Are you ready for some fútbol!? Timbers Army Football Club (TAFC) is proud to announce that registration for individual players and teams is now open for the new Fall Recreational COED 7v7 league! This has been a dream of mine since I started playing soccer at the ripe age of 47 six years ago. Thanks to the efforts of the TAFC 7v7 team of Dawn Bauman, Ray Terrill, Eric Kilgore, Bill Packwood, Pedro Nunez, this league is happening this Fall 2018. TAFC teams such as Old Growth and Thundercats have been bringing players into the game for years but there hasn’t really been a league that shares our vision. Competitive players have plenty of outlets in the Portland area. This is an outlet for the rest of us.
The is a true recreational league designed to bring new players out to play the game they love. We are creating this league to spread the love of soccer and bring people into the game. If you haven’t played soccer since the 6th grade or you have never played before, this league is designed for you. The emphasis of this league is fair play, sportsmanship, camaraderie, and community. “Aggro” or ultra-competitive behavior will not be tolerated. This is not to say that advanced players are not welcome. Competitive players who believe in our league ethos, want to play with their friends and make them better will be welcomed with open arms.
You can register as a “free agent” individual player and we will either find a team who needs you or create a team from the list of free agents. You can also register your recreational 11v11, futsal, indoor or Donut Derby 7v7 team. If you are worried about having enough players, we will supply players from the free agent list to supplement your roster.
All games will be on Sunday afternoons with start times of either 4:00pm or 5:30pm at the awesome new Eastside Timbers Academy Training Center 4710 SE 174th Ave Portland, OR Match Dates: 10 match season on 9/9, 9/16, 9/23, 9/30, 10/7, 10/14, 11/4, 11/11, 11/18, and 12/2. Costs: $650/team and $50/individual.
OASA cards are required by the first game 9/9/2018.
If this league sounds like something for you register yourself or your team here:
Hope to see you out on the field this Fall
Timbers Army FC
The Multnomah County Library made us a list! (Thanks Alicia!)
Booked! made us a list!
Twitter uses also suggested lists, which can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
- by Clifford Eiffler-Rodriguez
Being a part of Timbers Army FC helped me get stuck in.
I moved to Portland in 2003 and lived in the area on and off for several years. I had read about the Timbers and Timbers Army. However, it would take many years before I drummed up the courage (and the cash) to start attending games in late 2008. I was immediately hooked. Despite standing on the very edge of the TA, I was amazed at the connection I felt to the group, and the group to the club. It was the most vibrant and authentic sporting experience I had ever been part of.
In an effort to learn about the community and get to know people, I stumbled upon the SCUSA message board and spent countless hours trying to soak in the culture of the group. This led me to buying my first set of scarves, occasionally posting, and even attending a few away matches (the 2010 U.S. Open Cup trip to play Kitsap remains a notable one) where for the most part I knew people, but more than likely they didn’t know me. A couple of years in, I remained largely only a witness to the spectacle.
With a growing passion for the game, my interest in starting to actually play soccer had been stoked. When I first moved to Portland, I was introduced to playing as an adult by signing up for the intramural program at PSU. It was a neat game and it scratched an itch. Soccer, at its most basic level, was a game accessible to people of all skill levels.
Despite moving away for a couple of years (and cleating the crap out of everyone playing pickup in Salem), when I moved back to the area, I started looking for a team to join in Portland. I was bouncing around, working for various indoor soccer facilities, and while the employee discount afforded me a chance to play soccer, I wasn’t playing the same game that I saw from the stands of PGE Park.
Poking around the internet, I found out about the Greater Portland Soccer District (GPSD). I soon learned that there was a TA-specific league. After posting on the message board with the hopes that a desperate manager would take a flyer on a nobody, my search ended up grinding to a halt. My requests had fallen on busy ears.
So, I kept my eyes open.
Then came open play. It was an initiative led by the TAFC committee to rent a field and invite players from the league and any others who were interested to come to play under the lights at Buckman Field. Since it was open to anyone, I decided to head down with the small hope that I could find a team with an available spot.
After a couple of open play sessions, I connected with Bill, who was leading the committee at the time, and shared my desire to join a TAFC team. He couldn’t promise anything. Most of the teams had full rosters and turnover was limited. But eventually he heard that one of the teams, Guerreros Verdes FC (which would later become FC Bridge City), were looking for some players for the upcoming season and connected me to their manager, Manny.
Manny’s team was looking for center backs for the upcoming season, and despite having never played the position, I was happy to step into the role. He invited me to a tryout to scrimmage with the team and some friends to make sure I was a good fit.
From my point of view, it was an absolutely disastrous performance. The only time I had played 11v11 was in the fourth grade, and frankly, I had no idea I was doing out there.
