Ladies and gentlemen, and all folks in between, your Portland Thorns supporters group has a new official name: The Rose City Riveters.
The group locked down the name on April 3, after what sounds like an arduous voting process, and announced the new name April 7. Before then, the group had been running under the name Thorns Alliance, which was never intended to be permanent.
"We knew when we first came together under the Thorns Alliance banner that we wouldn't be able to keep that name without running the risk of trademark issues popping up in the future," RCR spokesperson Kristen Gehrke explained in an email to Stumptown Footy this week.
As observers of the voting and its subsequent airing on social media probably noticed, the process at times took on the air of a papal conclave --intensely watched, intensely argued, and with a lot of metaphorical black smoke.
"We narrowed the field of candidates from --and this is a wild guess-- 3.7 bazillion possibilities," Gehrke said. The group finally whittled the prospects down to three finalists: Rose Brigade, Rose City Alliance and Rose City Riveters, and the final vote was a tight one. "We were looking for something that would embody all the things we see in our players: strength, perseverance, dedication, community, loyalty. As it happens, and, as many of the organizers come from a background with the Timbers Army, these are attributes we expect to see from the supporters as well."
"Riveter," of course, is a reference to Rosie the Riveter, the archetypal character who represented the female laborers who populated shipyards, built airplanes and bombs, and kept the industrial machinery of the country going during World War II. The RCR has a nicely written, detailed explanation of the connection between Rosie the Riveter and the RCR moniker on their website.
This Saturday, the Riveters will host a Make-A-Wish tifo painting/Thorns FC match-watching get together, starting at 10 a.m. interested parties should join the event on the RCR Facebook page.
The group's budget is slim, with primary funding coming from a smidge of seed money from the 107ist (folks wanting to donate to the RCR may do so via an earmarked donation to the 107ist). Right now, the RCR is unofficially promoting other events via re-Tweets and Facebook posts; overall the group, like the entire women's league itself, is wisely sticking to "baby steps," Gehrke said.
More details are coming, as the Riveters continue to evolve and expand. But now we have a name, and we can get down to real business. As Gehrke put it: "When it comes right down to it, it matters little what we call ourselves. What matters is that we support our club, our Thorns, with everything we've got."