This is the second post from guest blogger Bradley Stonecypher
I have read quite about about the debate of turf versus grass. There are some purists out there that are disappointed about the decision of turf for PGE Park. After watching Arsenal playing at Leyton Orient a couple of weeks ago, then watching the RSL vs. Columbus match the other night, I must say I am leaning more towards turf than grass. I think I would rather see a game on turf than on dust and dirt. I know Oregon is famous for its grass...ok, get your mind out of the gutter...I mean green grass. But I also know that the maintenance cost of grass is rather expensive, and that expense would come out of my pocket with increased prices at the gate and probably at the concession stand as well. I am blessed to be able to afford my seats, but I also understand that the Timbers want to make this affordable for folks and I think turf allows a little bit more affordability.
Watching Arsenal destroy Leyton Orient at Emirates Stadium today, I wondered about what the cost of maintaining that pitch is. I am sure it is in the millions a year. That pitch is immaculate. I would rather have that money to spend on players.
When you look at PGE Park, it gets very limited sunshine, not to mention I think there would be serious drainage issues as well. It makes business sense to be with turf. I would like to get your opinion on the matter, pro or con, but let's keep it civil. If you are for one or the other, please tell us why.
Important information for all this weekend.
Dear Summit Attendee,
The moment is upon us. We are less than 48 hours away from the Cascadia Summit this weekend. These are exciting times and we hope you are looking forward to it as much as we are.
We will also be sending you a detailed itinerary for the weekend depending on the transportation method you chose when purchasing tickets.
We wanted to take a minute to impress upon you the importance of behavior this weekend and the consequences to all of us if things do not go as planned.
You are representing all Timbers fans this weekend. The Timbers Army is famous for traveling in numbers, traveling well and having a blast doing it. These games, especially Friday night against Seattle, should be no different.
We are asking you to rise above and hold you, your friends and everyone around you to a higher standard. We are louder, prouder and bigger than we have ever been, and we are the standard by which all other supporters groups will now be measured. Simply put we are the best.
With that title comes responsibility.
We are asking that you be responsible. To rise above any nonsense that rival fans may attempt to engage you in. The country will be watching so let's show them what all the fuss is about by doing what we do best: singing loud and proud for a full 90 minutes.
We have met with security for Starfire and Qwest and they have informed us that the same standards and consequences that apply at Qwest will apply at the Starfire complex. That means no smoke bombs, flares or pyrotechnics of any kind, with the possibility of arrest for violations. It also means no entering a rival supporters section for any reason, and obviously also means no projectiles thrown onto the pitch. Violation of this will have consequences not just for attending away matches but home as well.
The good news is that we will have our own entrance, section, beer garden and restrooms.
We have all worked hard to get to this moment.MLS in Portland.MLS Timbers vs MLS Sounders and MLS Whitecaps. Let's celebrate that this weekend the best way we know how: with class.
Your 107ist Board Members
—by Andrew Brawley
I'll admit it. I'm a Timbers travel virgin, and I'm a little anxious about my first away trip to the Cascadia Summit this weekend. (I'm on the bus-and-back for the SEA game on Friday only.) From reading the boards here and there, seems like we'll have quite a few newbs making their own first trip this weekend. Not surprising, seeing as we're now in the bigs, and more people wanna join in on the fun.
So what's a travel virgin to do? Based on everything I've read, it sounds like these tips are tops:
1. Use your brain. Don't be an idiot.
2. Ease up on the booze.
3. Travel in packs. Safety in numbers.
4. Go casual. Either hide your scarf/kit upon entry, or leave them at home.
Doesn't sound all that difficult. And let's not forget that we're making our MLS debut this weekend. The games will be streaming online, and many outsiders will be watching to get their first real-time glimpse of the Timbers Army. Let's make a good showing and keep the detractors at bay.
A few pics from the Trail Blazers game on Sunday night, courtesy of Sarah Alley. We had a good group of TA spanning all three levels of the Rose Garden.
