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Teaching Timbers: Timbers Army Q&A

Last week, Dave Hoyt, president of the 107ist (managing group of the Timbers Army) offered himself to anybody who had any questions regarding the Timbers Army, how it functions, what it takes to be a member, etc. It was a great service by him especially since, here at Stumptown Footy, we've got so many new Timbers fans.

Anyway, what I've done is simply grabbed all the Q&A from that post, proof-read it, and turned it into this post for archiving. If you have any other questions I'm sure Dave won't mind answering them in the comments.

Enjoy after the break!

What does the CR on the Timbers Army crest stand for? City of Roses?

CR stood for the Cascade Rangers which was the first moniker of the group going back to pre-Timbers USMNT watch parties that would happen in and around the Bitter End. As the group grew near the end of the 2001 season, they decided to change their name to the Timbers Army since many of our earliest cohorts were Celtic supporters and we didn’t want to appear partisan in the Old Firm derby (Glasgow Celtic vs. Glasgow Rangers). We kept the CR on the scarf to tip our cap to what amounted to the proto-TA.

Does the Timbers Army plan to organize anything pre-game like the ECS march to the stadium?

There have been some sketches of conversations among the Timbers FO to hold little events, possibly at Pioneer Square, before the matches then maybe bring people up to the game via the MAX. Maybe Joey would be there or some of the reserve players with kids and dribbling cones. Nothing is finalized yet but I can tell you that there is a firm intention by the team to extend the game day experience beyond the stadium and we’d love to partner with them where it makes sense for us.

As for the TA ourselves, we tend to congregate at our favorite places before the match. There are enough of us now that no single spot can contain us. I know that we’ve stretched into several local non-bar restaurants such as Mazatlan and Eat Pizza. Incidentally, 107ist just today announced a partnership with Hot Lips Pizza. Showing them your 107ist card gets you your first slice of pizza for $2.50.

So while we don’t want to tie the entirety of the TA experience to bar culture, there’s still a strong tradition between the two that would be difficult to displace. However, if anyone should come up to us with an idea we think would be cool and would work for our members, we’re always eager to listen, willing to pitch it to our guys and try to make it work.

Do you know if there are going to be any single-game tickets available for the Timbers army section(s)?

Yes and no. There will be 500 single-game tickets reserved for each match (save maybe high-visibility games and rivalry games where there may be less) but there are a few caveats attached. I believe season ticket holders will be granted the right to purchase additional single-game tickets before they are made available to the general public. Additionally, tickets will be available to be purchased as normal in advance off of websites like Ticketmaster. So in the strictest terms of your question, the chances of getting a game day ticket at the sales window of the stadium is somewhere between doubtful and inconceivable.

Does the Timbers Army control its own ticket sales?

[Again] Yes and no. We essentially control the conduct of the TA section as a whole, but we do not control ticket sales into the group. First, since we don’t have a membership base there’s no way to determine who is or isn’t TA aside from their personal declaration. Second, it would violate one of our founding ethos that anyone is TA if they choose to be. Once you’re in the section, you’re one of us. But that also means you’ll be standing if you want to see the pitch, you’ll have songs sung around you and probably beer spilled on you. You’ll get two lungs full of smoke and you’ll be expected to hold up your small part of our card displays at the right time. If you can manage all that capably, I’ll buy you a pint and make sure you’re taken care of.

What are some of the chants (or elements of them) that we need to eliminate from the rotation in order to keep the FO happy (and still remain tops in the eyes of US supporter culture)?

There are really 3 at the top of the list

I won’t list them in full since (AFAIK) this is a PG forum, but you don’t need to know the tune to get the gist.

You Suck A-hole (shouted during goal kicks)
The F! Seattle fill during "Hey Portland Timbers" (very alarming because it’s one of our favorite songs)
F-U F-U-C

I think there’s a line that can be drawn between having some dirty words in the service of a song and making a shouted slogan out of obscenities. We get a lot more push back out of the latter than the former.

I’ve heard #’s 1 and 3 in multiple stadiums throughout MLS so they suffer from the multiple sins of not just being antagonistic to the FO but also profoundly uncreative.

Is there a sheet of the chants and songs available?

Here you go. http://www.timbersarmy.org/community/chants/

Any push to have a chant in Spanish?

It's been attempted

We’ve tried off and on to get Cielito Lindo established in our repertoire but an unfamiliar language to most of our members plus failing memory due to copious amounts of alcohols has meant it’s never really stuck. Our hope is that we’ll see strong interest and growth from the Latino community with our "promotion" to MLS, which will provide a stronger base of native tongues to bring a little more flavor to the TA.

How do you pronounce 107ist? one-oh-seven-ist? one hundred sevenist? something else?

One-oh-seven-ist.

Created out of the historic home of the TA (Section 107)

IST stands for Independent Supporters Trust so the full name is 107 Independent Supporters Trust.

Are there any other supporters groups or is it just the TA?


