Thursday, January 24, 2008

Timber Jim Retires

Things have been crazy, busy enough with trying to plan a wedding and deal with the realities of working a full time job, juggle a social life, and then find time to eat and sleep. But sometimes events hit you that cause you to step back a bit. My blog yesterday was something to that, but today I was hit with another annoucement that has stunned the Portland Timbers community.

Timber Jim is retiring as our icon. To call him a mascot is an injustice, because he is much more than that. He's truly an ambassador to the game and our fans, and to say this is a huge surprise to me is an understatement. Jim has the ability to whip up a crowd in a frenzy, leading everyone in chants and songs, but then quickly switch gears and spend time with the many kids that visit the park. He's spent countless hours working with local charities to help educate people on the benefits of using seat belts after he lost his daughter in a tragic car accident, and gives of his time to help educate people on chain saw safety. I'm proud to say that I know him personally from many after match conversations, and he gave me a Portland Timbers "Spread the Love" bracelet that I still wear during the season. There's more to his story which is located in this link, but he's given so much to everyone in the Timbers community, and the Timbers Army has shared the love, the joy, the tears, the hugs, and the smiles every step of the way over the years. He is a big reason I carry my green toy chainsaw to each game, it just seemed an appropriate tribute to the man.

My hope is that the tradition of sawing logs after Timbers goals remain in place, but let the newest person establish their own identity in supporting the team. I'm sure we'll see plenty of TJ at the matches and other gatherings, but someone it just won't be the same. But I'm sure that Jim will keep busy spreading the love and his smile everywhere. I wouldn't expect anything less from a legend.

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