We were in Portland as we had got our hands on tickets to the sold out soccer game between our Seattle Sounders and their arch-rivals, the Portland Timbers. Our seats were apparently in the designated area for visiting fans and would be full of the Sounders supporters club; the Emerald City Supporters. The ECS is a drunken lot that wave huge flags, have a beer in each hand and are led by a glorified cheerleader with a megaphone; he leads his minions in songs and chants that taunt the opponents and spur their team to victory, or so they think.They drive us nuts, but it’s a love/hate thing because we love making fun of them.
We were supposed to enter a specific gate at the stadium, designated only for Seattle fans. Why? For our safety? Are we going to get beaten up by Portland fans?! No way. Portlanders are so laid back they are almost catatonic.
It was raining so we entered the first gate we came to and the ticket checker said, “You’re supposed to go in the special gate, but I’ll let you in anyway”. So we walked down the stadium corridor full of Portland fans; and no spontaneous riot erupted when they saw two Seattle fans on their turf. We did not have to dodge neither bottles or roundhouses flung our way. Instead, a Timbers fan approached us and said, “thanks for coming down to see the game here in Portland.” This was the second time that happened that day.
There was a low fence separating the Seattle fan area from the rest of the stadium. As we passed through this gate, the security guards said that once we entered we would not be allowed to leave until the game was over for safety reasons; give me a break!
We managed to find a seat and the keeno fans were already in full swing, waving flags, chanting, and drinking beer. It was just before noon and the inebriation level was already high.
The game was everything a rivalry game should be, fast-paced and aggressive with lots of goals; although unfortunately Portland had scored most of them! With only five minutes left, the score was 4-2; Seattle was down two goals. But in one of the best comebacks I’ve seen, our team managed to score two goals to tie it, and the game ended in a draw. The Portland fans were stunned, quiet, and undoubtably pissed. Perhaps now they were ready to crack some Seattle fans skulls?
Unfortunately the officials thought so; they made all the Seattle fans stay in their seats for a full half hour after the game ended. Did they think Seattle fans were going to be set upon by a mob of Portlanders. I can just see it; a mob dressed in vintage from goodwill, on fixie bikes, with dumb facial hair hurling ironic insults our way.
We finally exited the stadium and onto the mean streets of Portland. We had a few Timbers ‘hooligans’ mouth off to us as we walked by; “That was a crazy game,” and “That was a great comeback, Congratulations!”