PORTLAND, OR - MAY 26: Members of the 'Timbers Army' wave flags and cheer before the game between the Portland Timbers and the Vancouver Whitecaps at Jeld-Wen Field on May 26, 2012 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Yesterday we had our venting thread. And it went fairly well! More people commented than I expected, in fact, which just goes to show that there really is a lot of pent up frustration over what's happening, or has happened with the current team and even the Timbers Army. Everybody is unhappy right now, that's pretty obvious, but now that we've gotten most stuff out in the open it's time to return to supporting the team 100%, no matter who is playing on the field, no matter who is coaching the team.
1. Regardless of results we have a pretty amazing front office
It's easy to get a little jaded about what we have here in Portland and think we deserve more. And we may very well actually deserve more. I'm not here to debate for or against rather I'm simply here to state that, despite the poor run of form lately, we're still pretty damn lucky to have a front office like we do. One that cares as much about winning and losing as the fans do.
Look at an owner like Merritt Paulson. How many major league sports teams have that kind of commitment from their owner? How many owners can you send a message to on Twitter and honestly expect a reply? If your answer is anything more than a few then you'd be wrong. Fact is, he's committed a lot of himself into this team and it shows throughout almost everything we've seen from the Timbers MLS club so far in our updated stadium, amazing training/development facilities, and even the small minor touches on the kit. He can't directly influence results on the field, but he's done a lot to ensure we have a lot to be proud of here in Portland. Don't believe me? Take a look at teams like Chivas USA, the New England Revolution, or Colorado Rapids... each of which have owners who take, at best, a passing interest in their MLS clubs.
Fact is, it could be far, far worse than it is. Seasons come and go much quicker than owners do.
2. We're only in the second ever MLS season for the Timbers
Yeah, it would be nice to make the play offs and earn a trophy. It could still happen, but it could also very easily not happen. It's a disappointment, but it's not the end of the world. The expectations for the Timbers are unrealistically high for a sports franchise in its second year in the league. They were right out of the gate last year when some were expecting a play off spot. Did you know that there are original MLS clubs which still have yet to win an MLS Cup trophy? Toronto FC hasn't even ever been in the play offs in their 5 year history and they're probably not going to make it this year either. That is a sign that something is truly wrong at the core of a franchise... the Timbers aren't there yet.
And yes, perhaps fan support should translate into on field success some what, but that's not the way the game works. Having 20,000 fans in a stadium does not entitle a team to 3 points over a team with 10,000. Perhaps it's time we broke away from the "fan support = better team" dichotomy we've been riding since pre-season 2011. It's not doing anybody any good running with it. Good teams are built over more than one or two seasons, just ask Real Salt Lake.
Come the 2014 season and the Timbers are still struggling consistently as they are today we can re-approach this topic.
Oh and I'm not arguing for Spencer to remain until 2014, I'm merely saying that it'll take longer than a season and some change to really start worrying.
3. Regardless of what happened, the Timbers Army is still a great supporters group
Yes, Pong made a mistake. Jack Jewsbury made a mistake as well by confronting him. There was a lot of emotions after a 120 minute game that the Timbers lost. I don't blame Pong for being as frustrated as he was. His execution in venting said frustration wasn't the best idea, but that's life. People tend to do stuff like that...
However, all this Timbers Army disgruntlement and arguing for or against Pong isn't going to do anybody any good, most of all not the core group of fans who are among the most passionate in all of MLS. Should we really be divided over something like this? Absolutely not.
There was one thing that united us all before Saturday's game: our collective love for the Portland Timbers. Don't let one small dramatic moment ruin all that.
After yesterday's venting thread I've decided to cancel what I had planned for the player ratings. Fact is, it's time to move on and I don't think bringing it back up would be best for the team or the fans. Instead, I decided to write this to encourage everybody to move on and look forward to returning to the regular season against the LA Galaxy... because if there's something we absolutely CAN agree on it's our collective hate for all things Los Angeles.
Rose City Til' I Die
P.S. Please keep comments in this thread on this same topic. If you still need to vent, please use yesterday's thread. Thanks!