After the scrimmage, I went to Five Guys to drown my sorrows in a huge pile of fries. That’s where I ran into Leo, a member of the team, and he was very gracious about my performance. However, I thought there was no way I would ever hear from these guys again.
I don’t know if Manny can illuminate the conversation the managers had that day, but having managed several teams since, half the battle is getting players to pay and show up to the games. A couple of days later an email arrived with a .doc which outlined the team’s rules and expectations. These guys were serious.
That first season was beautiful. The adjustment to playing the game was difficult, and I made my fair share of mistakes, but the team found itself driving out Gladstone HS to take part in the Fall Championship game against RCA.
I still feel we were robbed. At least we got to ease the pain of the result with carnitas.
Results aside, I had found a home within the TA. Guys who had my back on the field and who I could share a drink with post-match. Timbers games became a place where I no longer high-fived strangers after a goal, but hugged friends. There was no turning back.
Since then, the family has grown, and I have had the opportunity to play with more and more people from the Timbers Army and Rose City Riveters.
At times the Timbers Army FC world is big and complicated. We partner with the city, PPS, and a bevy of other organizations across the city to run leagues, put on tournaments, and get people out playing soccer.
It’s a heavy lift. We largely depend on the work and goodwill of volunteers to make these things happen. But when I stand at Buckman watching the Donut Derby being played or lace up my cleats to take the field for Thundercats FC, I cannot help but think that we are fulfilling this following commitment by the 107ist: "The mission of the 107IST (107 Independent Supporters Trust) is to support soccer in and around Portland, Oregon, from the grassroots to the highest professional level."
I love the volunteers who give so much time to make this happen.
I love the teams and players who I can count on to show up and play.
Honestly, when it comes down to it, this is one of the purest representations of this game that I can imagine.
I am so happy to have met and played with so many of you. This is a family that I cannot believe exists.
I love PTFC, but at the end of the day, nothing bring me more happiness than seeing family and friends on the field.
This is something special. Thank you so much for being a part of it.
A statement on behalf of the 107IST Board of Directors
As the engine that fuels The Timbers Army and the Rose City Riveters, the 107IST board represents a growing and disparate group of supporters. We know that as supporters we will disagree about many things, large and small, in person and online. But as an organization there are some things on which we all agree.
Recently we received a report of an incident in the stands right here at home that caused an individual to feel so unsafe that they left the game early. Both the board and the front office responded. We wish we could say that this was an isolated incident, that only one person in the stands has ever engaged in harassing behavior, and that it was only one time. We wish we could say that everyone who comes to jump and clap and sing for the team always feels safe to do so. Sadly, we cannot.
In the course of the investigation and conversation resulting from this incident, we are also examining some truths about ourselves as individuals and as a group that might be hard to take. As AMAZING a community as we are, we need to do better, much better.
As 107ISTS, the Timbers Army and Riveters have a long-standing history of standing up to racism, sexism, and homophobia in the stands. We have long called ourselves champions of basic human rights. While this is most definitely true at our core, we also know we need to do a better job of putting our words into action. As a board and as individuals, we are taking a long, difficult look at what we need to do to create the conditions that give victims of harassment or assault the space and safety to know that they have advocates who will listen and respond. We need to learn how we, as a collective, can be better at intervening in the stands when we are bystanders witnessing such incidents as they occur. As a board, it is our duty to lead; and as individuals, it is each person’s responsibility to play a role in making the North End, and every place we gather, a safe environment. Our diversity and our numbers can, and should be, a strength.
In the coming weeks, the Board will be sharing a process for providing a safe, anonymous (if desired) and confidential place for folks in the stands to report incidents. We will also be improving our capacity to self-police, by providing bystander intervention training, first to game day operations and our own volunteer security people, and eventually to more members of the 107IST community at large. We are also evaluating implementing a code of conduct that clearly spells out what we should expect of ourselves and of each other, whether we’re cheering in the stands, gathering at a social event, painting tifo, or volunteering in the community.
We need to be better at clearly communicating what we all expect of each other. We need to be better at responding, both in the moment and after the fact, and we are committed to doing so.
Please hold us to it.
This is a guest post by TA members Emily, Nicky, and Dawn*.
Don’t be a shitty person. One of the reasons I fell in love with this community was the awesome people. It’s unfortunate that a few people in the TA ruin this experience and make others feel unsafe. Some of our founding bricks are acceptance and to spread the love. No one should feel unsafe or uncomfortable at a sporting event, during a goal celebration or otherwise. Keep your hands, hugs, beers, stuffed birds, and kisses to yourself unless you have permission. Use the Platinum Rule: treat everyone how you would want to be treated, but better.