We made some noise and had some fun, but unfortunately it wasn't enough. The Blazers looked lethargic most of the night, even with the excitement of new guy Gerald Wallace making his debut (who looks as good as advertised). There was a late comeback attempt, but it fell short.
Thanks again to Sarah for the pics (you can see the rest of her game pics here), including this great action shot of LaMarcus Aldridge dunking in the first half.
After the game we went down to the court and everyone got to shoot one free throw each. It was fun in a kind of pathetic way (I'd say we were something like 10% from the line).
If you've got pics from the game, why not add them to the Timbers Army Flickr group? It's a fun way to share pics, and they'll show up on the front page of TimbersArmy.org (ooh la la fancy!)
Even though Timber Joey slices a disk off of the end of a log every time the Timbers score, we all love trees! A large group of Timbers Army members gather at least once a year to work for Friends of Trees in Portland neighborhoods. Check out the write-up about our recent efforts with Friends of Trees.
If you're like most Timbers fans I know, you're also likely a Trail Blazers fan. As the debut MLS campaign approaches, the TA will be strategically grouped throughout the Rose Garden this Sunday night to cheer on the other pro sports team in town while making a good impression on the Blazers' faithful.
The game will be nationally televised on ESPN, tipping off at 7:30 pm. If you're going to the game, make sure to wear your TA gear (which goes great with Blazers gear) and represent the TA in a positive manner. For those who bought tickets through the TA special promotion, don't forget to meet up after the game to shoot free throws on the court. (Check your inboxes for a 2/23 email with those details.)
BONUS: if all goes according to plan, Sunday night's game will also be the debut of recently-acquired Gerald Wallace. Looks to be a barn burner. See ya' there!
—by Dave Hoyt
Another open topic to get some discussion going. This time, let's talk about what will constitute a successful season for you. What's the benchmark in your mind for where we could, or should, be at the end of the year?
I haven't been able to pull all of my different hopes together into one coherent idea (not even whether or not playoffs are ultimately realistic), so here are some of the things that I think will mark a great starting point to build off of.
- Win more than half of our home games this season, earning a rep in year one as a tough place to play
- Understand the strengths and weaknesses of all our players. There are a surprising number of players in this league going on their 3rd or 4th seasons who are still unknown quantities. I hope by the end of the season we can identify what our players can give us and have a core group of guys we know we can build around long term.
- Develop a team personality. So many teams in MLS are simply anonymous. Kansas City's playing style over the course of the franchise's existence could be adequately summed up as "11 guys on a pitch". However Spencer wants to take the team, quick, free-flowing passers or rough, physical brutes, let's build an identity for the team so it stands out among the dross.
- Play positive football with a focus on creating chances for us versus bunker defenses and negative tactics.
So what are you looking for this season? What do you expect and what do you hope?
—by Garrett Dittfurth
I totally believe the reason you joined your team yesterday was because of their level of fitness compared to yours when they started training. You can read all about Golden Balls and his triumphant return here. I can't wait for him to resume his career as a professional underwear model.
This guest blog is the first in a series from Bradley Stonecypher who will be writing about the Timbers Army view from the slightly more expensive seats.
Allow me to introduce myself. I went to my first Timbers game back in the 70s. I was a lad, so I don't remember the date nor the game or even who won the game. To be honest, all I do remember is some really cool guy, that climbed a telephone pole and sawed off the top of it. What an impression that left on me as a young person.
I played exactly one year of soccer as an eleven-year-old. Our season was in the winter so it consisted of me primarily playing central back (we called it defender back then) with one mission in mind, if the ball came to me, I was suppose to kick it as far away from the goal as I could. I spent most of my time slogging through the mud at Knott Middle School in East Portland and doing anything I could to keep dry and warm.
