Another away game, another blog post. Everyone ready? Ok!
On Saturday morning, 50 of us loud and proud Thorns supporters, otherwise known as the Rose City Riveters, got together on the north side of the Convention Center. We had it all. Pickle buckets. Booze. Food. Tickets. A bus. A driver. Flags. Flags? Flags! I was supposed to remember the flags. Whoopsie! Thank goodness Lexi let me ride the bus up to Seattle after she quickly solved the problem. It’s hard out here for a first time Away Day coordinator!
Everyone was where they needed to be early, so while I introduced myself to Randy, our trusty bus driver, folks were pregaming to get all the booze to fit in the plastic containers, because NO GLASS ON THE BUS. This was one of only a few rules for the day. I forgot to review the rules with folks as we departed, so I was glad when chants started about the SECOND most important rule on a three hour bus ride (no #2s on the bus).
The ride up north was rather uneventful. For me anyway, as I was sitting up in the front seat where the Bus Monitor sits. The most excitement I saw was when Randy would ask me to lay down his law: no standing and drinking booze at the same time or no banging on the overhead compartments in place of a drum beat. I think those were the only two rules we didn’t follow too closely.
Unlike the Timbers Army buses as of late, we didn’t have a keg to tap, but rather had a BYOB policy on the bus. In addition to beer and whiskey, there were also Mimosas, Fireballs, and even a Bloody Mary bar! Everyone was sharing, because we’re really just one big happy family.
There was a pit stop just after Centralia. And not a moment too soon, from what I heard. Something about the mimosa bar folks really really needing the stop for fear that one of the cardinal rules would be violated. This stop was a whole lot different than the stops made with the Timbers Army over the last couple of years. There wasn’t a massive rush to the restroom. We didn’t have to worry about folks sneaking onto our bus to steal our beer because they ran out on the way down. Having just one bus to keep an eye on and 50 people to do their business on the stop made it actually real fast.
Once we got up to Burien, we camped out at the Elliott Bay Brewing Co for a few hours to watch the Timbers take on DC. We got there early enough to get acquainted with the staff, and get in a few rounds of shuffleboard. Little did we know we had a tiny puck assassin among us. Let’s just say that someone had the run of the board for an hour. Much to the entertainment of almost everyone else around.
The restaurant was a good setup for us, but could have been better with the sound in the restaurant being turned on for the game. Quite a few people joined the viewing party, which was hosted by Covert Ops, the TA branch up in Seattle. Quite a few people joined in on the fun, cheering for the boys in green. All in all, I think we were all able to drink up, eat up, and watch the boys get three more points on the road. That feeling will never get old.
As the Bus Monitor, I only asked that everyone be ready to head over to Starfire as soon as the match was over. It seemed like everything worked out really well. I headed over to Starfire a little early to get our extra tickets from will call as well as meet Chad, who set us up for the day. When the bus arrived, everyone got their flags and came marching toward the gates. It was quite a sight to see.
I think the stadium staff were as ready for us as they could be. As we could see, the Reign’s supporters group, the Royal Guard, has a smaller number of folks involved at this point. We were directed to the far end of the bleachers, where they used caution tape to mark off our area. I think we filled the space quite well and a lot of the other spectators on the benches moved away from us, so we must have been loud. With our flags waving and our pickle buckets as drums, we stayed standing the whole match. Which is saying something because in Seattle, you sit nice and comfortably under an overhang, watching soccer like it is a tennis match.
Chad had asked us to stick around for a while after the match so they could get a majority of the people out of the stadium before they escorted us to the bus. I told him it wouldn’t be a problem to keep people there after the final whistle, as we would be cheering our players and coaches for a while after the victory. I was surprised to see so many people leaving the stadium early, like, 85th minute early. Guess that goal by Sinc was all they were there to see.
Eventually it got a little awkward when we rolled up all the flags and put them in our makeshift pickle buckets and the team was still 15 feet away. We made the best of it by serenading them with such hits as REO Speedwagon’s “Keep on Loving You” (*thanks Mike*). Eventually, it was apparent they wanted us out so their kids could clean up our streamers and other messy bits from the match. We had one last stop at the indoor toilets before being herded back to Randy and our trusty bus for the trip back to Portland.
Now, I’m not sure what shenanigans occurred on the way back, as I was the lone wolf left in Seattle for the weekend. Maybe that mystery can be solved in the comments…