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Beyond the Lens - Final Thoughts from the Rose City

Pretty and prickly

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Portland Timbers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

I thought with my final few hours and the plans that were in the works crumbled, I decided to unleash my final thoughts, not only on the game, but on the entire weekend. Match first.

Well, it became apparent that I was in the minority as it relates to the match, and I shared my thoughts with those at Civic Taphouse, who thanked me for the Cup and my response was, “Better you than Seattle” and then I shared my thoughts with them.

To the actual match, I hated the starting 11 Robbo put out. If Montero was that injured, why even play him? Yes, 1st place was on the line, but they were in the playoffs regardless. I thought Techera should’ve started over Bolanos as Bola had been less than inspiring in the matches he’s played since returning.

I didn’t have a chance to look at the formation, as Curva was hanging with the Casuals at the back of the section, picking up a few new chants along the way. It was nice to have the Casuals and members of the Pigeon Loft help carry the vocal load at the match. It’s an encouraging sign for the immediate future of building vocal support at BC Place. Back to the match, to me, Shea needs to have help up front and if the people around him are off their game, it’s going to be pretty tough sledding for him. I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue to repeat it: Good teams deal with bad officiating, bad teams whine about it and I believe it’s an issue in every sports league around the world.

Understandably, I was upset with the seeming lack of harmony the team had, whether it was the changes Robbo made, or Portland being that hungry. Whatever the actual reason, I have to give the Timbers credit. They played like they wanted it. As it is tradition or whatever, the players come over to thank the away support and in turn, the supporters applaud and sing. There were some of us that were not happy with the way they played and the result. Those chose to stand and stay silent, I crossed my arms and sat down. I knew, because of how few of us were going down, I would have to bring it hard. I was already hoarse for various reasons, but gave it my best. Being hoarse and all, I had to stop at points to rest. I felt that the performance was not what one would expect on Decision Day and expressed my displeasure in the way I felt appropriate, for me. Everyone is entitled to express themselves in a matter that they feel to be appropriate.

As a travelling supporter, you have to assume some verbal jabs, with some malicious intent will be thrown your way. I can deal with those because I usually have something to chuck back at you. I can deal with being barked and the occasion lewd gesture (one fingered salutes don’t count) but repeated actions in succession do bother me. Praise the Lord that I don’t have to deal with that garbage down here.

Other than that 2 hours, I can not say enough good things about Portland. It stems from having a couple, Timbers Army people, put me up for a number of nights a few years ago. You meet their friends and it just goes from there, to the point where you end up standing in the Timbers Army for a preseason match. When that happens, you meet another group of people, with various family situations, which sometimes presents challenges. When you hangout in known establishments that are known to be home supporters bars, you strike up random conversations and then become a known quantity, of sorts. At times, it becomes a juggling act. A fun one but one nonetheless.

You can dislike me all you want for doing what I do and hanging out with who I do, but to quote a friend of mine, it’s a quality time down here. Before I thought it would be more like a business trip. You go down, go to the game and support them as best you can, and come home. Somewhere in that 3 step process, I met some home supporters and my outlook on Portland away changed to the point where it’s almost more of a reunion of sorts.

As irritated as I still am about the match, it’s hard to leave this city without feeling a little sad.

Well, it’s off to get some tacos before I have to catch my Boltbus home.