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Beyond the Lens - National Pride

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Where’s the Line?

July 23/17. Caps anthem singer Marie Hui performs one of the anthems before kickoff.
Curva Collective

Playing off one of the pieces from Supporters Week, I thought this would be a good time to delve into a subject that I’ve known about for a while, but was brought to the forefront by a fellow scribe of mine. This individual, and the site whom shall also remain nameless has decided that now, 4 years after the first evidence of this happening, is a good time to hate on the Portland Timbers’ supporters group, the Timbers Army. Considering this was posted within 24hrs of their quasi-T2 team beating the Caps MLS side, it comes off as rather bitter.

If you agree with my fellow scribe, then you may as well stop reading now, because everything else following this may incite rage in you. I don’t care.

As we all know, the expression “eh” is one of things people associate primarily with Canadians. Those who follow MLS and the Portland Timbers also know that their supporters group, the Timbers Army are some of the most passionate and dedicated supporters in North America.

If you believe my fellow scribe, the Army, who has their own scarf flailing routine during their own anthem, has also decided to add “eh” after every line and flail their scarf in unison, following the pattern the use for the Star Spangled Banner, “shows a lack of class” to use that individual’s words.

It should also be noted that they change the last word of theirs from “brave” to “Timbers” and they shout it out rather emphatically, a point the author conveniently omits because it doesn’t fit his narrative. The author is also very dismissive of the fact that a number, that hasn’t been fully tabulated yet, of Americans have bothered to learn the Canadian National anthem. Call me a softie when it comes to the Timbers Army, I don’t care. I’m gonna side with them on this. Don’t get me wrong, I’m gonna take every opportunity to call them “a bunch of hippy lumberjacks” whenever I can. That’s just how a rivalry works.

As I went on about last year, the Vancouver/Portland rivalry is different in the sense, there is no real vitriol between the two supporters groups, unlike say... the supporters of the two New York teams, even though one of them technically plays in New Jersey.

I know I’m coming off as a bad Canadian, but if what the Timbers Army does when they come up here once or twice a year, or in their own park in Portland, is the biggest fish I have to fry, then I think I have to re-think my priorities. I could get into the fact that their quasi-T2 team, that’s only won a single game this year, just beat an MLS side fielding their first team, on their home turf, but for the sake of this, that’s beside the point. If you want to worry about something, worry about that. It bothers me more that some of my fellow supporters have copied the Timbers Army scarf flailing routine. The only problem is that when there’s about 10-15 of them doing it, scattered across multiple sections, it looks dumb and goofy.

Based on what the Canadian and American governments did to those of Japanese heritage living on the West Coast in 1941/1942, one could understand that I may could feel less of a Canadian and promote myself as more Japanese, but I don’t. I’m proud of my country, what we stand for and how tolerant we are of all cultures, including yours, our neighbours to the south.

If any of you thin-skinned individuals, who agree with the author, are still reading this, then maybe you should re-assess your own self worth. Perhaps you are, maybe you aren’t. Maybe you just wanted to see what I had to say.

If you haven’t figured out by now, I don’t have a problem with it, and frankly, think the whole thing reflects well on a corner of the country that didn’t vote for Trump. And then I remind them that while they didn’t, the rest of their country did and they’re stuck with him for another 42 or so months.