The summer of The Clash is going strong here at the Greene house. And much to my great relief, London Calling really gets Shecky Jr. dancing. One day he will make musical choices that I’m sure to disagree with, but until that time: small victories!!
As a noob, I have found solace and some satisfaction this season in the small victories. Even now, after I have resigned myself to a losing season, I still try to find things about the team, the players, and their play, to make me happy. Sometimes the bar needs to be lowered to better suit the capabilities, and sometimes the bar needs to be raised to about mid-torso level and have good scotch put upon it. Losing seasons happen, right?
Enough has been said about all the horrible details of this year. So I will not go into them and let my two surly friends, sunshine and Magadh, do the work. However, the last couple weeks things appeared to turn for the better. The Timbers put in a fair performance against Chivas, and then earned a point against Dallas. It appears Franck Songo’o has begun to come good and live up to some of the pre-season hype. I even like what McAuley has done with the defense, during practice and during the game. I love watching him give them the business from the sidelines.
Anyway, after Dallas I had accepted the inevitable for this season. I thought a low point had been reached and things could not get much worse. Being the eternal optimist, I felt this low point would one day make the high point feel that much higher. Unfortunately, the crazy started. Perkins, Ricketts, Chewy, and Hogg. My poor little noob brain got awfully confused. I wrote a bunch of emotionally charged and scattered thoughts and sent them off to sunshine. “Dude can you pick an idea and stick to it?” was his reply. And then in his loving, but dismissive way, he said “maybe write some sort of noob thank you letter to Perkins.”
“But this story is bigger than Perkins now,” I told him. Silence. But really, Perkins got 2 days on the blog. And before I could write that thank you letter, Chewy was traded. And then Ian Hogg was on awaiting a visa before boarding a plane to come to Portland. This is now a story of confusion and, much to sunshine’s satisfaction, the summer of The Clash has turned into the summer of the clash (see what I did there?).
I am confused because I would think moves like sending our most consistent player off to the place where his nose got ripped off seems purposeless and rude, and acquiring assistant coaches and new players seems like moves the new coach would want to be a part of. Am I missing something here? I mean, the moves made by the Timbers this last week have seriously put the cart before the horse. Don’t you think? And as far as I could see (and what do I know, I am a noob), goalkeeping was never the major issue within the team. Did it really need attention right now? At the very least, it seems to me, trading the most consistent player of the year, with maybe the exception of Diego Chara, in a move that comes as a complete surprise to him and everyone else (and then throwing him under the bus, and then backing the bus up to drive over him again) has got to create an uneasy feeling in the clubhouse. Not the “I better play really hard so coach notices and puts me in the line-up” uneasy, but more of a “Who is in charge here and what are they thinking? And will I be next?” kind of uneasy.
The Perkins trade was announced at about 10am, and at about 10:01 the backlash began. Again, if you are reading this then you don’t need the details because you probably ARE some of those details. I’ll just skip ahead to the clash between the Wizard of Oz front office and the emotionally charged supporters. Obviously aware that a reaction was inevitable, the FO made these moves before a more than 2-week period between home matches. Honestly, that is probably the only wise thing done by the front office regarding these moves. They created a cooling-down period. And while the FO should not be focusing their energies on placating the Timbers Army, they should keep in mind the fact that the TA are the one aspect of this whole equation that cannot be bought or sold. Players, coaches and even owners will come and go, but having the loudest and proudest terraces in MLS is not something you want to mess with.
We supporters are not stupid–even us noobs have some intelligence. We understand the game and how things should work. We are accepting of difficult seasons and bad records. And even in bad seasons, we will continue to be loud and proud. But if you treat us like idiots (or act like them yourselves) we will be pissed off and we will let you know. Unfortunately, the front office has given us supporters an outlet for the frustrations that have built up over the course this difficult summer.
I know sunshine and Magadh do not use this blog to start revolutions, but I hope we supporters use our strongest and most consistent attribute to send a proper message to the front office during the next home match. This last week has awaken a new side of being a noob I did not realize existed—I have been let down by my team’s ownership and its front office which makes me love the team even more. But I have had it with the front office.
“Go home, Gavin! Go home, Gavin! Go home, Gavin! Go home!”