I had decided right then and there that soccer was not my sport. Too much running, too much mud and we never won a game. Of course, being nearly 6 foot tall that year, I was directed towards a much warmer sport where the field was less then 100 feet long - basketball.
In high school, I was our team's number one fan, or at least I was in my opinion. I would bring a bright orange plastic horn to each game and blow my lungs out after we scored. I don't remember us scoring much, so I would also blow for the sake of blowing it. I initially attempted to bring it to volleyball games, but my horn was ejected from the gym, so soccer it was.
I drifted away, away, away from soccer until a chance encounter at the Singapore airport in 2008 which was about as surreal situation I could have imagined. I was going from Portland to Kuala Lumpur and had an overnight stay at Singapore's airport. I wandered around for a while when I noticed a rather eclectic group of people surrounding a giant Panasonic screen. I mean a screen that was probably 40 feet by 40 feet. Playing on that screen was a EPL game - Arsenal vs. ManU I believe. Hence, I am an Arsenal fan!
There must have been 40 nationalities there speaking different languages, but when a goal was scored we all spoke the same language. I spent the entire time standing, watching this spectacle in the waiting area of an airport. I made up my mind there to "get more into soccer".
Of course, life got in the way as it usually does, and I promptly forgot about it until a 4- pack of Timbers tickets came up for bid at my son's school auction. I won the tickets and took my neighbor along with our sons to my first Timbers game in years and years.
I knew immediately this was something I wanted to be in on. That was right about the time they made the announcement about joining the MLS. I immediately purchased season tickets, parking my big white arse in section 119, top row. I thought they were the greatest seats in the house. Not only could I enjoy the beautiful game, I could watch the TA barely moving my head to the left. I could also watch the shenanigans that sometimes erupts in the beer garden.
Unfortunately, due to my employment situation, I could only attend about half the games. I also took my seven year old son to the games and he would wear me out by half time. However, my employment has now changed, I work from home and plan on attending every single game this year.
I moved my big white arse over to the club section for one reason only - W I D E R seats. Oh I suppose maybe the Voodoo donuts might have had something to do with it.
This blog will be primarily my thoughts from the club section. Some might say I don't belong in the TA, but to that, I say, do you really want to be in section 107 behind a guy that is 6'8" who stands all night? Or next to him where your nose will come to his armpit? I didn't think so. However, my seats are right on the edge of the club so I will hear the TA loud and clear. I might even join in a few chants, stomps and chest thumps.
I am looking forward to a great year and great things from the Timbers and their Army!
What’s ‘YSA,’ you ask? If you don’t already know, then congrats to you. You are part of the solution, and the rest of this article doesn’t really apply to you (but feel free to read on anyway).
If you do know what YSA is, you’re not necessarily part of the problem. However, the longer we allow this moronic element of opponent taunting to continue, the more we do become part of the problem.
Since the point of this written piece is to kill YSA, I won’t publish its meaning here. That would go against my purpose. For those of you who do know what YSA is: can we just agree to knock it off? Pull it from the repertoire? Permanently? (Forever-ever? Forever-EVER!)
The Timbers Army is poised to become the crown jewel among US supporters. We’re organized. We’re legit. We’re envied. We’re original. We’ve got a lot of nice cards in our deck, and we’ve got the knowledge and creativity to play them wisely. If we stoop down to the level of taunting that YSA falls into, then we’re no better than the hooligans that the critics are drooling to paint us as. (If you don’t think certain members of the local and regional press are clamoring to publish the first MLS-era hit piece on the TA, you better think again.)
By now, most of us have read the GQ UK story on the Sons of Ben. Since I didn’t accompany the writer during his ‘research,’ I can’t testify to anything in that story. But we all know it didn’t exactly paint Union fans (or even American soccer fans) in a positive light. In order to stay above the fray and maintain our envied position as the best supporters group in the US, we need to be smart in all our actions from this day forward.
YSA is not smart.
YSA is dumb.
Death to YSA.