—by Matthew Lindley
With this group, one thing has always remained true. As stated by then-Board President Jeremy Wright at the Cascadia Summit in 2011: “We only have one supporters group, and it’s called the Timbers Army.”
Let’s be honest: with a few shining exceptions, the last season and a half have been a struggle. More than half of the 10 seasons I’ve been watching this team have been a struggle. The ups are as obvious as the downs have been devastating. That said, one thing has always been true, and that is the Timbers Army. One collected singing voice, match after match, sending power pitchward and attempting to lift our boys in even the lowest of circumstances and celebrating with them our greatest triumphs.
Bearing that philosophy in mind, a few of us started to kick around the idea of one match where the entire North End could make a united statement, a show of force that we all are still one big Army. And there are no two better symbols to make that statement than the No Pity scarf and a sunflower.
I’ve always been a sucker for the concept of “homecoming” in college football being one of the more important days of any season. So this Sunday, August 6th, our next home match and the closest to "full strength" we will have been since damn near April, it’s a Day of Timbers Army Unity!
Basically, an old tradition and a new tradition melded into one.
The first being “Sunflower Day”, a tradition started by Eric Yinger to bring sunflowers to the match closest to the anniversary of the death of Timber Jim Serrill’s daughter Hannah. An annual showing of support and awareness in tribute to the TA's and the team’s spiritual leader since the days of the NASL. The idea is to bring sunflowers to the match and hold them up in the 80th minute when “Sunshine” is sung. Eric and his crew have amassed minimal donations to try and provide sunflowers for the match, but “BYOS” is HIGHLY encouraged.
Secondly, with full respect to the robust and creative merch culture that surrounds PTFC, there has always been one widely recognized symbol of the TA: the No Pity scarf. The origin story has been told many times, but nothing immediately represents a member of this community faster than those green and white bars and black letters around the neck of a supporter. So what we propose is bring your favorite NP, regardless of fringe color, and at the end of the National Anthem, raise them all high until the first kick—a sea of green and white flooding the North End as we all sing “Hey Portland Timbers, we salute you”. WE ARE THE TIFO.
So there it is, simple really. Bring your No Pity, bring a sunflower, hold ‘em up. Show the world who we are!