Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
- Real Salt Lake barely qualified for the playoffs and actually finished with a sub .500 record, but they were the hottest team going into the playoffs, and they used that energy to win 3 tough games to get there. Playoffs to me don't determine a winner for the season, but simply crown the hottest team at the time, which is why any side that can win the regular season title and then win the playoffs is truly one special squad. Not that I want to discount the accomplishment, but the whole situation here makes me want the regular season winner to be declared the champion more of a reality. That rewards a complete body of work, not just a hot streak at a specific timeframe.
- Seattle supported the game well, and it was nice to see many fans show up even if the home side wasn't part of the match. I'm still not a fan of many game day things they do, but putting 46,000 fans in the seats for the championship is an impressive feat.
- It was great to see some former Timbers playing well in the match. Josh Saunders came in late in the match to replace an injured Donovan Ricketts and performed admirably in a rather tough spot. It's tough to enter late as a keeper, much less then face penalty kicks and hold up as well as he did. It would have been nice to see Bryan Jordan enter the match, but at least former OSU Beaver Robbie Findley played well and was a key cog in the RSL attack.
The Civil War is on December 3rd and it's for all the marbles. Or for the Roses, as the annual Duck and Beaver football game will determine the Pac-10 team that will represent the conference in the Rose Bowl. There hasn't been as much at stake in this game, and the usually friendly rivalry will take on more of a fervor over the next few weeks as trash talk elevates itself to higher than usual levels.
The Oregon - Oregon State rivalry is one of the most friendly in many respects, as you hear stories about Ducks and Beavers interacting all the time until this week, and then all bets are off. Relatives don't speak to each other before the game, businesses and people start promoting their side, and it's time for those in the state who didn't attend either school to pick a side or just remain neutral if you can. And with the stakes being what they are, the pressure to pick a side will be huge.
Myself, I didn't attend either school until I moved here and have attended 3 classes at each college, so I can't choose my allegiance that way. I have dear friends that attended both schools, and based upon that, I can't pick a side much less upsetting one group of friends or the other. The Ducks haven't been there since 1995 and the Beavers haven't been there since the 1960's. I attended a college that doesn't have football, so I can't use that as an excuse, and my wife's alma mater does have football but they seemed to have lost their way. I've always just wished that both teams do well and get into great bowl games so I can watch as a fan, and over the past few years, it's been easy watching their success. And even after this game, both sides will still have good bowl dates.
But this year is different, because both teams have a chance at the Roses and that doesn't come up all that often. So for me, I'll try to take the platypus approach, supporting both sides in a hybrid sort of way until I'm forced to make a call. Besides, being Switzerland in a dispute like this isn't so bad, cause you get those cool bank accounts, chocolates and glockenspiels!!
Friday, November 20, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I've never wanted to rock the boat unless absolutely necessary, because for me, it's easier to understand the situation and adapt to the least-problematic alternative. It doesn't matter if I get hosed within that process, it's more important to keep some form of peace and normalcy. When I write these words, it sound really stupid to think that's how I've been dealing with things, but then again, I come from a family that didn't handle conflict fairly at all, and I'm married to someone who stands up for herself quite a bit. She's not afraid to be honest, which is an incredible trait that I admire greatly. And while I would love to live more like that, my wiring tends to push me in the path of least resistance. Mind you, I'm working on this issue, because I think it's important that you have a voice and stand up for yourself, but at the same point, you have to have the confidence and belief in yourself to make it happen.
When you are with someone in quite close quarters, things come up all the time that require communication, understanding, and a commitment to listen to each other and try to find common ground. And I always thought I was a good communicator until I started dating girl. Now I realize that while I do a reasonable job of saying things, there is a lot of room for improvement. The fact that I'm willing to do it is a huge step, but it's a process. And one that constantly gets tested, over and over again.
That's because as humans, we interact with others all the time, whether it's friends, family, co-workers, service personnel, or random strangers, and in most instances, we have to interact with what we know at the time at face value. You can't sit back and examine every interaction and react with supreme confidence every time, so you react as best as you can and go from there. And our reactions are tempered by our own personal past and current experiences and attitude, which means that even under the best circumstances, we may not understand why we react to certain things the way we do.
So you can imagine taking all of my experiences and dealing with the realities of our busy, hectic day to day work, there's a huge amount of challenges. Things move quickly, information is flowing at all times of the day, and there is no real down time anymore as we try to cram all of the responsibilities we have into a compartmentalized approach and do the best we can. And while we all try to be polite and considerate of others, that isn't often the case. Sometimes, it's from a bad mood or being preocupied with other situations, but lately, I'm seeing more and more of people just doing what they want without concern for anyone else.
