Thursday, July 12, 2012

Coaches axed off the pitch.

A fiery passionate soccer coach gets the sack this week and the airwaves are abuzz with commentary.  John Spencer's firing by the Timbers wasn't the only notable sacking of a coach this week.   Argentine legend Maradona was sacked by UAE's Al Wasl after the club failed to do better than eighth of twelve teams.   The chatter after the fact included quotes from Maradona who wanted,  essentially, to discuss the issue.  

I have to give Spencer credit.  He's got more dignity than Maradona. And may be a better coach.  Time will tell, I guess.   I just found the juxtaposition of events ironic.  I look forward to hearing about Spencer's success at some place and time in the future.   Maradona?   I just hope that the Timbers aren't looking that direction.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

If a tree falls in the front office does anybody hear?

Football is a harsh mistress was the despondent cry of a West Ham fan way back before the world went off the tracks financially in Naught8.   It's a good lament because it has the flavor of brutal honesty and blood in your mouth just after you've taken that punch on the playground in sixth grade and you know you can decide to stand up and take your lumps or beg off and head home, comfort there but only false comfort.

I am feeling sort of like that as I ponder the cruel choices the Game rolls out here in PDX for the Portland Timbers this week.  Our crew,  carefully selected and much heralded,  is not only not a well-oiled machine grinding its way to the playoffs but it is shedding parts as it goes.  Not a good sign.   The truth is there are no easy answers and no time to cast the I Ching and find a path.    Even if one believed that was possible.

We're midseason, all of us, fans and players and management and perhaps even the gods and godesses  who shield our city....if there are such.   The ownership of the team has felt forced to be decisive  and John Spencer (bless him for being a genuine and passionate man) has been given his walking papers.    The team has two and a half dozen professional players,  our veterans  and our youngsters,  who have struggled to come together as a force to be reckoned with and now must face the real challenge---fold up your tent and walk or stand up with your mates,  be angry,  and choose to show the harsh mistress that she can't claim she stumbled over y'all in an alley and didn't know who you were.  

I have confidence that the Timbers are better than the tote board says.  But I think there is a fire someplace here in the heart of the team.  I think that there are men of great possibility who can step up and demand that all of these players band together and choose to be the team that stood up and took its lumps and, win or lose,  earned the aura of being called legendary Portland Timbers.  Players who would get the nod from Clive Charles if he were here.  

Gotta earn it ,Boys.  I think you can.  I want you to.   Go ahead and put that chip back on your shoulder,  play it smart, don't think that the Game loves you.   Look at the faces around you on the field and choose to make them your crew.    Up in the stands we'll give you our best shot at howlin' down the visitors.  

Rose City Til I Die.....