I think we can all agree that this has not been the easiest of seasons. In fact, when we get right down to it, it’s been pretty ridiculous.
Inexplicable things have happened. Things we’d like to forget. Things we wish had never happened.
Through it all, we keep coming back. Despite our minor disagreements, we still stand united.
And now, with the Cascadia Cup on the line, an Army is gathering.
Eighteen buses at last count. Fifteen hundred tickets in the official allotment.
I’ve spent some time over the last couple weeks listening to the last half dozen or so episodes of Heart and Hand, a Rangers podcast. Bless them. If we could extract the accents, half the time, it would seem they were talking about the Timbers. Poor road form, unexpected and ridiculous losses snatched from the jaws of victory (including one recently that bounced Rangers from the Ramsden Cup) and a host of other similarities, not the least of which is a derby opponent whose fans seem more obsessed with Rangers than with their own club, despite the fact that probably won’t even face each other this year.
Gers are struggling, now in the third division of Scottish football, and as we saw when our Timbers began to struggle in the spring, people are calling for the manager’s head. I’m more than a little stunned by this. Without Ally McCoist, there might be no Rangers. Regardless, it was this quote from the pod that sent me off on this tangent:
One of the frames from them was that there’s no room for sentiment in football. And that, I have to say, is the most stupid thing I think I’ve ever heard. Football is entirely, intrinsically built on sentiment. If it wasn’t, you would change every year and support the most successful club. The reason you stay loyal is sentiment… it’s entirely sentiment.
Sentiment is why we continue. Sentiment is why, on a Sunday afternoon in October, over 1500 Timbers faithful will travel 180 miles into enemy territory knowing that our boys are underdogs.
“It means more,” one of my TA elders tells me, “because we do it together.” Sentiment.
We have survived this season because we’ve done it together. We’ve celebrated, we’ve mourned. We’re within a point of bringing home the Cascadia Cup and salvaging the season. And this we will do together.
For those unable to make the trip, our triumph will be broadcast Sunday on ESPN.
The soundtrack to our weekend, our Cascadia Cup derby weekend, can be found here. Be warned: it is not safe for sensitive ears.