• 03/01/2011 7:40 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    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.

  • 02/25/2011 3:26 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    —by Andrew Brawley

    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!

  • 02/25/2011 3:23 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    —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?

  • 02/24/2011 3:20 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    —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.

  • 02/24/2011 3:16 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    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!


  • 02/23/2011 9:41 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    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.

  • 02/23/2011 3:09 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    —by Lucas Grzybowski

    In June 2005 we made our first Vancouver away trip (we being myself and my one and only Audrey, to whom I will frequently refer in my musings). We'd traveled to support the Timbers before, in Seattle, but this was the first really amazing trip. If you haven't visited Vancouver BC yet, do yourself a favor and go (on October 2, for example). Beautiful city, always a ton of fun (or is it a "tonne" of fun?).

    That this memory holds such a high place in my mental hierarchy of Big Timbers Moments might come as a surprise, considering the Timbers lost the game.

    Timbers were down 0-2 at halftime, but we were having fun. Swangard may be a glorified rinky dink high school park but it was a great place to see a game. In the second half we got a goal from none other than legendary ankle biter and elbow of doom Tom Poltl. But it was the Timbers' second goal that made this one a classic. Well, the Timbers' second goal and what followed. It's like a chaotic blur that's somehow fixed vividly in my mind.

    Edwin Miranda, who was having a great year in the Timbers midfield (and who led the team in minutes played that year), stepped up about a minute into stoppage time to cannon one in in front of the south side-

    -the traveling Shed streamed out of the bleachers in section K, mental and elated. It was one of the best goals I'd ever seen, a real magic moment. What a way to end the game-

    -and then some Vancouver guy scored immediately after the kickoff, while we were still celebrating, right in front of us, with pretty much the last kick of the game. It was the first time in my life that my jaw physically, cartoonishly dropped in disbelief-

    -at some point I remember some of our guys wrestling with the stadium security on the pitch, and with all the south siders who'd migrated to the north end for the second half milling around, it was as I said, a bit of chaos.

    An emotional roller coaster? More like an emotional yo-yo. Er, maybe an emotional one of those rides they have at the fair, that shoot people into the air attached to bungee cords, like a giant sling shot. An emotional one of those.

    I was sad to see Edwin Miranda leave us the next season for Puerto Rico. In his short time here he was one of my favorite players and could have been a Timbers great. It was certainly strange to see him in a Hollywood Utd kit last season at the PDL western conference final four in Bremerton. Wherever he ends up (currently back at PR it seems), for me he'll always be Extra-Time Eddie.

  • 02/23/2011 3:04 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    —by Dave Hoyt

    I've seen some debates recently on some local blogs discussing how to attract that fickle "American fan". Notwithstanding the illogical nature of the target, I thought I'd add my two cents on their chief elixir: add machines, automate as much as possible and eliminate "human error".

    I think a big thing to try to understand is that it's generally realized that soccer is a very human game. It's a game where a single bad bounce can mean the only goal of the game. Simulation, bad offside calls, and dubious judgments will always be, I hope, part and parcel of the game. It's understood that mistakes, even grievous mistakes (see: Ireland), will be made.

    And most of us prefer it that way.

    Finality is dull. There is something inherently unsatisfactory and limiting about the better team clearly winning. There's no drama in that, no stories worth telling. You watch the Super Bowl and even SI spent most of Monday morning talking about the commercials rather than the game. Fans leave the stadium and go home to watch Leno. But soccer? That's a completely different story. One bad call and you go from champion to goat.  Fans leave the stadium and march directly to the nearest pub to shout about robbery and ingrain that sense of injustice into their psyche. I wear grudges and grievances like the Austrian nobility used to wear fencing scars. Every game contains an infinite number of opportunities to claim fraud, to deepen the narrative and let rivalries fester.

    What could be worse than see a championship decided by three balding bureaucrats huddled in a booth, watching replay film over and over again like the Zapruder film to decide an entire season's worth of passion, dedication and emotion? Even if you win, you don't win with a bang, but a whimper. On the other hand, I've seen my teams win on a goalkeeper leaving the goal line before a penalty kick was taken (thank you, Jerzy Dudek) and lose due to an errant beach ball. No one who ever witnessed those games will ever forget them, win or lose.

    Recognizing that the game is played, run and officiated by humans means accepting the fact that luck, chance, ineptitude and error will always play a part in determining the winner. It gives all the participants, players and fans, the ability to create their own story out of what happened. I love it. And "Americans" will learn to love it too.

  • 02/22/2011 2:53 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    —by Garrett Dittfurth

    One thing I’ve enjoyed about being a soccer supporter in the United States is that it’s very affordable to attend every single match. This article I found at the New York Times on pricing out regular fans to the Champions League Final sort of struck a chord with me. Wembley Stadium is going to be full of people eating prawn sandwiches and discussing their stock portfolios while the match is being played rather than supporting a team. Obviously one of the drawbacks in a sport becoming more popular is that the demand for tickets drives the price up. In some cases it makes absolutely no sense at all. Take Toronto FC as an example. They sell out BMO Field for every match, have a waiting list for tickets, and put a terrible team on the pitch year in and year out. They are price gouging their supporters because they know they can, because what else is a supporter supposed to do but pay what they tell them to? To an extent the same thing is happening in Seattle, where supporters have seen their prices rise despite promises to the contrary. When questioned about it the team hems, haws, and says the supporters weren’t reading the fine print.

    How many of you out there are Ducks fans? Were you able to get a ticket to the National Championship game or the Rose Bowl last year? Who here is a Blazer fan? Through pure luck I have a friend that regularly comes up with corporate courtside seats and nicely asks me to go to games every once in a while. The view down there is great. The last game I went to, I sat so close one of the assistant coaches was handing me the updated stat sheets throughout the game once he was finished looking at them. One thing I’ve noticed about sitting that close is there are very few supportive fans. A lot of the people spend very little real time watching the court. It’s really a travesty that the people up close can’t swap with the people in the 300 level—those who are genuinely interested and involved with what’s happening on the court are the ones who have to sit so far away. Sadly, it’s the nature of sport today to out price true fans. I hope MLS takes a lesson from watching what has happened in other sports and realizes that growing the game here in the United States requires making the highest professional level accessible to the most people.

  • 02/22/2011 2:47 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Our new blog section is now up and running with entertaining and informative postings from your very own fellow Timbers Army members.

    You can view the blog section here: http://timbersarmy.org/blog/

    RSS Feed: http://timbersarmy.org/Blog/RSS

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