These are the letters we yelled for a good part of the soccer game we went to see Saturday night when we watched our Portland Timbers Futbol Club take on Real Salt Lake. Going to big soccer games is always fun for me. I’ve been to a World Cup game, a professional match in Brazil, and sipped tea with a bunch of old men in a small Turkish town while watching Turkey play (I did get a lot of stares). I’ve even sat in the rain to cheer on our women’s college soccer team here in Portland. What makes these games so fun for me is being surrounded by other people who love and get this sport. I could go on and on about how wonderful it is and so I will. It is the most popular sport in the world, you do not have to be really tall or really huge to be good at it and 10 minutes on the clock doesn’t take an hour in real time. I know, I know, soccer will never be as popular as football or basketball in this country. But, I do think whoever named American football clearly was not thinking. It really should be renamed. Anyway, Curt and I left little Lemrick in the hands of a sweet babysitter and got out for our once-a-month date night. And what a perfect night it was.
Having played soccer since the age of 4 or 5 and truly having a love for the game (although this was not always the case), I was ecstatic when Portland decided to have its own MLS (Major League Soccer) team this year. After seeing last night’s game, I think it is clear that all the other soccer fans in P-town are equally as excited. I was kicking myself for not buying season tickets, thinking that there was no way we could attend all the games, but forgetting that they could easily be sold on craigslist. So, I desperately searched for tickets on craigslist and was annoyed to find people scalping their’s for twice and sometimes three times the face value. Thankfully, the Timbers box office was still selling tickets for “obstructed view” seats. I asked the lady what this meant and she replied, “Oh, it could be a pole or a video camera. You know.” No, I don’t know. Since they were only $15 a piece and I was about to pay $50 a ticket to some guy on craigslist, I decided to take the gamble, figuring at least we would be at the game.
Saturday night rolled around and it was a beautiful, clear night. No rain in Portland! The stars were aligning. After walking nearly a half a mile to get to the stadium from where we parked, we converged on it with everyone else and tried to find our obstructed view seats, crossing our fingers that they wouldn’t be horrible. We were so relieved when we got there. They weren’t at altitude, or behind a huge pole (but there were definitely some that were) and we had seat backs. We got lucky.
For ninety intense minutes, we chanted for our team, booed the ref and watched smoke billow from the Timbers Army section. And keeping their unbeaten home streak alive, the Timbers did us proud by winning 1-0 against Real Salt Lake, a team that has not lost or tied a game yet this season.
It’s funny, I was definitely focused on the game, but every now and then my mind would drift to little Laird and think of how much fun he will have at these games too when he’s old enough to sit still. Because, of course, he will love and play soccer. The greatest sport in the world.