I'm not exactly sure where the sense of entitlement has come from with some people, but I was always taught to be polite and considerate to others unless they gave me a reason to do otherwise. Now with my own temperment included, you can see the recipe for some trouble since it often times takes a long time before the reason gets to the point where I need to do something. But the fact that it's coming a lot more lately tells me that I'm noticing a lot more people who just don't care if their actions affect others.
Tuesday night, girl and I went to our regular bowling league at Hollywood Bowl, which is usually a good time. Granted, the fact that I completely miscommunicated with girl about our lane location added some tension to the night, but things got off to a bad start when some fellow bowlers decided to bring their childen to their bowling league. Normally, this isn't a huge issue, as the kids play in a small area and keep to themselves reasonably well while their parents bowl. Last Tuesday, the kids decided that their toys belonged in the middle of the walkway to the far lanes, which meant that everyone needed to walk through strewn out toys and blankets. The parents passively told the kids to pick up their stuff, but over a half an hour had passed before anything was done. Mind you, it wasn't a huge issue to step around the toys, but at the same point, the parents inability to deal with the kids affected everyone else at the alley.
As we drove home later that night down NE Glisan, we were driving behind a black sedan that suddenly was driving very slowly in one of the lanes. Because of other traffic and the conversation with girl about our bowling night, I didn't immediately move into the other lane until later on to realize that the driver had been on the phone the entire time of her drive. She wasn't using hands free, and was consistenly 10 MPH slower than the posted speed limit, even leaving late at intersections because she was distracted while driving by her call. I get that there are conversations that are important to have, and it might make sense to have them when driving. If that's the case, doesn't the hands free mode on a phone make sense? But instead of thinking of others, the driver decided her converstion was more important that whatever else was going on, even within the flow of traffic.
But I think the final straw that has frustrated me was my experience at the TMBG show at the Crystal Ballroom last night. They Might Be Giants is one of my favorite bands, and one that I forget how much I enjoy until I see them in person or hear one of their songs, so having the chance to see them live was exciting to me, and I was happy to bring girl with me because she likes their music as well. We met our friend, S3K, at Ringlers, and the evening did get off to a rather clunky start when our food was delayed by over 40 minutes because they lost our order ticket.
Granted, the waitress was very apologetic and explained what happened, but there was no discount applied to our order at all. They did expediate our order, and it wasn't like we were in a hurry to get to our show which started at 9 PM, but I just felt like they could have done more. I even gave the waitress a decent tip because it wasn't her fault the order was misplaced, but at the same time, I just felt they could have done more under the circumstances. But I wasn't going to push the issue because I understand how things happen, and the order eventually arrived.
After eating, we got in line and soon got into the Crystal Ballroom almost 40 minutes before the show, and the crowd was reasonably sized but there was still plenty of room to move about when we got there. If you've been to a show at the Crystal, there's seats in the balcony for sitting and some benches along the far wall, but otherwise, it's standing room. Since we stand for many Timbers matches, standing doesn't bug me at all as long as I have enough room so I'm not overly crowded. I get that people bump into each other from time to time moving about or dancing, but I wasn't prepared for what happened to me and girl during the show.
The opening act came and played, and it was well received and the crowd was still reasonably sparse. As we were waiting for the Giants to start up at 9 PM, that's when things started to get interesting. As S3K had his head turned to talk with girl, a couple moved from behind us to jump right in front of him to get closer for the Giants. Girl got into it with two girls that wanted to move closer to the stage because they wanted to see what was going on, but girl stood her ground because things were getting more crowded. They referred to Girl as a bitch, and she gave it right back to them by calling them a bitch, then chatting with two gals next to us that were upset about all the people wanting to crowd. One gal stood right behind me in an attempt to get me to move, but I held my ground by putting my elbow right between her breasts to keep her back. At this point, the show hadn't even started but people had decided to start rushing the stage a bit, and it wasn't appreciated.
If that was it, I could still count the night as a success, but then the show started, and while I was engrossed in the songs and singing along, the couple in front of S3K started groping each other and getting in the way of others. Girl, meanwhile, was constantly being backed into by two guys that were trying to dance and didn't have a sense of space. I had to put my arm around her back to try and protect her later on, but all that did was get my arm bumped and make things warmer than it already was for girl. Meanwhile, I was dealing with a pink haired gal that couldn't handle her alcohol, and she proceeded to spend most of the two hours flopping about, falling over myself and others around her while trying to stand up. Her companion didn't seem that interested in stopping her behavior, and the final straw for me was one of the guys behind girl grabbed me to keep himself from falling over, and I glared at him. There was also someone who we couldn't target, but they had some of the worst personal gas I've ever smelled, and they proceeded to let go every 10 minutes in a noxious display that would make even Barnacle Brian blush.
