag that incorporates salty sayings from ex-members, such as “Some of you are alright.”
If you’re visiting an East Coast away day, Scott just encourages you to show up early, bring beer, and sing loud.