Don’t be shocked or naïve that these things are happening. We’ve been trying to tell men that harassment happens almost on a daily basis, practically everywhere (our texts, pics or uninvited DMs, social media and in real life, possibly right in front of you). This harassing toxic behavior is perpetrated by people you like, maybe friends you know, or quite possibly even you. We are tired of hearing things like “He just likes to hug too much”, “He gets handsy when he drinks”, “Oh that guy, he kisses everyone when he’s happy”. No matter what we hear, whatever the excuses for the behavior, it’s not OK.
This is a BIG FUCKING DEAL. For all the lamenting we do about preserving TA Culture™, there has been a shocking amount of apathy when it comes to this shit. The amount of people who could name multiple offenders in the TA (including TA leadership) and know that this is ongoing, without having done anything about it, is damning, and if left unaddressed it will literally actually ruin TA culture (more so than bad corporate merch or eliminating chants ever could). It already has, to a certain extent – ruined the TA culture. There needs to be a seismic shift in the way we deal with this.
Speaking up when someone harasses you is hard and uncomfortable. It’s not always that easy to remove yourself from the situation. A lot of times if someone has been harassed or victimized they just want to get out of the situation. Plus, it feels shameful. It takes time to come forward, it takes time to come forward to someone you trust, and it takes time to be sure the person you trust is your ally.
Stop telling women “You should have…" or "Next time, you should do this”. Take a step back and start listening, switch your mindset to “I’m thinking about what I can do to make sure this doesn’t happen again”. Start having uncomfortable discussions with your friends when you see something. Call out a fellow ‘TA’ when you see this behavior.
It’s frustrating to be living in what feels like a broken system. There’s a lot of work to do to help fix it, like having nonviolent bystander intervention training or identifying the safe places/people for reporting harassment, always asking permission before you assume someone wants to be hugged, and maybe one of the easiest is for you to just speak up when you see it. Our society is a mess, but together if we all work to be better, do better, we can get back to being the community filled with awesome people that care about one another.
*Dawn is a 107IST board member, but here is writing as an individual supporter.
Artists Repertory Theatre: Our neighbors over at Artists Rep have announced their 2018/19 Season.
The 19th Hole (Hotel Deluxe): Free golf! Our neighbors up the hill at Hotel Deluxe have opened the 19th Hole again for the season and are now an official partner of 107IST. Check out their canned beverage menu of 75 craft beers, wines and cider, the pop-up beer garden and mini golf course on the corner of SW 15th & Yamhill is outfitted with lawn games, food cart bites, sun shades and picnic tables.
Portland Pickles: Feel like checking out some baseball this summer? Show your 2018 107IST membership card for the following opportunities:
Olympic Provisions Public House: (SE 33rd Division) Show your 2018 107IST membership card for:
4-4-2 Soccer Bar: (SE 17th Hawthorne) Under new ownership. Show that card:
House Spirits Distillery: (65 SE Washington) 107IST members receive:
NW Portland Hostel: (NW 18th)
Cricket Cafe: (31st SE Belmont) Show your membership card for:
The members of the Timbers Army take pride in giving back to the Portland community, and Match Day Drives have quickly become a fun and effective way to do that.
Inspired by the Rose City Riveters’ efforts, the Timbers Army helped a handful of organizations last year, collecting everything from toiletries, to school supplies, to gift cards to help homeless youths settle in to new housing.
This year, we are going to do things a little differently. Instead of focusing on a different organization every match, we will support a different organization each month for the rest of the 2018 season.
The first organization we will be supporting through Match Day Drives is Friends of Seasonal and Service Workers, who assist the area’s seasonal, farm, and service workers. The items that they are looking for are dry beans, uncooked rice, and cooking oils.
Here are the organizations we will be supporting for the rest of the season:
June - Friends of Seasonal and Service Workers
July - New Avenues for Youth book drive - http://newavenues.org
August - School supply drive for IRCO - http://irco.org
September - Cat Adoption Team - https://catadoptionteam.org
October - My Voice Music - http://myvoicemusic.org
We will post wish lists for supported organizations at the start of each new month.
—by Nic Gulas; last updated 12/02/2018 by Darren Lloyd
Welcome to Atlanta where the playa’s play! The capital of the South is excited to welcome you as the home of Delta, Coca-Cola, and one of the worst sports towns in America. Well, until Atlanta United. The spectacle inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be something for all of you to behold, but it’ll be a grand chance for traveling TA to continue making a name for ourselves. As the central area of the Southeast, expect TA from Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Florida to all invade ATL along with you. Now, take a look below for everything you need to know for the Cup! Well, and any other time you find yourself in the A.
This is the largest venue in MLS in a city heavily reliant on their cars, so be prepared for lots of traffic if you have a car. Atlanta traffic doesn’t care if it’s 4pm on a Tuesday or 8am on a Sunday. There will be a slowdown, especially at the I-75/85/20 area where most of the action will be taking place. Do your best to arrive early wherever you want to go and be prepared to not really move after the match, either.
