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!