Opening Day Tifo

I had chance to help pull up the tifo for the first time. Glorious! How, you ask? In the chaos before the opening day kickoff, I was walking back to my section and I overheard someone say they are short handed. What luck! This year I also got back in the swing of volunteering at the tifo painting sessions. Somehow I went the entire 2016 season without helping, and I missed it. If you’ve got an extra hour or two to help out, I highly recommend it.

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The Seattle Rickroll Tifo

seattle-tifo

I went to the Seattle away match last Sunday. Not a lot of positivity to take home from such a decisive loss, except for the overwhelming failure of the ill conceived  ECS tif0. Normally, matters of tifo quality are shouting matches between the supporters groups directly involved. However, in this case, Seattle’s Rickroll tifo has met with universal ridicule, even outside the MLS.  Even if you agree with the ECS statement, there’s no denying that the execution was poor.  MLS wants to promote the biggest/best rivalry in the league in order raise TV ratings and increase interest in the league? How dare they! This is the second Seattle tifo flub this season, if you’re keeping track.

Is this Seattle Sounders tifo the worst ever? The internet thinks so.Fox Sports

The day the Tifo died… – A Medium Corporation

We Need To Talk About The Sounders’ “Rickroll” Tifo – Paste Magazine

Seattle Sounders fans hold up Rick Astley lyrics in weirdest tifo ever – Sports Joe

Seattle Sounders fans display bizarre tribute to 80s pop legend Rick Astley – The Sun

For the Nutmeg News, this is like shooting fish in a barrel…

6400 Word Dissertation To Accompany Next Sounders T.I.F.O – Nutmeg News

 

“I’ll Go With You” and Some Notes on Inclusion

I didn’t grow up in a sports house. Sure, we would watch the big games and I had a workable understanding of the more popular American sports, but we didn’t have any obsessions or even alliances to teams. As a kid, I didn’t have even much interest in sports and that culture seemed very clique-ish to me; it felt exclusionary. It’s hard to get very invested in something that is designed to keep certain people out. I don’t think that’s the intent of many sports cultures, but it’s often the result.

I do some speaking on social media and digital culture as part of my day job and I often cite the Portland Timbers—and by extension, the Timbers Army—as examples of community engagement. My standard line is, “Soccer is their product, but community is their brand.” And that’s not a throw-away comment, the community built up around the team is what makes it special. But what is community without inclusion?

With all the news in the last couple weeks regarding restrictive (sorry, I mean BULLSHIT) laws governing the use of public bathrooms, I was delighted, but not surprised, to see a statement from this community I have become so enamored of. It’s a simple, but powerful statement.

I’ll Go With You

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Supporters Culture

This article on Minnesota United FC supporters groups the Dark Clouds, and TNE (True North Elite) uses the Timbers Army as a yardstick, and includes a little behind the scenes video of our home opener tifo creation, filmed while Minnesota was in town for the Simple Invitational.

minnesota As MLS approaches, Minnesota United’s supporters’ culture blossoms
Read It: Twin Cities Pioneer Press

Idea for a 2 Stick

Columbus Crew Sour Brew

I had planned on making this a 2-stick for opening day until I realized that I was going to be unable to attend opening day. This was a quick mockup. Yes, it’s a reference to Crew fans throwing beer cans at Rodney Wallace after his goal in the MLS Cup. Yes, it has lost some of it’s appeal now that Rodney is no longer with us. It still would have been a good one.  Please feel free to appropriate it if you want. I’ll be watching on ESPN.