NOTE: The Timbers Army chants juvenile, R-rated things from time to time. If you are offended by such expressions then I recommend A) you not stand with the Timbers Army and B) read one of my hundreds of other posts. Thanks!
I stood with the Timbers Army Saturday night when the Portland side hosted the Vancouver Whitecaps inside Jeld-Wen Stadium. The match marked my first time in a year seeing Portland’s Major League Soccer team play.
For the record: I don’t consider myself a Timbers fan or an MLS fan, in general. I couldn’t tell you the Timbers record. I do, however, enjoy the rowdy nature of their crowds. The Timbers Army reminds me of a more harmonious, less plastered New Orleans Saints crowd.
I forgot over the past 12 months the Timbers Army could make a sailor in a whorehouse blush with its inventive use of profanities in song.
Here are some of the Timbers Army songs I heard Saturday, plus photos I took while there. The match ended in a 1-all draw. Both teams scored in the second half.
My friend Wastro talked me into arriving at the stadium four hours before kickoff to ensure we would get great seats in Timbers Army and a free T-shirt. We scored seats four rows behind the net and also got to hear kids play bagpipes. Gooooooooooooooooooooooooalllllllll!!!!! (literally)
Timbers fans verbally harassed all Whitecaps fans in the 503 area code Saturday. At one point, around two dozen Whitecaps fans walked along the opposite street toward the stadium, leading to the ultimate staredown. Except the Canadians kept walking as Timbers fans waiting in line flipped them off and called them bums. Why are Canadians so damn agreeable?
OK, here’s a real chant: “Build a bonfire, build a bonfire, put Seattle on top, put Vancouver in the middle, and we’ll burn the fucking lot.” That’ll show ‘em! Pacific Northwest supremacy! And bonfires!!!
In other sports, opposing fans politely cheer a player who limps off the field after a prolonged period down. Not at a Portland Timbers match. “You’re going home in a Portland ambulance,” the Timbers Army sung each time a Whitecaps player went down. I wonder what that bill would be — Portland to Vancouver, British Columbia? That’s enough to make a grown man cry.
So, the world didn’t end Saturday, despite what the caption reads. Had it ended at the precise moment I snapped this photo, the game would have ended in a scoreless draw. God wouldn’t allow it. The Timbers Army chanted, “Let it rain, let it pour, let the Portland Timbers score.” And eventually they did.
Portland scored to take a 1-0 lead and celebratory green smoke drifted onto the pitch. So much so that players on that end became invisible like leprachauns. Also chants of “Please don’t burn our town down when you lose” started up again, as they had earlier in the game. Ironic, since Timbers fans released smoke that impaired sight on our side of the field.
Timber Jim, God bless him, pulled out cards on referees at two points in the match. The first time he pulled out a red after, if memory serves, the ref failed to award the Timbers a penalty kick following a shady tackle by the Whitecaps. Timber Jim also pulled out a yellow card later on … which wouldn’t that be redundant if the referee had already been sent off?
Either way, the crowd’s reaction to the referee’s unfriendly calls was pure Portland. “Oh referee, oh referee, take another bong hit,” they sang. PS: Want to start a real war between Portland and Vancouver? Have a Vancouver resident to tell a Portland resident that their city has better weed than Portland. On second thought, they would both get high and all would be forgiven.
Toward match’s end, Timbers Army let loose its piece de resistance. “We’ll be rollin’ around Vancouver with our willies hanging out,” the army sang. This was followed by the obligatory “we’ve got bigger dicks than you.” Thought I was kidding about Timbers Army being R-rated?