The Rainbow Flag Brigade Ruins 2019 Season

It's mid-December, and usually around this time my arm starts twitching with uneasiness for the start of the regular season. I commiserate with my Timber buddies about our prospects. I feverishly read any news for the date of the season opener.

Now? Nada. Nothing. My arm is as still as a dead log. Zero discussion with my buddies. I am as ambivalent about the upcoming season as I am about whether babies should be breast or formula fed.

In 2000, Roy Keane of Manchester United famously exposed some United supporters for being part of the 'Prawn Sandwich Brigade'. A derogatory term for people who were more interested in attending United games for the amenities and as a kind of social status symbol.

For the Timbers, we have the 'Rainbow Flag Brigade'. A unique set of fans who attend Timbers games not because they love the club or soccer, but because they're more interested in them as a kind of hipster status symbol and an opportunity to shower the stadium with whatever social cause they want to ram down other's throats, show off their tattoos, and sing what are becoming increasingly stale songs.

This was on full display with the Iron Front Flag controversy that put a pall on the entire season.

The Timber's Army I used to know and love would rather have slit their own throats than gone silent during a Seattle derby. In fact, when I sat in the Army, nobody talked about social issues, we were too busy abusing the ref, the opposing players, the opposing players, or rooting on 'The Boys'. That's what we were there for. That's what we lived for.

There's no denying that the silence during games put a damper on the stadium. It's called home field advantage for a reason. That was evident when the Timbers dropped 13 out of a possible 24 points down the stretch (all home games).

But it was the attitude of some of TA members that was so disheartening. The arrogance, and abuse, displayed on social media was depressing. No thought of others. No discussion. It was evident they didn't care about others or the club.

And, if you think I'm over simplifying things, how many rainbow flags or iron front flags were being flown anywhere else in the stadium but in the Army? None. Nada.

The whole thing left a really bad taste in my mouth.. and evidently in Merritt Paulson's mouth as well. Imagine investing fifty million in extra stands, investing a record $10 million in a DP, coming off a season where they played in the MLS Cup final, only to be met with this BS? To have some Army members actually call him a horrible owner over some obscure flag? There's a wonderful interview with him in The Athletic and it's obvious there was a lot of frustration on his part.

Then there was the Brian Fernandez debacle along with the Valeri contracts (which sounds like it affected the locker room). To top it off with a cherry; the effing Sounders won the MLS Cup.

Hand's down worst season of the Timber's MLS career trumping (pun not intended) the 2012 season by a wide margin.

OK, I've vented.

I want to get my mojo back for the Timbers, but it's like kick starting an old Triumph in the dead of winter. It just doesn't seem to be happening. I daresay that a big signing might be needed. A player with some cache that actually wants to play in Portland. Daniel Sturridge or Adam Lallana (as a Liverpool fan, that would do the trick). Chicharito? I know that goes against the Timbers policy, and maybe there is some fantastic young south or cental American striker that would get the old circuits buzzing again.

Oh well, back to the salt mine. Whomever keeps scheduling Minnesota United as our home opener should have his eyebrows plucked. Minnesota United?

This FanPost was written by a Stumptown Footy community member and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the site or its staff.