After every season of Cascadia Away trips, I look back on them and assess everything, ranging from how the team fared and how I enjoyed my experience.
This year was no different, except for the first away trip to Seattle which I missed for health reasons. In the past couple of seasons, I’ve really enjoyed Cascadia away matches for many reasons. But for whatever reason, things changed this season. I can’t fully explain why or how, but I do have my theories. However, this isn’t the right arena to use to air those.
From my friends in Curva, I was told that the support was not very good, even though the team won. I would suggest that it probably wasn’t much better, or perhaps even worse, than the trip in March. It should be noted that we (Curva Collective) congregated at the top of the section, just for a change of pace for last night’s match.
My in-game experience in Portland was probably the worst one I’ve had since I started travelling in 2013. The team didn’t play well and I thought the support was poor, even though we (Curva) kept trucking along as best we could.
To expand on my enjoyment of these away trips boils down to friendships I’ve made, either in-person or via Facebook. I have a lot fewer friends in Seattle than I do Portland. Unfortunately, I did not get to see any of them this trip, part because of game scheduling (1pm) and security protocols for Cascadian away travel (early ingress to and delayed egress from stadium) to them being out of town. It wouldn’t have changed the result of the game. The Caps deserved to lose, plain and simple. The only really interesting thing is that both anthem singers were Canadian. The lovely, and talented, Marie Hui travelled down and Michael Sicoly (Sault St Marie product) sung the anthems.
As for Portland, I have many many friends down there who are always more than happy to see me, despite my choice of teams to support. Because of this, I go down early and generally stay an extra night. Is it wrong of me to like Portland’s supporters better than my own team’s? Probably, but there’s just a lot of things that they are that we aren’t. Frankly, I’m gonna do what I find to be meaningful.
What does all this mean for the future? More trips to Portland and Seattle for me, but I think it’ll be done on my terms. Maybe even to see a game not involving the Caps. I did it last August (Portland, and the Timbers Army, travelled to CenturyLink).
How you define a good time depends on how much of the trip you want to remember and your own personal gauge on what defines good.