Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Tonight we went to a Portland Timbers football/soccer game. It was overwhelming to be in a stadium full of right-minded Oregonians (because they are from Oregon, and because they are fans of football/soccer) and overwhelming to be sitting so close to the field for an exciting game.

I haven't watched a big-time football/soccer game on anything except a TV since my days at the BYU, so this was a real treat. Plus, we had seats in the "club" section (thanks, brother Blair's boss!), and every once in a while a friendly young person would come by and ask if we wanted a (free) hot dog, or some (free) chips, or some (free) pop, or (free) red ropes. When they asked if we wanted (free) ice cream bars I decided I really was in heaven. Plus, when that food is free, you aren't allowed to say no, am I right? Near the end of the game, my SIL Emily pointed to a nearby row of seats that had a bunch of food wrappings beneath it and we both laughed at those people's gluttony. Then we took a look at the ground under our own seats, and, well, it was just about the same. So we laughed some more. And then enjoyed a (free) Voodoo Donut.

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.


Jen said...

There is really something magical about discovering and rediscovering a place you love. There are times when I go home and I think, "I got to grow up here."

It's magic.

ireminisces said...

I remember Zidane was a good football payer in his time. Have you ever tried Fasting. Pop over and share some thoughts.

Shannan Deshazer said...

I love Portland too!

Funny, I grew up in SLC and when I "go home" I don't have the same feelings of nostalgia :)

Crys said...

I love Portland as well...someday....

Susanne said...

I read your post about an hour ago and then later came online only to see this article. From a Portlander. I was wondering, "What does Bridget mean by the quirky way people think and behave there?"

Tada! Thank you, HuffPo! :)

Abu Halen said...

Best. Mascot. Ever.


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