Word leaked out this week that our neighbors to the north are getting a new local-legend-inspired shirt this year, after the Jimi Hendrix shirt they previously had. This one's apparently inspired by Bruce Lee. I don't really care about that shirt itself, or that team particularly, but it made me wonder - what Portland icon would be a good inspiration for a new Timbers shirt?
As I was looking at various lists of notable Portlanders, though, one thing jumped out at me. Most of the people I would consider "legendary" (or even highly notable) Portlanders have the inconvenient-to-being-memorialized-in-a-shirt problem of, well, still being alive. So, as I am wont to do, I changed the rules about memorializing a person with a shirt, because this is a fun idea and I wanted to see where it went.
So in my world where I own a soccer team and/or a shirt company, my only rule is that, for the purposes of this exercise, the person has to be actually born in the PDX metro area or have lived in the area for a good chunk of their life, whether as a kid or as a known person (whether they, if still alive, currently live here or not). So, like, Woody Guthrie wouldn't count, because he only lived here for about a month.
Deceased people are of course naturally the first thought as far as being memorialized, but let's not limit ourselves, shall we? So, with that in mind, let's get this party started, shall we?
I saw a bumper sticker a few years back that said "FRED & TOODY > FRED & CARRIE", and I want that tattooed on my body somewhere, because it is a 100% correct scientific fact. How awesome would it be to have a black alt Timbers kit with TIMBERS written in Dead Moon script and the Dead Moon logo on the chest? and to have Toody perform the national anthem? This is a SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY proposition, for me.
Imagine a Timbers kit with, instead of a sponsor, Tom Peterson's face on the chest. Plus the promo opportunities - watch giveaways! Pregame haircuts!
I mean, c'mon. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, or Marvin Martian on the front of a shirt? That'd be hilarious. Or this dude.
There have been any number of artistic interpretations of Ramona Quimby, there's gotta be some way to interpret Cleary's life and work into a shirt design, right?
Every time I'd run into this guy in the last few years of his life, he was cranky, hilarious, rude, and also super nice, if such a mix makes sense. His drawing style opens up a million possibilities for shirt designs.
Jack Ely (The Kingsmen)
Cardigan sweater kit!
This one's a deep cut, sure, but if you crossed the Hawthorne Bridge at any point in the 2000's-2010's, you saw Kirk, in his bow tie and tails and Mickey Mouse hat, playing music for commuters. Make a kit that looks like one of those tuxedo t-shirts, make the neck or other detailing somehow look like a Mickey Mouse hat, and there's a lovely tribute to a lovely dude.
STILL LIVING PORTLANDERS:
Sure, he lives in LA now, but he grew up here and went to high school literally across the street from then-Civic Stadium, and how many neighborhoods in town have streets that he named Simpsons characters after? Or bridges named after a Simpsons character? And how awesome would a Pin Pals alternate jersey be? Or to have the TA just start chanting MONORAIL....MONORAIL in the middle of a game?
I mean, just pick one title and go with it. There's so much to work with.
Green Man kits would be spectacular. As long as we cut eye holes in the authentics. And, Milksteak Night at the stadium would be EPIC.
The only other Oregonian I thought to mention is Tommy Thayer, but it would take exactly four seconds for the Timbers to go "oh yeah, a KISS themed jersey would be amazing" before Gene Simmons sued them into oblivion or demanded 99% of the profits from such a thing, so we'll just give that one a miss.