I hate missing matches. But, because some people fail to schedule their parties around the Timbers schedule, this Saturday the Sheckys will be attending a different, but delicious function. So, no rabble rousing from me, and those good folk in the upper 210s will get a break. When I informed Sunshine I will be absent on Saturday, he looked at me with his cold, unflinching stare and said “that is your problem, bub.” I guess it is. It’s funny that a guy who types solely in lowercase speaks primarily in capitals...
But never fear, technology and the Twatterverse will provide me updates underneath the dinner table. I love sneaking off for the occasional update. This will be my second absence of the season. My first was a trip to Florida. Luckily, our host from Michigan had a dish and I was able to watch the match from the Detroit Fox Sports channel. While not John Strong, listening to the Columbus broadcast was entertaining. However, as this disastrous season continues, the opposition’s commentary is losing it’s comedic value.
In the wake of Spencer’s firing, we have had some horrible losses. I know the loses appear may indicate Gavin is more culpable for the team we have and their performances. Still, I stand by my earlier belief that Spencer should have been shown the door. His firing does not automatically make the timbers a better team. It does not insure the Timbers will attain Merritt’s pre-season expectations that Portland will make the play-offs. That assumption would be ridiculous.
The Gavin Wilkinson debate I will leave to someone else better informed than this noob. But a fellow blogger, OctoberThoughtsPdX, did provide a quote worth discussion. Kristen was speaking with an old school Army member, who described the overall sentiment towards Gavin’s presence at the club in an unflattering way. He said “Gavin’s in his twelfth year with the club. He should be a legend, but he isn’t.” I think that speaks volumes.
In the long run, I believe firing Spencer will pay off. But it will not change the course of this season. We may end up with a few more great moments and flashes of brilliance as we saw against Seattle and San Jose, and the Cascadia Cup is still up in the air, but we are not going to go to the play-offs.
Who really cares? I mean, as i am being taught by Sunshine in his abusive, tough-love sort of education, we do not support a team only in the good times, we simply support a team. I am beginning to understand that the bad times make the good times that much sweeter. I know I am in for the long-haul. That doesn’t end in October, but carries on. Hopefully I will be able to share a flask with Shecky Jr. while standing in the upper 210s. I look forward to that day with great anticipation, as I do every moment in between then and now. Which is an important reminder that as frustrated as I may get, as red-in-the-face, angry, and despondent as Sunshine may get, we do it because we love this team. If you are reading this blog, well, aside from Anfield 89, I am sure you love the Timbers as well. So, remember that when the team under Gavin loses again.
Since Sunshine and Magadh have done their due diligence in covering the Aston Villa match I will not beat the dead horse for long (you can beat a dead horse to water…). All I have to add is that that match was a good time. The weather was perfect, the mood was light, the match didn’t mean anything in the long run and perhaps that’s why our boys in green seemed to be having so much fun. I know that is why I did. I enjoyed the dancing and the lighthearted fun on the field ,and I hope to see more of that in the future. Maybe some fun will get the “communication” flowing and bring the team together.
This year the Timbers can’t seem to generate points anywhere and may end up with the first pick in the draft. But my sense of success is not built just on points--it comes from the magic seen when the whole team works together, and luck and curses and hexes and all of that too. And fun. And when the success within the standings comes I will be there in 210 to see it. Unlike my cohorts, who will cringe at the idea of lighthearted fun and football in the same sentence, I plan to enjoy the rest of this season, while looking forward to better seasons in the future. I will probably drink a little bit more during matches, get to know my section mates a little bit better, and not care about the results from here on out. More smiles, more fun, and more friends--for me, that is what the Timbers are about.
But not this Saturday. So, to my friends in the upper 210s, Ed, Arndt, John, and the rest: don’t start too much trouble without me.
PS-This Sunday the Timbers reserves play the Chivas reserves at 2pm. Tickets are cheap and I have proposed to Sunshine a gathering in the lower 210s. Let’s call it a meet and greet for readers, writers, supporters and their kin. Unfortunately, my abuser cannot make it, but Shecky Jr. will be in attendance for his second time ever. I know he is very excited for the opportunity to drool on Merritt. Consider yourselves invite to say hello. And bring your Franz trading cards – I have a couple extra Brent Richards to trade and based on his few appearances I think we will be hearing a lot about him in the years to come.