The game itself was fairly straightforward during the first half, but ended with a thrilling second half. The Timbers scored twice and each time the crowd went crazy wild. Also each time they scored, the mascot, someone named Timber Joey, sawed a piece off an actual log with a chainsaw. When he wasn't busy doing that, he was roaming the stands and randomly revving his chainsaw near unsuspecting spectators.
Tom Hanks was there (don't ask me why because I don't know). A woman did a great job singing the British national anthem (for the visiting team) and then the American national anthem (for the Timbers), and that was an interesting experience, too. It still feels strange to be among so many Americans. And football/soccer fans, to boot!
The following sentiment isn't emerging only from my experience at a Timbers game, but it is certainly reinforced by it: I used to wonder if I only loved Portland because this is where I grew up, so it was the embodiment of how I imagined everything was supposed to look, and run, and be. Now, coming back after years away, I can see it with fresh eyes: the beauty of the mountains, large and small, that surround the city. The green and green and more green. The quirky ways people think and behave here. The beautiful downtown. You guys, this is a wonderful place, and I say that being completely informed and having lived elsewhere so I have something to compare it to. The Timbers game brought this all home. So this blog post is a love letter to Portland. And also just a way to say that I really enjoyed watching some great football/soccer. Thanks.