Monday, June 25, 2012

Fun? In Portland

With my high school reunion in the Portland area on Saturday, it just made sense to get supporter tickets to the Sounders/Timbers soccer match at 2:00 on Sunday. 

Portland and Seattle have a huge rivalry in soccer, going back many years.  For this reason, there is some paranoia over security.  We are told that we have to be at the gate two hours ahead of the match to go in as a group through our secluded gate, into the far corner of the stadium, where wooden bleachers still exist, and there's nary a cup holder in sight to secure your open container and lidless Coke bottle, because... we are being protected from the Timber Army.  The Portland supporter group is known to be rabid and rowdy.

Tom and I headed into town early, parked at a shopping center and took the light rail into the stadium.  There we walked the gauntlet of Timber fans, who booed and chanted "f" bombs at us, along with that so friendly one finger salute.  Actually that part was the most fun I had all day. I smiled and waved as I went by.

 We found our "safe" gate and milled around for a while, awaiting being let in, and the arrival of the buses carrying the rest of the 800 traveling Sounders fans.  When they arrived the singing and chanting for the blue and green took off in earnest, and never stopped.

Our view wasn't bad before everyone arrived.
 This is the Cascadia Cup, awarded to the winner in the Portland, Seattle, Vancouver B.C. derby.  As of now, we have the cup, and the bragging rights.
 Son Jake and daughter Jill are in their places.  A mother watches, you know.
 The Timbers Army is now ensconced, and the competitive singing and chanting is in full voice.
The PA system produced a loud and unintelligible squawk where we were sitting, so I have no idea what is being said.  There were a few pre-game ceremonies, and a Boy Scout carried the flag to salute.  I never heard the introduction of the players.
 The Timber Army unveiled a huge tifo display, very impressive in size and engineering, but I have no idea what they were trying to say with it.  Maybe someone will read this and explain it to me.
 This was pretty much my view during much of the match, including the final 15 minutes, when all kinds of stuff erupted on the field, but the people in my area saw none of it.  Oh, and did I mention that the only video screen in the stadium was hidden to us?
Singing and chanting continued throughout the match, as it always does in the Emerald City Supporter section.  That's fine.  I know most of the chants.  And sometimes we could actually see the play on the field.

 Unfortunately we saw this several times, the Timber Army celebrating their two goals.
The final score was Seattle1 - Portland 2.  And we were all exhausted, and needing to pee as we were held for another too long time as the stadium cleared out, for our safety, you know.

We got more jeers and finger greetings as we left to go to the train, but there were friendly Portlanders too.  

It was an interesting experience, one that would have been a lot more fun if our team had played better.  

Now I have done it.  I have attended a soccer match in enemy territory.  Now I'll wait for them to come to our house, where I can see and hear and let them jeer, while walking through my city and riding my train.  


  1. Lol. amusing post!

  2. If you ever do it again, sit lower in your section then the flags will be above you.
    I was surprised at what a crappy stadium it was- in its "remodel" you think they would put in some decent seating.
    Their stadium security was clueless as well. And why oh why do they let Timber Joey come taunt our section?! That really ticked me off. Well, many things left me disgruntled...


  3. This was such a fun post, Linda. Good for you for seeing what the other side feels like.

  4. Sorry, none of that sounds like fun to me. I'd rather be knitting.

  5. you sure had a great view of waving flags!

    reminds me of the few times I've seen the Yankees play the Red Sox in Boston

  6. Seems like you were very brave to be there Linda. Shame your team lost, or was it a saving grace? - Dave

  7. I saw your post on Facebook before I read this, so I knew what was coming. Those seats were really bad! :-)

  8. That sounds very scary. My step-daughter and her husband go to the Sounders and say that it sure isn't like going to a football game.

    Glad you made it out alive, even if you had to go potty!

    Kathy M.

  9. You are a strong woman! Not sure if I could have stood the disparaging remarks and gestures. Good for you!


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