All the f-words

 Posted by on April 17, 2013  Editorial  Add comments
Apr 172013
 

Let me just start by saying that I was hesitant to post this here. I was considering posting my views on this particular subject on my personal blog because I don’t want the group to have to deal with any backlash it might cause.

But the backlash began long before I started writing so here we are anyway.

We, your faithful steering committee, have gotten a couple of inquiries as to whether or not the Rose City Riveters will be more “family friendly” than the Timbers Army.

If it were entirely left up to me, my stock answer would be,”Well, that’s going to depend on your family.”

Sports fans – and soccer fans in particular – tend to be a tad saltier than the general populace. We yell louder, we sing louder, we live louder and, yes, sometimes we might swear. In public. Where people might hear us.

And, for those who harbor ill feelings toward the Timbers Army because of its choice not to police (aside from instances of racism or homophobia) the language of supporters in the North End of Jeld-Wen, I’ll happily point out the 5,000+ volunteer hours the TA has performed in the community over the last year.

I’ll also point out dozens of kids who have grown up in the atmosphere surrounding the Timbers Army. They’re good kids. Smart kids. Kids whose parents have explained to them the difference between regular, everyday language and stadium language. Their parents consider this a learning opportunity, a chance to learn about loyalty, community pride, and about how people sometimes have differing opinions.

So, there it is. Taking a cue, as we so often already have, from our brothers and sisters in the Timbers Army, we will be on the lookout for racism and homophobia, but we’re not going to tell you not to drop an occasional frustrated f-bomb.

For those who believe the potential for questionable language will damage the future of our team and/or its league, I humbly suggest you click here for a little insight.

  12 Responses to “All the f-words”

  1. Of note: none of the (proposed) chants contain obvious f-word substitutes that could easily be replaced as in many Timbers Army chants.

  2. Thank you so much for this.

    With all due respect to those who are uncomfortable bringing their children into/near the Timbers Army, for reasons I may not know or understand: this presumption/hope-for-squeaky-cleanliness placed on the supporters of The Women’s Team (and thereby on The Women’s Team itself) is frought with some baggage.

    – Some women are weary of being the moral bastion, inextricable from the “women and children” category that is set apart from men, and sometimes from regular humanity
    – Some women are weary of the responsibility of being “role models” by some vague standard that differs from how men can simply be “athletes” or “sports fans”. (i realize the complexities here, but it’s still a lopsided standard.)
    – i hope we can keep seeing women’s soccer as “soccer” instead of a special category, the fans of which are soccer kids and their moms. (soccer kids and moms – i adore you, i am/have been one of you, and want to high-five you in the stands.)

    anyhow, thanks again.

  3. Hear, hear, kt5000!

  4. I think KT said it very well…and here’s another point.

    If you don’t like it, and don’t want your children exposed (which, let’s be honest, they hear these things regardless…and in what context would you rather have it happen? I’ll put my money on the TA every time) to salty language…then don’t sit in that section. Simple.

    I liken it to a movie rating system…the TA is rated “R,” while the sections immediately adjacent to the TA are “PG-13”, and the rest is “G.” You’re free to take your child to an “R” rated movie…but then don’t complain about there not being “G” rated content.

  5. For more info about where the Rose City Riveters will and won’t be standing (and a lot of other useful tidbits), please see our Game Day FAQ. It’ll only be in a fraction of GA seating, not the whole North End.

  6. I’m a mom. My daughter is 8. My son is 6. I don’t admit that much around these parts because I am regularly ashamed of the behavior and attitudes of other parents. So, as mom, I want to say thank you and support the answer of “it depends on your family”, because it does. And, I want to thank you for honoring the team by not watering it down to “girls soccer” and “family friendly”. Because, as a mom of a girl, if I take my kids to a Timbers game and it is full of screaming and signing and fun, and then I take them to a Thorns game and it is something different, that doesn’t support women as real athletes who should be respected by both my daughter and my son. Lets treat these athletes as athletes. Lets sing for them as loud and hard as we sing for the men. That would be good parenting and good role-modeling, at least according to my family values.

  7. Wonderful missives by all…could not agree more.

  8. The part that makes the most sense to me, was the kids that are around it, who’s parents have taught them when and where certain language is appropriate. That’s exactly how I have taught my son. There is stadium/match day language, and then there is every day language. He knows full well what he can say and where.

    Kids are going to hear swearing. Whether it’s in school, with friends, TV and movies, or at a soccer game. It can’t be avoided. They are best served being taught about being appropriate with it, rather than trying to avoid it.

    Good post.

  9. I’m also a mom of two girls 13 and 15. There is a time and place for EVERYTHING! What you wear, what you say and what you do. I’m a swearer…always have been. I’m also a teacher. So, when at work, I don’t swear…it’s not the place. I also don’t swear at the grocery store (unless one of the girls rams the cart into the back of my heel), at kids’ sporting events (although there’s a opposing coach or two that have caused me to bite my tongue enough to bleed), and around people I deem “churchy”. I do this out of respect for others. So, we’ve always taught our girls “time and place”. When they were real young, we said “adult language and kid language”. It really was simple for them to understand and accept. There is a difference between adults and kids folks…that’s how life works.

    My daughter’s a capo and I’m DAMN proud of that. She’s a part of a group of strong women who are dedicated and passionate about their team. When chants start that involved swearing, she knows that SHE needs to insert an appropriate word for HER age group and she does. But she will also stick up for herself if an adult is giving her crap and sometimes it takes a swear word or two to shock them back into reality (like it did at a recent match). Again, it goes to “time and place” and “age group”.

    Do I particularly want to see a bunch of kids in the stands swearing at the game…no. Again, it’s “adult language vs. kid language.”

    Have more faith in your children folks. They are smart and have great parents and amazing role models in those stands. If you can’t stomach it, maybe the North End isn’t the best place for your family to enjoy the games, but that would be a damn shame.

  10. Funny how people today fight hardest against what many of us in the TA and the Riveters call PARENTING. We talk to our children, we lead by example when it comes to standing up against racism and homophobia and just plain small-mindedness.

    Being a parent means you have the huge responsibility of educating the next generation to become responsible members of society. That’s the kind of parenting I see in the North End. These kids are being raised to be caring, smart, educated members of society that will not tolerate hate (except against the Flounders, of course) but that is yet another example of what parents are supposed to do.

    Don’t let other people raise your kids, because you get out of them what you put in. Be a parent in the truest sense of the word.

  11. South Deck is full of OG TA. Don’t assume “safety” in any section except a designated “family zone”.
    Oh, and BTW, school yards have worse language by far. Your kids are exposed to this by their peers.

  12. F* yeah! I’m sorry I couldn’t pass it up. Thank you for this posting. In the beginning there was talk of how to market the Thorns. One argued that the “soccer moms” should not be the target audience, it should be soccer fans. There are many die hard soccer mom TA members but, there should be no reason to “church” the north end up just because it’s women’s soccer. The girls deserve the same passion, fire and energy that we give the boy and the visiting women’s teams should experience the same visitor love just as their male counterparts do. Lest we forget the referees, they deserve the same f bombs and bong hits for their bad calls. Portland is all about equality so equal opportunity f* bombs for all!

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