As stated above, MARTA drops off right at MBS/Phillips Arena/Georgia World Congress Center. This will be just as crowded as the streets around the stadium, so keep that in mind for post match travel, as well.
WEATHER: Weather predictions shouldn’t be trusted this far in advance, but MBS is an indoor stadium, so it will not affect the match.
If you are planning to fly into Atlanta, you will fly into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). Be advised, this is the busiest airport in the world, serving over 100 million people a year. ATL offers taxis, rideshares, rental cars, and connects to the MARTA red/orange line.
MARTA trains run through many parts of the city. Some areas, especially to the west and south, can be a little dicey, but using it from the Airport to the city as well as within greater ATL is a great tool to have. MARTA, however, does not venture out into Cobb County, which is northwest of the city and where Marietta is located.
Atlanta is one of the most reliant cities on their cars. Traffic in the city is constantly ranked among the top 10 worst in the country, but if you want to get to some of the “See & Do” locations that are listed below, a car will be the way to go, and those locations will be marked as such.
Atlanta has three major interstates converge in the middle of the city: I-20 from the east and west then I-75 and I-85 that run north and south. In a four hour radius, these can get you to Charlotte, Nashville, Birmingham, and Savannah. I-285 is the outer loop interstate that runs through Marietta, Alpharetta, and the ATL airport. It takes about an hour to drive the entire loop, but remember, it’s a loop, so you don’t get lost on it.
If you are staying in the greater downtown, Midtown, Buckhead area, ride sharing is a great way to get around. Rates are reasonable for a major city and will usually get you where you need to go in good time.
Atlanta has plenty of hotels both in and around the city. It’s best to stay close to what you plan to do or spend most your time on, especially if you opt for no car. Downtown will be your best bet if you’re coming for the match, and there are plenty of high end as well as economic options throughout downtown. For the Cup, I would suggest staying as close to Centennial Olympic Park as your budget will allow. There are plenty of AirBnb options around town, as well.
Atlanta isn’t really a coffee hotbed. It’s very much dominated by the Starbucks and Dunkins of the world. With that said, there are a couple of places worth checking out if you need to perk up and want to support the local guys.
Ebrik Coffee Room, Downtown: A cozy little coffee shop on the Georgia State campus.
Atlanta has plenty of good food options, both of the notable chain variety as well as local flair. The thing is, you’re in the South, so don’t be surprised when you see a bunch of fried stuff mentioned below.
Waffle House, multiple locations: You’re in the South, you have to eat at Waffle House. The 24-hour breakfast-themed diners are scattered all over the place and are definitely better at 2am. Don’t ask how, they just are.
The Varsity, Georgia Tech campus: “Whatta’ya have?!” If you approach the register at The Varsity without knowing the answer to that question, you will be screamed at repeatedly. Fast food grease pit is the best way to describe this Atlanta staple. Make sure to grab an Orange Creamsicle milkshake with whatever you eat.
Fox Brothers BBQ, Little Five Points: Again, you’re in the South, so finding the best BBQ is clearly a priority. Fox Brothers is consistently considered the best pork and ribs in Atlanta. Fox Brothers can also be found inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The Vortex, Little Five Points/Midtown: If you can, make it to the Little Five Points location. A small hole in the wall bar, The Vortex also offers up the best hamburger in Atlanta in a unique part of town. There are multiple bars close by, as well, so if you’re looking for a night out in one area, starting at the Vortex or Fox Bros is highly recommended.
Recess, Krog Street Market: Here’s a lighter, vegetarian option after a bunch of greasy food. Recess offers bowls, salads, and sandwiches in a relaxed, casual atmosphere.
Atlanta Breakfast Club, Downtown: If you’re looking for a traditional breakfast or brunch, or want to grab some chicken and waffles, give Atlanta Breakfast Club a try.
Empire State South, Midtown: If you want a more high end brunch that won’t disappoint, Hugh Acheson’s Empire State South is a great place for it. While you wait, try your hand at the bocce ball court just outside.
PSA: You’re Oregonians; when you’re in Atlanta you’re going to seek our craft beer. People will recommend Scofflaw. They actually make pretty decent beer but DO NOT visit. They’re pro-Trump reductive assholes, and exist to piss people off. They are completely contradictory to the values of TA.
Sweetwater Brewing Company, Piedmont Heights: One of the most successful breweries in the South, Sweetwater has been slinging suds since 1997. If you enjoy IPAs, this is the brewery for you. Almost every offering from Sweetwater is an IPA.
Monday Night Brewing Company, West Midtown: If you want a bigger variety of beer, try Monday Night Brewing. Most of their beers have lower ABVs and focus more on flavor profiles, aimed at being enjoyed every day of the week rather than living for the weekend.