If I could gage the show simply on the music and energy of the Giants, I would give it a huge thumbs up because I love their music and the Giants are professionals who know how to entertain. If I had to include the venue, I would lessen the grade slightly, although the Crystal isn't a bad place to watch a show based on sound and asthetics. But add in the crowd, and I can't give this more than an average show. Girl was completely distracted by the antics, and I know she didn't enjoy herself because of what others did, while I was upset because she didn't enjoy herself and I had my own issues.
Granted, I could have taken some of these issues in my own hands at the time, by getting physical or verbal with the irritants. However, the drunken girl probably wouldn't have understood what she was doing, and the dancing guys probably wouldn't have changed anything, but there's a possibility that the situation could have escalate to something worse leading to ejection or confrontation that would be regretted. I don't think any of those folks are giving it a second thought what they did last night and how they conducted themselves at the concert, but they probably should be.
But it's easier to just keep doing what you are doing at points, because what I want to do is more important than what others are thinking or doing. Seriously, do you really need to get that plowed to enjoy a show, or do you really need to slam into strangers to have a good time? I've been to dozens of shows at the Crystal and never had this issue before, and I've also been on the floor of other arenas and never had things happen this badly. For some shows, it did help that we were friendly to people around us and we provided a unified front, like in Vegas at the Mode show when some people tried to crowd the stage and a line of us stood our ground.
I get that people want what they want, but why should it be at the expense of others? Are we that callous and insulated about our own existance to not even think about how our actions affect others, or are some of us so convinced that we should always get what we want that we'll do whatever it takes to meet our needs? I don't want to make a generalization here, but many of the people that exhibit that this behavior are younger people in the 18 - 30 crowd. It's not always them, but more often than not, it seems like they are at the center of this behavoir. As as someone who doesn't think like that, I can't wrap my head around why they can operate in this matter, not realizing how their actions are viewed by others. I don't know if this is a product of their own self absorption about their needs or an extension of being told they can do anything or be anything no matter what, but it's an attitude that I don't like but it's becoming far more prevolent than I would prefer.
I'm not perfect in bringing this up, because everyone has issues in thinking of others when needed, but I'm trying to learn and be more empathetic while also learning to stand up when it's necessary. It's certainly a work in progress, but within our incredibly diverse world, apparently, it's becoming as important of a skill as learning your reading and writing basics. Perhaps we should be teaching our younger generations some empathy and compassion along with other basics rather than turning school into nothing more than an exercise in reinforcing entitlement and standardized testing.
BASEBALL UPDATE - Vancouver steps up for the Beavers, but is it too little, too late? I admire their conviction and sounds like they have some ideas to bring the Portland Beavers to Vancouver, WA, but will it be enough to save baseball for the metropolitan area? Based on the news around PGE Park, it looks like the final hurdles for MLS to take over the stadium are being crossed.
EDIT - I forgot to mention a couple of things in my concert ramblings, added in italics this afternoon. GK
Friday, November 6, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Thank you for taking the time to write this letter, we appreciate this open form of communication with the fans and supporters.
Perhaps, everybody seems to have a reason why this season wasn't successful and solutions suggested are countless and free.
We also want to thank all of you for taking the time to share your thoughts, I can relate to you and you have the right to decide weather you continue to enjoy this beautiful sport.
I apologize in advance, I don't intend to lecture you, just want to share my point of view.
Legion 5280 I believe is the smallest supporter group within the Front Range. However, we are known to be passionate about the Club. Supporting it is our life's essence.
I want to share my passion and make everyone understand what it is about.
Fan Vs Supporter - What's The Difference?
I'm not saying that one is better than the other, just that there is an important difference.
What is the difference between the two?
Well, it's in the words. A fan likes something, a supporter actively supports it. A regular fan wouldn't drive 8 hours to support the Colorado Rapids in the freezing temperatures of Salt Lake City.
What do Supporters do differently?
Passion. Dedication. Loyalty.
Take a club like Club America-Mexico City for example. They have by far the most fans in Mexico, but only a small group of true Supporters. The fans buy lots of merchandise and visit the home matches, and usually refer to the team, not the club. The fan idolizes players, but often knows little about the club's history. When a club doesn't do well, more and more seats will be empty, whereas the section of the Supporters is as full as ever.
A Supporter loves the club, not the team and its players. Those are mercenaries who do not identify with the club and will transfer as soon as more money is offered.
To a Supporter, it's all about the club, not the team.
A fan sees this as a hobby or casual entertainment. But Supporters take it seriously. No matter where or when the club plays, or how important the match is, the Supporter is there. A lot of times this means sacrificing other aspects of his/her life - work, school, family, and friends. That's because words like loyalty and honor still have meaning. A Supporter will defend the club's name if necessary, without getting it into trouble.
