Sure, our Colorado Rapids may have given us a huge 'letdown in Stumptown' and there may be 'no pity in the Rose City', but when it comes welcoming traveling supporters from Colorado to their home, the Timbers' Army is full of class.
About sixty Rapids' supporters made the trip to see our boys take on the Portland Timbers in the Rose City. None of us had any idea this match would be a battle for the bottom of the table when we bought our tickets months ago. But despite how meaningless the game was and how awful our Boys played it still was an away trip that was worth it all.
Keep on reading after the jump to see what made this trip great.
To start the day I was staying on the East-side of town, far far from the stadium. After decking myself out in the burgundy and blue I had hours to spare and decided to walk the 40 or so blocks to downtown Portland. Along the street on the east-side, I passed soccer pub after soccer pub, all of them full of folks wearing green scarves gearing up for the match.
Earlier this summer I attended the Portland-Seattle game in Portland and saw first hand the treatment that away supporters at that match got. Imagine Broncos-Raiders, or heck, even Man U and City. It was ugly for the Seattle fans and I had expected the worst as I began walking through crowds of green.
To my surprise I was welcomed with open arms by the Timbers' Army and other Timbers' supporters. I lost track of how many of the fans whom I stopped to talk with on the street invited me into their local pub for a drink and a discussion about which team deserved the 'Wooden Spoon'. Unfortunately, I had to graciously decline as I was meeting friends from the Timbers' Army at The Bitter End Pub.
As I walked into the Bitter End, I was greeted by many members or Class VI, Pid Army and the Bulldogs who had set up near the bar. As Timbers fans walked in the door many of them would stop and thank us for visiting their fine city, ask about how our trip was going and wish us luck (but not too much luck) on the game.
Eventually we made our way over to The Cheerful Bull Pen, another sports bar right next to the soccer stadium. This was more my kind of place, a Buffalo New York Bar with some of the best hot wings I've ever tasted!
I made the point of asking many of the Timbers fans what they thought of our beloved Kosuke. The Timbers' fans still are not quite sure what to think of Kosuke Kimura, but they love his dedication to the fans. As one Army member told me "he understands the supporters culture and we love him for it".
Once our small pack of Rapids supporters arrived at our seats, the cheering began. Sure, we were small but passionate. I even noticed we were getting a lot of smiles from the the home crowd fans near by as we tried unsuccessfully to drown out an Army of thousands. Eventually, stadium security thought they needed to separate our small and friendly group from the rest of the stadium and put up this chain to 'hold us back!'
The game was a blur of bad plays and good beer. Oh yeah, and this awesome save by Matt Pickens!. Sure, our Rapids lost. Yes, now we are at the bottom of the table. But thanks to the Timbers' Army for showing our small group such a great time!
Now here's hoping that tonight we can show the Timbers' Army the same great time with a similar result for the home team!