Other Breweries: Red Brick Brewing, Red Hare Brewing, Orpheus Brewing, Second Self Brewing
STATS and Der Biergarten, Centennial Olympic Park area: These two spots are located next door to each other just down the road from the College Football Hall of Fame and Georgia Aquarium. STATS is a great local sports bar and grill with a full bar. Der Biergarten has both indoor and outdoor space great to enjoy a wide choice of German beer and fare.
Holman and Finch Public House, Peachtree Hills: If you want some of the best spirits and small plates in ATL, this is your location. Tucked in along Peachtree Road, H&F is a calm, casual atmosphere. If you can, get there early enough for lunch or dinner to get one of their hamburgers. You have to be quick, because they only have 24 per service.
Elliott Street Deli and Pub, Downtown ATL: Located just blocks from Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Elliott St Deli and Pub is a neighborhood spot in the middle of the hustle and bustle of ATL. Known for its charm and sandwich menu, there’s also a wall of taps with a rotating selection of beers.
Barcelona Wine Bar, Atlantic Station area: If you want to skip the beer and spirits, Barcelona Wine Bar is your place. There’s EIGHTEEN pages of wines to choose from, so yes, they have something you will like. Their locations also have full menus to find that perfect pairing.
Home to four major sports franchises, multiple Fortune 500 companies, and a central location during the American Civil Rights movement, there’s plenty to see and do in the Atlanta area. Less than an hour outside the city limits, you can find great hiking and rivers. No matter your interests, there’s something for you in ATL.
World of Coke Museum: If you want to learn everything about America’s favorite soft drink, this is the place. The World of Coke museum covers the history of the soda, including their ad campaigns. Take a picture with the animatronic polar bear and finish the tour by trying Coke products from all over the world.
Georgia Aquarium: The Largest Aquarium in the Western Hemisphere, the Georgia Aquarium houses more than 10,000 animals in fresh and saltwater tanks as well as a few places for land creatures. See beluga whales being fed or walk in a tunnel under one of the tanks.
Centennial Olympic Park: The main gathering area for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Centennial Olympic Park is located in the middle of everything to see and do in the Downtown area. Surrounded by the Georgia Aquarium, Coke Museum, CNN Center, Philips Arena, and the College Football Hall of Fame, the park has an Olympic Ring fountain as well as art of summer olympic events. If you want to see the torch from the 1996 Games, head toward Georgia State’s football stadium, which is the former home of the Atlanta Braves and served as Olympic Stadium for the Games.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial: Located at the King Center, this is the final resting place of MLK Jr. The King Center houses many documents from King’s fight at the forefront of the American Civil Rights movement as well as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization founded by Dr. King.
CNN Center: The original home of Cable News Network is located in the heart of Atlanta. Tours of the studios are available, but sadly not guided by Anderson Cooper. The lower level of the CNN Center has a food court that is connected to Philips Arena and roughly three blocks to MBS. A couple of the food options sell rather large beers that can be taken outside on gamedays to the grassy areas around MBS.
Six Flags Over Georgia: (Car necessary) Six Flags Over Georgia is located about 10 miles outside the city down I-20. Home of 8 different roller coasters, including Batman, Superman, and the Ninja, Six Flags is a fun getaway with plenty of fun rides and shows. In the hot months, Thunder River is a solid choice for a cool down. If you have younger kids, they can see their favorite Looney Tunes characters around the park. Pro Tip: buy a can of Coke to bring down the admission price. Most individual cans have coupons for $10 or $15 off.
Piedmont Park: Located in the heart of the city, Piedmont Park is a great place to relax and enjoy a great day outside. The park has great views of the Atlanta skyline with plenty of open space for pets or a quick kickaround.
College Football Hall of Fame: One of the newest attractions in Atlanta, the College Football Hall of Fame moved down from South Bend, Indiana in 2014. The most popular sport in the South is represented in multiple halls and interactive areas to cover over 150 years of college football. The main entrance hall has a wall of every current college football helmet from every division.
Stone Mountain: (Car necessary) If you need to get out of the city and into nature, this is the place. Stone Mountain has plenty of hiking, biking, kayaking, and other outdoor activities to enjoy.
On June 7, 107IST brings you a preview screening of “Nossa Chape” at Cinema 21, with proceeds going to benefit Gisele Currier Scholarship Fund. Tickets here.
The film had its world premiere in March at the South by Southwest Film Festival and is making its way across the country this spring.
To whet your appetite, Timbers Army OG Shawn Levy, who was film critic of The Oregonian for 20 years, had a look at it and offers this review.
“Nossa Chape” is a documentary, but you can be forgiven for thinking of it as a horror movie.
It takes as its starting point a tragedy that no one can fully imagine, even if, at some level, it seems like one that ought to have occurred more often than it has.
On November 28, 2016, a chartered plane ran out of fuel and plummeted into a mountainside in Northeast Colombia, killing 71 of those on board, including 19 players from the Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense, 25 team officials and guests, and 20 journalists who were along to cover the team's appearance in the Copa Sudamerica final.
