So. That was fun, wasn’t it?

 Posted by on April 21, 2013  Editorial  Add comments
Apr 212013
 

I’m tired. I’m very tired. But every minute has been absolutely worth it. Thank you all.

It hasn’t all been easy. At every turn, there were naysayers. “Let it grow organically.” “Don’t force it.” “Don’t try so hard.” “You’re taking this too seriously.”

Yes. We did take it seriously. And the work put in by dozens of volunteers resulted in what we saw this afternoon.

We are, as promised, setting the standard for the support of women’s soccer in North America.

I just got home and received the following email. It is posted here with the author’s permission. And I offer him my sincere thanks.

 

Anyone that felt the Portland Thorns FC supporters group was going to be forced from the beginning, rather than growing organically, would be very pleased by what happened today. This afternoon, we were able to see the fruits of a few dozen people’s labors. It was imperfect. It was awkward. It was committed. It was awesome.
        A true test of the quality of support came early for the Rose City Riveters, as a few members were forced to ask the folks in the 200s – opened up last minute by the Thorns FO – if they would come down for a few minutes to help with the home opener tifo. As it turns out, it’s much easier for 40 people to cut a thousand seats worth of table roll than it is to fill those thousand seats. The Thorns version of the North End is going to take time to figure itself out. But when people are willing to do the prep work for the tifo, and brave enough to ask for help when the GA section is roomier than anticipated, the opportunity for a new supporters group to succeed is great.
        Despite weeks of snarky comments on Twitter and elsewhere, the chants developed for the first printing of Riveters chant sheets were pretty good. No, not all were stellar, but they were fun and new, and – thankfully – not re-workings of old Timbers chants. Yes, there were PTFC chants and Rose City chants that were used word for word, but no chants featuring the word “Timbers” were used at all. This was a huge relief. We were even able to use a couple of anti-Seattle chants in the first home match. That was a nice touch.
        Bottom line, we all have given the Rose City Riveters and its organizers a hard time throughout this endeavor. Turns out they were up to the task, and appear poised to move forward in a positive – and big – way as the main supporters group for the Thorns. Patch and Sunday were the only capos the entire match, and should be commended for reigning in ten sections of fans to the best of their ability. The tifo crew did a fantastic job of planning the display, getting the player two-sticks designed and painted, then presenting them to our newest athletes upon completion of the match. It was nice to be excited and enthused over something that, more often than not, was the butt of so many jokes leading up to the home opener. Yes, there will be snark in the future, as there is with anything related to Portland soccer. But if this group of supporters continues on in the same way it began, I have no doubt Jeld-Wen Field will be home to the two greatest groups of football supporters the world has ever seen.

Caterjunes

  24 Responses to “So. That was fun, wasn’t it?”

  1. I agree with the Carterjunes, some of the charts were awkward but still really fun to see so many people come out and give their all for the team. The new record set for attendance is a fine and shining moment for the newly formed team and league. Its passion like this that sets others off on exploring new things, lets hope it can draw more people into soccer.
    Thank you people behind the scenes, your work does not go unnoticed.

  2. What a great day!! It was awesome to be apart of the first home game crowd. We rocked our two sticks, sang our 500 songs and cheered to the end. It gave me goosebumps. I’m looking forward to many more matches.

  3. The capos were fantastic! That was a tough job for two people and they carried it off beautifully. The Reign Reign go away chant was brilliant! I got a few ideas for chant lyrics. Is there a place to send them for approval and inclusion in the official chant sheet? Great job everyone involved. Portland is a great place to be for soccer!

  4. I also thought it was an amazing day! Of course some things worked and some things didn’t. It was a great game and a better expeirience than I could have expected for the first game ever…many of the regular MLS games have only 10% of what we Riveters delivered today. I think it was fantastic and I know it is inly going to get better! Thank you so much for your hard work!

  5. Rosie was amazing…!!!

  6. Everything was great! Some chants will take time, and some just won’t work, but that’s part of the process. The capos, drums, tifo, flags, this website (shout out to the Riveters web team from a TA web team guy!), etc etc etc were all really awesome and blew me away. Hats off to all involved!

  7. Damnit, Kyle, I…

    Oh, wait. Never mind. I agree with him.

    Fantastic job by the Riveters. I saw a lot of very exhausted and nervous people before the match, but come gametime everything pulled together. The tifo worked. The two-sticks worked. The chants worked (mostly). Sunday and Patch gave an epic capo performance. The drums were great.

    Not to mention how fantasticly our team performed.

    Future successes will be judged against how well this went.

    Bravo! Onward and upward!

  8. The atmosphere was well above and beyond anything I would have expected for a brand new league, team, and supporters’ group. It was fantastic and I can’t wait for the next game.

    I have complete faith that any awkwardness in chants and coordination will be ironed as things progress. Thanks to everyone who put any time into getting this group to where it is!

  9. I just randomly stumbled on this post. After trying to figure out what all the #BAON hashtags were. I missed all the controversy.

    My wife and I had season tickets back before the Timbers made the jump to MLS. Or more importantly, before we had kids and felt they were too young to sit through games on a regular basis.

    Yesterday was the first game we’ve been to since Jeld-Wen had been renovated. I have no idea why there was controversy or naysayers.

    As someone who hasn’t been watching this stuff closely, it was awesome. We found the chants and printed them ahead of time. We shared them with the people around us in section 205. The people behind us got into singing the songs even more than we did.

    You guys did an awesome job. Thanks for the hard work.

