Now, anyone who knows me or this blog, knows about my love of Football and the mighty Swansea City. So with my shift in where i am living, i decided one of the first things to do, was go and see the local team, since i always say wherever you are, support your local team, and so last night, I went along for Portland Timbers against DC United to see how US football compares to the English game.
The pre match drinking in the sun, always works better than rain. Well their season is played through the summer months, which after watching years of cold and rainy football around the UK, you can see it probably makes sense, to have good weather for the fans.
So i had heard a lot about the fans, “the Timbers Army” and so was keen to see this. Getting their two hours before kick off I saw a huge que around the stadium, with the timbers army eager to get in. Its kind of different as at home, most people are in the pub until 5 minutes before kick off. The HUGE difference starts here…..
So your allowed to drink anywhere in the stadium, so at the bar, at a concourse, or at your seat. So no wonder, people get in early and get in the swing of things. Its funny as Swansea open the turnstiles an hour before kick off, and you cant drink at your seat. So most people prefer to rush in last minute after you already had a pint or 6 (as per the story from Aston Villa away)
Inside the Stadium, the Timbers Army were going at it. They have a full on set up and literally sing from an hour before kick off, and dont stop, ever. I mean this isnt like take 5 minutes after conceeding a goal, they just keep going. You look closer and they have like 4 guys down front almost conducting them, and starting the chants. Means everyone knows exactly whats to be sung and when. Allegedly they have song sheets here too! It was funny to hear them sing a Swansea anthem, “I Cant help falling in Love with you” which maybe is some kind of gesture that the Swans and the timbers should link up for a friendly next summer. Its funny hearing it sung in a welsh style, and then american, as it sounds a bit different. I didnt hear such classics as “the referees a wanker” or “always shit on the english side of the bridge” as most of the chants were pretty well kept clean and you dont have people who turn up and just swear from start to end. But fairplay, they are an impressive crowd and they know their football. More British teams should come here for a pre season game, since they have such a good following, and i am surprised more players dont come and play here through the summer to either get in shape, or if they have been injured, it could be a decent way of getting game time through Summer, at maybe Championship level.
Next difference, the toilets are a lot better than the stuff we have used in such places like Portsmouth or Fulham. This even had a lifevest underneath the porcelain throne.
When the Timbers score, Timber Joe comes running out from the middle of the crowd, with a chain saw going hell for leather. He then heads down front of the crowd and whilst the game is going on, revs up his chainsaw, and then chops off a piece of wood.
They even have spanish style smoke/flares going on…. Amazing stuff.
I got lucky and got a seat in a box on the side of the army, but on entering, I was looking for my suite, and was looking on the ticket. I then saw a picture of Pele on the wall, and so assumed that was ours. So i headed in, met a couple of guys who work for Budwesier. So it was free beers and food. Then a couple more people rolled in from Budweiser. A bit later a guy comes in with a scarf for us all, and i’m talking to his wife, and then (this is an hour after free beers) she asks where I got my ticket, so obviously I said from Nike, and then she was like “so, you dont work at a bar, or a brewery? You do know this is the box for Budweiser? You must be in the wrong place” Yes, sure enough, I had been in the wrong suite, but luckily hot footed it round to where I was supposed to be. Thanks anyways for the hospitality.
Anyways I thought I should upload a video of how good the crowd are….. Starts with a bit of national anthem, before the rest of it kicks off. Good work Timbers Army!
The game was good, but Timbers should have won! The ref was a nightmare and made a strange Penalty decision, but none the less, well done Portland, you can be my second team for now!