This wasn't the first time the footballing world has suffered such a calamity. Indeed, as even a partial list of the times that it has happened demonstrates, this brand of catastrophe is an indiscriminate beast.
Torino of Italy (1949), Manchester United of England (1958), Green Cross of Chile (1961), The Strongest of Bolivia (1969), Pakhator Tashkent of Uzbekistan (1979), Alianza Lima of Peru (1987), and the men's national team of Zambia (1993) -- all wiped out, or deeply ravaged, by air crashes, all leaving families, communities, and even nations devastated, all creating holes in the world that survivors and supporters were forced to fill with the seeds of rebirth.
It's impossible to comprehend how any community could function after this sort of nightmare at any time, but, as this film makes clear, the Chapecoense story was especially cruel.
As a team, Nossa Chape (“Our Chape”) was one of the feel-good stories of Brazilian soccer -- in all of South American soccer, in fact. Representing Chapeco, a city of a mere 200,000 souls in Brazil's southwest, the team rose from the obscurity of the fourth division to reach Brazil's highest tier in 2014. Just two years later, Chape qualified for second-most prestigious club tournament in South America and made a heroic run, defeating several larger, better-known teams to advance to the championship round against Atletico Nacional of Colombia. They were en route to the first match of that final when they crashed.
For its fans, Chape was more than just a group of sporting heroes.
Composed of the city's sons, brothers, and friends, it was a team of ambassadors bearing the name and the heart of the town into the world. And on that awful night, that heart was crushed. Chape was awarded the Copa Sudamerica when Atletico refused to accept it, but there was barely anything left of the club. Only three players had survived the crash, plus the handful who hadn't made the trip, and almost none of the front office. How do you rebuild from the ashes when ashes are just about all that you have?
“Nossa Chape” is the story of that process: the tragedy itself, the painful aftermath, the communal effort to keep the team alive, the harrowing path back to normalcy on the part of the survivors, and the aching cavity in the hearts of the wives, mothers, friends, and fans left behind.
Directed by Jeff and Michael Zimbalist and Julian Duque, all of whom have impressive sports movies on their resumes, it is an intimate, deeply moving portrait of people trying to move forward after being knocked unimaginably backward.
Along with footage of the disaster – the joking around before the flight, the recovery efforts by first responders, the shock wave as the news spread throughout Chapeco, the heart-wrenching memorial services – the filmmakers bring us close into the rebuilding and recovery efforts.
We meet devastated widows and grieving parents, and we become especially familiar with the three players who survived the crash: Jackson Follmann, Alan Ruschel, and Neto, the latter two of whom actually strive to play again after their miraculous escapes. Time and again, you are brought to tears; even in this era of great documentaries, this is one of the most heartbreaking ones you'll ever see.
The bulk of the film focuses on the team's return to the pitch mere months after the disaster: a new coach, staff, and squad trying to carry on as a competitive enterprise even as they're all still reeling.
The surviving players don't know how they fit in; the front office doesn't know what to prioritize or how to implement it; and the fans, amazingly, wait barely four or five matches before voicing their displeasure with the results (the results!) achieved by what was essentially a pick-up team playing under an inconceivable cloud of pressure, scrutiny, uncertainty, and grief.
In a sense, this is the most universal aspect of the film. Just as we can all relate to the emotional bond between team and town, we can all recognize a fan base that hungers, even angrily, to see its collective ambition mirrored on the playing field. And while we might expect the former to be strengthened by a disaster, it's amazing to see that the latter persists as well. The next time you hear someone bellyache about your favorite team's tactics or substitution patterns or “caring,” remember that there are people who can get upset that their team isn't winning matches three months after it was wiped out in a plane wreck. If nothing else, “Nossa Chape” shows us that focusing on wins and losses, even in this context, is an inherent aspect of the human impulse to see oneself reflected in a team.
That, ultimately, is what the film is about: the emotional connection that makes soccer so vital to so many people who earn a living at it or make a business of it or devote themselves to it as fans. The culture around a team has far more to do with shared humanity than with scores and trophies. That bond is the essence of community, and this film captures it with great, vivid immediacy and at a heightened level that the rest of us, tap wood, will never experience in real life.
With St. Pauli in town, there’s been a lot of referencing of our cultural similarities. However, there’s a lot we do that doesn’t get a lot of air time and now is a really good time to tell some of those stories. Not just with this meeting of our two like-minded clubs and supporters groups; this coming weekend marks a year since the deadly MAX attack that shook our community and brought an aspect of our story into global discussions about hate. For this, we’re going to share a few stories of hope from the last year.