To the Supporter the club is a lifestyle.
The Supporter supports the team throughout the entire match, regardless of the score or the performance. Because the team needs the support the most when things are not going well. That is not to say that displeasure can't be voiced. But the support of the team always comes first.
Simply singing or shouting is not enough. Every word uttered and every song sung has to be filled with all of the Supporter's energy and passion. Even if the players on the field don't care, it is done for the club's honor and for the Supporter's entire honor.
Sing until your lungs burn and you are ready to puke.
Supporters look at everything the club does objectively and is not afraid to be critical. It is up them to protect the club's values and integrity and to carry them on with their actions.
Should a decision of the club clashes with the Supporter's believes, but benefits the club in the long run, the Supporter has to put his/her own interest aside.
Everything the Supporter does have to be in the club's best interest.
All of these traits are vital. I have known people who went to every Club America match, but didn't support. There were those who sang passionately, but only cherry-picked a few matches a year, exactly the same here in Denver with the Colorado Rapids.
Unfortunately there seems to be a pre-meditated disconnection going on against the Supporters here. The Colorado Rapids FO wants to replace us with customers who will shell out money without asking questions or criticizing.
Rest assured that Legion 5280 will continue its passion and loyalty to the Club, regardless…
David Fagoaga on behalf of Legion 5280
If you ever wanted to know what the difference is between a fan and a supporter is, read David's words. It describes the plight of many of us better than anything I've read in a while. Keep up the fight, Legion 5280.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
The announcement of this site was timed in conjunction with the city also putting forth efforts to revitalize the area. They’ve developed a site as well, and are asking for input from residents about what to do with the Rose Quarter area. Granted, the MC has historical designation now, so design plans must fit within the parameters of dealing with a historic property, but the site is soliciting any thoughts about what to do here. The Oregonian also provided their take, with some quotes from the Trail Blazers about wanting a smaller MC and something to take advantage of Portland’s history as a music center, using the name JumpTown as homage to some of the jazz clubs that used to populate the area.
I’m sure there will be lots of people that will see this idea, and get very excited about the possibilities for the area. I mean it’s been 15 years since the Rose Garden was built, and there’s been dozens of ideas thrown out in an attempt to jump start the area as a destination point outside of nights where the Trailblazers or a concert are in the area. But I have my own thoughts about the concept, and what I think will happen here.
Memorial Coliseum is the perfect site for baseball, and it would have provided a huge jumpstart to the area with a ball park that would attract people at differing times than the Blazers. Why it took this long to push this idea forward is beyond me, but anyone that seriously thinks this won’t cost the taxpayers as much or more that the original $50 million dollars that a ball park would have cost is kidding themselves. The Blazers don’t mind competition as long as they get their piece of the pie, and this plan gives them creative control of the area and control over all of the facilities. And because of the absolute love this town has for the NBA team, there’s a really good chance that this idea will pass even with it costing more than baseball.
The new plan does address the Winterhawks, which is a good thing in my opinion. They have a strong fan base, the team is actually performing well this year, and there’s some buzz about hockey, and I think they deserve a home that works for them in the metro area. However, their better home is the Rose Garden, and keeping them there books more dates there to keep the arena occupied. And this plan does nothing to resolve the problem of baseball, who right now needs someone to step up and care about it. And I’m still convinced that had baseball not come knocking to the area, we’d still be talking about what to do with that area for the next few years. The Trail Blazers have done little to nothing in that region, and it was only after baseball came calling that plans suddenly materialized.
Baseball has a long history in the Rose City, and while we may not have many Portland Beavers fans, we have a lot of fans of baseball. Because of the MLS effort, the Beavers are not able to stay at PGE Park, which is a middling baseball park at best. The original design of the park was for track and field, and the horseshoe was meant to be completed on both sides, but baseball fit there during the times where multi purpose stadiums were the rage, and so PGE Park gained history as a baseball park. A newer ballpark would be a great investment in the history of baseball here, plus provide another great entertainment option during the long summers here in Portland. A stadium could also help spur some economic development in whatever area they choose, but the simple fact is that a city of this size should be able to find a home for baseball at a reasonable price.
It’s not the fault of soccer that baseball is in the predicament it is, as the fans of the Timbers voiced their opinion about MLS and given the recent instability of the USL, it seems like moving up couldn’t happen soon enough. The fact is that baseball fans have been very quiet about the future of their team, as soccer, basketball and hockey fans have all made their voices heard and as such, plans are in place to help their teams. Now it’s time for baseball fans to be heard, and make sure that we have America’s pastime here to enjoy for years to come.