  10. I’m home sick today, which means I’ve been online looking at the articles & pics from the game for way more hours than is reasonable. I’m feeling the love from Portlanders and (earned) respect from the greater soccer community. I think mostly the coverage got it right. The game was good, the fans were great. But, one major thing is missing from every article I’ve read…

    I don’t see enough love for the volunteers who made it possible for the fans to be great. Thanks so much Riveters team. You’re not only a part of a great day for a lot of people, you’re a huge part of this NWSL experiment. If this league makes it, Portland will clearly be a major factor in its success. Part of that is thanks to the Timbers FO for supporting the league like no other MLS team is. More of it will be thanks to the fans, and 99% of that will be thanks to you.

    • Just for the record, the FO didn’t pay for or coordinate the display. All credit for that goes to the Riveters and the 107ist.

      • I meant to give Riveters credit for the display, and I should have included the 107ist (insert embarrassed face here for posting volunteer appreciation and leaving out such a major contributing group). Hat tip to the FO is for overall support of the Thorns. I think the infrastructure they are providing is a huge help. That game would not be the same if it weren’t at a fully staffed Jeld-Wen field, for example. No other MLS team stepped up like the Timbers did, and I appreciate them for their role just as I appreciate the Riveters and 107ist for their amazing dedication and hard work.

        • Indeed, we are very lucky to have the FO we have. I’m just trying to head off the inevitable trolls who will accuse us of having our stuff handed to us by “Daddy Merritt” as they tend to do.

          Let the record show: this is US.

          • Trolls make me sad. They can be so troll-y that a post intended to do nothing but appreciate the volunteers for amazing work and contributions apparently looks like an opportunity for trolling instead of support. Please let me try again…

            I keep reading “Portland! The fans! The MLS support! Wow!” So I thought, “Yeah! Look at US. Look how special MY town and MY fans are.” Which is true. But then I realized that it wasn’t anything like the whole truth. Yes, the FO support is helpful. Yes, the Portland fans showed up. Yes, we were loud. But none if it looks anything like it looked on Sunday afternoon without a dedicated “US” that (this time around, at least) didn’t include me. I don’t even really get to take credit for 1/16,479th of it. Because without the 20 or 50 or 200 (I don’t even know) of YOU who poured blood, sweat & tears into it, that day doesn’t happen. I showed up because I knew that it would be great. I admit, I took it for granted. You would have tifo and banners and chants and scarves, and I would get to stand with thousands of friends and neighbors singing 500 songs in unison that had never before been sung. 16,000 of us didn’t make that happen. A handful of YOU made it happen.

            And it’s even bigger than that. You are not only creating a great thing for the Thorns and Portland fans like me. You are making a disproportionate difference in making pro women’s soccer viable in this country.

            So, thank YOU Riveters and 107ist volunteers. YOU did something huge. None of the articles I read acknowledged that. I just wanted YOU to hear that some of the little “us” out here get that, and appreciate it deeply.

          • Aww. Don’t forget that big US is made up of a whole lot of little uses. Everything we all do for the team is valuable. We’re all US.

  11. Amazing photos and articles – – to all my wonderful friends and CAPOS – YOU DID IT!!! So so sad that I was out of town – – but BAON….you ROCKED IT!!!! Can’t wait to get in on the action with our next match! See you all soon – PTFC – RCTID!!!

  12. I realize this is a few days late, but you guys were absolutely incredible on Sunday! I was watching on my computer, from NY, and even through the commentators mics I could hear you guys loud a clear. This is the type of support this league needs to succeed. I want to bring the same support to the East Coast. I went to Sky Blue FC’s opener vs The Flash and was really surprised that the crowd was hardly on their feet. What measures did you guys go through to get so successful? I realize I’m asking for suggestions to start a support group for another team, but to be honest this is for the league, for all these talented women that play, and for all the little girls that aspire to be at this level someday. Hope to hear back from you! Thanks!

    • Hey, Candace. I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m more than willing to answer any questions you may have, regardless of which club you support. Without strong support for EVERY team, this league will fade as the two that came before it. It’s up to us to make sure every club – and every player – is supported.

      That said, it’s going to be different in every city. We in Portland are lucky to have amazing infrastructure already in place in the form of the Timbers Army and the 107ist. Their help, and the experience many of us have gained through our involvement with them over the years, has been invaluable.

      Don’t be afraid to start small. Call your front office. Ask if you can bring in flags and two-stick banners to your games. Make them yourself. Invite your friends to make them with you. Have fun. Think of what you would want to see if you were a player on the field.

      If you haven’t already, you’re welcome to join the dicussion on our forum. There are lots of folks with lots of ideas. Don’t tell them I told you to steal those ideas but STEAL THOSE IDEAS and then change them to fit your needs. Above all else: don’t get discouraged and keep having fun.

      nomad

      • I can’t emphasize how important it is to work with your front office (FO).

        While everything you saw or heard was purchased and built by the supporters, having the ability to enter the stadium early to setup and having the FO trust that you will be good partners is critical. We dont’t always see eye to eye with our FO, but we both have the same objectives.

        The Thorns have benefited from having the same ownership as the Timbers, which means we have the same relationships in place that the Timbers Army has. I’d advise you to put together a plan of what you want to see in New York, and see if you can’t get a meeting with your FO to discuss how to make those things happen.

      • Thank you so much for all your very helpful suggestions, Nomad! If I have anymore questions I will definitely drop a line!

  13. Thank you too, Mike!!

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)

CAPTCHA Image

*