On the Friday before the last week of school heading into the summer break, school kids get the -itis and middle schoolers are no exception. As they leave school for the weekend, they dread having to return for another week as focus is at a major low. We’ve all been there. For two girls walking to the bus from school last year, the experience was shockingly different. Walking from Hosford Middle School to catch the 4 on Division, a pickup crept next to them on the street and delivered a barrage of hate-filled vitriol that took many in the community aback, particularly since the attack on the MAX had just happened. I can’t speak to the reaction of the girls and can only imagine what that must have been like. I can, however, speak to the reaction of the community.
As members of the coalition Portland United Against Hate (PUAH), we caught wind of this incident shortly after the it happened and, given one of our strengths is quick volunteer recruitment, patiently awaited the right time and circumstances to react, with special attention given to the sensitivity around schools. (I’ll elaborate more on PUAH below.)
The principal looked to the district for help, who looked to Safe Routes to Schools for help, who looked to Oregon Walks for help, who, given our strong relationship with these groups that we’ve strengthened over the years, looked to us for help. Having the go-ahead but still wanting to keep everything on the down-low, we organized shifts during their morning and afternoon commutes and invited 107ist members that lived close to that area.
The first morning shift, no one knew what to expect. We had enough people to cover the main choke points and had teams staggered strategically through the area as school staff looped over the main walking routes to the school. As we walked out to our spots, anti-hate stickers and posters that had been put up over the weekend lined our path and we settled in for the kids to start trickling through.
Many of the parents decided to accompany their students to and from school that first day. As you can imagine, the middle school kids were not down with parental escorts and kept a solid distance ahead of them. As one bus pulled up, a kid jumped off in a bound that immediately put her twelve feet ahead of her mom as she negotiated the stairs off the bus. Most of the parents made sure to stop and thank us for our presence, or at minimum, give us a nod of approval. One parent stopped to talk as she was waiting to meet her son and walk him home; it took her a while to realize he ditched her and walked around the long way.
While we were fully prepared to represent the strength of our convictions against intolerance, what happened is what usually happens when we get together. We Spread the Love all over the place.
As members of the immediate community heard about what happened, they started to swing by and join us too. By the second day we amassed an even stronger presence, and we were assigning the local dog walkers to wander where some gaps were on the back side of the school. By the third day, we had members of the business community joining us as well.
We came together to show our disgust, as a community. We came together to show our strength, as a community. We came together to Spread the Love, as a community. We came together to attempt to heal, as a community. We came to together to move Onward, as the Rose City.
This is a process we’re familiar with as an organization. This process was affirmed when reps from the Timbers Army and Rose City Riveters attended a PUAH-hosted presentation from a national leader in the battle against hate groups: Scot Nakagawa, senior partner at ChangeLab, who played an active role in the battle against hate in Portland in the 90s, specifically in the punk rock and alternative* music scenes. His presentation and subsequent discussions covered the history of hate groups in our region and their current presence as well as best practices for curbing the influence of those groups.
A lot has been said in the last year about the history of hate in this region. It doesn’t seem to jibe with the image some have of us as a community. As a Portland native from a family of mixed heritage, I’m here to tell you it’s never been that place. I came of age here in the in the 90s and can say this place has always had an edge. I’m not going to sweep that history or the longer-term history under the rug, or lie to myself that it disappeared before raising its head in recent years. I will say that it went underground, not because of some hippy-dippy BS, but because it was actively pushed there. It’s said now that residents, the city, and businesses collectively came together to win the battle against local hate groups, but that’s not what I, or my peers, saw. Portland was a murder capital back then. Grown from the dark history of our region which more of you have become aware of this past year, gangs from SoCal took advantage of the pockets of hopelessness in our urban fabric and brought with them a wave of violence that saw many deaths from both gangs and the police. This had a hugely negative impact on the local hip-hop scene as most clubs either stopped having live shows or flat out had to close after some fool started shooting his gun outside, resulting in the scene being driven more underground while it thrived in other parts of the country. On the other side of that, we used to tell people who came here in all seriousness, “Don’t fuck with the Portland Police, they’ll shoot you”. No joke.
During the 90’s a wave of Neo-Nazi recruitment swept the country targeting the disaffected youth in the punk and alternative* rock scenes. They’d prey on their angst and offer to fill them with strength by making them out to be better than others instead of allowing them to celebrate who they are as individuals, collectively. The human brain is designed to focus more easily on fear and is susceptible to the use of hate to combat that fear as a very primitive level. Healthy communities, however, are based on trust, connectivity, and acceptance. Hate is a threat to community as it actively weakens it conceptually, physically, and spiritually. Hate is a threat to the soul of a community and must be addressed head-on.
