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.