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MLS First Kick: The Off Season is Finally Over

The wait is finally almost over and, as Merritt Paulson put it, "how can the shortest off-season in American sports seem so long?"

The Timbers' off-season has sure felt that way, especially after the doldrums of December. However, games start in earnest this Saturday and carry over all the way to Monday Night Football, when 20,000 of our closest friends will be at Jeld-Wen Field releasing all that pent up energy from the off-season.

There is nothing better than to go to Jeld-Wen Field and hear "PT.....FC..... PT......FC" reverberate around the stadium as the boys in green walk onto the pitch. No atmosphere comes close to what Portland has. I recently was able to talk to someone who was at what is considered the greatest NFL game ever played, the Baltimore Colts vs the New York Giants in the 1958 NFL Championship, as well as the "Giant Killers" game when Oregon State beat USC 3-0 in 1967. He was also at the 1974 Oregon State vs UCLA in Basketball game when the Beavers finally broke their 50 game losing streak to UCLA. He has been to countless other professional sporting events in hockey, MLB, basketball, football, and soccer (even a World Cup game).

After attending all of those events and all that he has experienced he had this to say to me concerning Jeld-Wen, "Nothing, I mean nothing comes close to Jeld-Wen Field. Fans just don't stop singing and chanting at a Timbers game. In my old age I would much rather stay at home and watch all other sports on TV but I will never miss a game at Jeld-Wen. The atmosphere is almost indescribable."

The atmosphere at Jeld-Wen Field carries over and you can feel the buzz in the city again. The feeling that we are all kids again waiting for Christmas to come and we know it is only two days away but it can't come soon enough is everywhere. The nervous energy of wondering what might be in the present we saw under the tree is in all of us. We want to open it now but we know we have to wait. We know that when we do open it it will be glorious. It might be just another game but on Monday it is our city's game.

On Monday three points are on the line and the Rose City is ready to once again show the nation what it means to be Rose City Till I Die.