I'm sure there will be some grassroots supporters groups popping up in other parts of the stadium this season, but the nature (and I believe the great attractor) of the TA is that you didn’t need to pay a membership, stand in a certain section or support the team in a certain way in order to feel like you were a part of us. There was a group called the Special Ale Squad, but they only lasted a couple of years IIRC (and were friends of and collaborators with us). A few of our older members attempted to start an "Official" supporters group with the FO but it similarly died on the vine a few years ago. We have always prided ourselves in being flexible enough to support all backgrounds, viewpoints and ideals so I hope that means there hasn’t been a real need to create a new supporters group.

Does the TA organize travel accommodations to away games? If so does one need to be a 107ist member to secure a spot?

Right now

There are really two tiers of away travel. There are the Cascadia matches (Seattle and Vancouver) and then everyone else.

For the Cascadia matches, I am almost completely certain we will sell out our full allocation of tickets within 107ist membership, so it would be nearly impossible for other TA and the general public to get into the supporters sections for those matches. It’s currently envisioned that we would pair those match tickets with bus travel tickets 1:1 so travel would automatically be available for anyone with a supporter ticket.

Taking care of travel for those without tickets would be more problematic. If they travel on our bus, they would be caught up in the security precautions and limited movement we face as a supporters group. Once in the stadium, it might even be difficult to get out of our section and into their purchased seats. This is a new situation for all parties involved, from management to security to police to fans, so we may not be able to extend ourselves to help other people until we can get a firm handle on the situation. Obviously, this is a dynamic process and that answer might change tomorrow.

Now, for away travel to non-Cascadian teams, we will always be open to helping our fans have a fantastic experience. As a 107ist member, you may get first priority for tickets, arranged buses from hotels to stadium, and group rates for your lodging. But all of our information, plans for parties, and everything left over after 107ist presales will be available to the TA. It’s another fluid process since we’re not quite sure yet how many people want to travel to Houston or Kansas City, so we have to play some facets of it by ear. But as long as we know there’s a sizable group of people heading out to support the team, we want to support them.

How does one get involved in making signs, flags etc?


Hopefully [soon] we should be able to go live with our new website. The new design will allow a lot more information and collaboration than what we’ve been able to do currently. One of the primary benefactors of this is in the creation of our flags and banners.

We should have a forum up on a new message board specifically to address production of our stuff. We’ll take in ideas and rally people around the big projects. A large majority of people in MLS have heard of the Timbers Army but haven’t seen us beyond maybe a Youtube video or two, so we are very aware of a reputation for bombast we need to live up to. Our projects are going to be bigger than we’ve ever done before are we’re absolutely going to rely on volunteers to help us get things done.

So the short answer is to go to the new TimbersArmy.org website once it launches, take part in the dialogue of banner creation, then show up when we put out the call for help. It’s not all bad either. We try to make sure we keep everyone well hydrated and happy.

Having just started getting interested in soccer after the world cup I don’t know much at all about the Timbers team. Who is the Timber BEST player?

Lucky for you!

The move to MLS means most of the players are people who are new to the team so we know as much as you!

Our best player, based on reputation, is probably Kenny Cooper. He played for Manchester United’s youth team when he was a kid before coming to the US and playing really well for Dallas. He tried his luck overseas but a series of injuries slowed him down. He’s back with us now and if he’s healthy he can be one of the best goalscorers in the entire league.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfDpmUcdJwo

How kid friendly are games? I have a 7 and 9 year old. Am I going to be covering their ears all game or just late after people start to get obnoxiously drunk?

Honestly, I can’t really answer that because it’s a question for each individual parent to answer. There will be swear words used intermittently in every game, especially if we feel we got robbed in a call. I will say that I have heard foul language in every professional game I’ve been to in every sport imaginable. The TA are ultimately no different than the random person you may be sitting next to at a Blazer game, Ducks game, Winterhawks game or Mariners game. It’s just that when we curse, it’s a little louder.

As for obnoxiously drunk, I guarantee you there are more people tossed from a Blazer game on a nightly basis for drunk and disorderly than at Timber games.

There are dozens, if not now hundreds, of kids that turn up for the Timbers Army experience as religiously as the adults. Our commitment is clear. We have, and will, provide non-drinking buses so they can travel with us. We have made charitable donations to Jefferson HS and Harper’s Playground to promote their activities. We have seen our TA kids grow into excellent high school, then college, and now even professional soccer players. If occasional dirty talk is a deal breaker for you, then the Timbers Army probably isn’t the place for you. In literally every other aspect of the term, the Timbers Army may be the most "kid friendly" group to associate with among all PNW teams.

What type of discussions occur between TA and other supporters groups at summits such as the upcoming Cascadia Summit?

Topics will mainly center around coordination and logistics for our rivalry matches to make sure we’ll all on the same page and supporters receive the same right equitably applied. We’ll cover areas like entrance and exit from the stadium, concession and restroom facilities, proper security measures to keep the groups separated, and proper communication channels established because our traveling stewards to their security staff.

Everyone wants to have an absolutely fantastic and memorable trip any time you can get together with your fellow fans and support your team away from home. It’s our responsibility to do everything in our power to ensure that our members are safe and protected from the moment the buses leave until they return.

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Again a HUGE thanks to 107ist president Dave Hoyt for taking his time to answer some questions. Again, should you have more questions, feel free to ask below.