Portland, of course, was not immune to this assault, as organizers of hate groups tried to capitalize on our sordid history and the confusion of the time. It’s the fight back that grew out of the punk scene that was different than other aspects of the city’s fight against hate groups. There was a zero-tolerance ethos against hate that was more aggressive in defense of our culture. As Abe mentioned in his recent post, How I Fell in Love with St. Pauli, this is an ethos we shared with St. Pauli supporters that directly informed the creation of the Timbers Army, that led us to form the 107ist in defense of our culture with the move to MLS, and was a key cultural element in the creation of the Rose City Riveters. Now, we can’t pretend that we’re God’s gift to addressing intolerance or that we’ve fought the toughest battles, but we are building on a worldwide movement within supporters culture and like-minded groups. Not only do we bring it to the terraces and lift it into the rafters, we take our strength and our love out into the community not just with words and dollars, but with our sweat equity. That’s what we bring to Portland United Against Hate and we are valued at the table for it.
So, some background on PUAH. The coalition was formed in the wake of the heightened frequency of hate crimes that followed the 2016 elections, when a core group of organizations within the city collaborated on a joint statement addressing shared concerns, thoughts, and feelings. Having built working relationships with many of the organizations, recognizing some of the limitations of the orgs and the overall strength of the joint statement as it applies to our ethos, the 107ist was an early adopter in the second wave once the statement started to circulate. As we brought our strength of convictions to the table, we had some of the core orgs that we’d worked with corroborate our convictions as the real deal and not just a bunch of schmucks that dance around at soccer matches.
Starting with bi-monthly meetings and frequent work sessions, the goal was to figure out how to proceed collectively. Structured under the umbrella of the city’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement, PUAH received $40,000 for a pilot project to better address hate crime and create incident reporting procedures. We presented this pilot project to the Portland City Council in their May 3, 2018 PM Thursday Session earlier this month, and you can catch that presentation here if you’d like (be warned, it gets emotional at a few points).
One thing to come out of this process was that PUAH approached the city with a multifaceted plan. As a result, PUAH received funding for a full-time coordinator and were rewarded 13 grants funding the design and implementation of a data collection tool to track hate, the creation of a toolkit of resources, structural capacity for specific organizations to respond to hate in their communities, and a wide range of strategic trainings designed to increase our capacity to address hate as a community. For our part, as the 107ist, we’re planning to host some of our own trainings on such topics as bystander intervention now that the trainings have grown through the influence of affected communities.
Okay, I want to finish with one last story. Last summer, less than a month after the MAX attack, the organizers of the Good in the Hood Parade received a piece of hate mail that was one of the ugliest things I’ve ever read. I won’t repeat it here, but I’ll say there’s no way anyone is a part of any “master race” with grammar that poor. As they operate under the umbrella of a PUAH member organization, we heard about it right away and were asked for help. We reached out to them to build a relationship and see where we could assist. With our experience helping with other events, we figured we could do some of the same things to take some of the load off their volunteers. (It’d be hard pressed to be worse than the last Sunday Parkways we did trying to coordinate the insane amount of traffic on the newly opened Tillikum Crossing. Sorry if this triggered you, Nick!)
We were welcomed with open arms and our offer of help was graciously accepted. While we thought we would be doing some intersection management again, we weren’t sure exactly what we would be doing. As the volunteers started to amass, we could tell this event was different than some of the others events we’ve helped with. It was like a reunion of people who’d been displaced from their former communities due to gentrification. “Where are you now? Oh, we moved out to [such and such] neighborhood.” It was also evident that the death threat from that ignorant POS had no effect on these groups who had been fighting the good fight long before many of us were even born. They were there to party and nothing was going to dampen that vibe. The prayer lead by a local reverend to the volunteers articulated this feeling masterfully in ways I can’t do justice to in writing this. The only sketchy moment was when a guy in a weighted vest looking all sweaty and distressed came jogging through the area from the CrossFit gym around the corner. Man, that guy got a lot confused looks from people.
Our presence proved effective as we ended up being assigned to address an issue that was more of an afterthought: parking at the staging area. As the parade staged on an adjacent street, a series of dead ends had been created which made drop-offs problematic. We were in charge of directing people to available parking and/or waving them off so they didn’t waste time looking. It was hot in the sun, but the party vibe was real and inspiring, and hanging with the low-rider club that anchored the parade was definitely a highlight. Those guys were cool.
Good in the Hood is working on bringing this year’s event together and we’re looking forward to working with them again next month. Keep an eye out for the signups in the next few weeks if you’d like to join the party.
Lastly, with the anniversary of the MAX attacks this weekend, we’ve been asked to get some volunteers out to TriMet’s memorial this to help circulate information about some of PUAH’s upcoming trainings. Check tomorrow’s 107ist newsletter for the details. We’ve come a long way over the last year, but we have a long way to go and you can be a part of that journey.
While I’m REALLY looking forward to the punk rock show/afterparty tonight at Cider Riot!, I’ve got an outro for you that seems appropriate. One Love.
*The man’s got to label stuff he doesn’t understand to make that $$$.