Saturday, August 10, 2013

THE Miko meets PTFC


 It was Saturday... match day... Cascadia Cup day.  We were playing Vancouver at our home field... and yet... It wasn't what I was looking forward to the most on that day.  My brother Miko was arriving to visit that evening.
     My family had decided about a week before that we'd just sit in the 200 level... introduce Miko to the DBV, and let @MunchkinFunk teach him the chants in that gentle way that he does for all Noobs.  I mean, I do my part, but Ryan breaks it down pretty well.  Gate 3 was opening at 6 PM, and Miko wasn't landing in PDX until 5:15 PM.  There was no reason to take our usual place in line culture if we weren't going to participate in the early entry anyway.  It's not like Miko would have a wristband or anything.  But then @thehack333 talked to me at work about meeting him there... and the wheels in my head started turning.
     On Friday night my wife and I were discussing it and we had a plan.  The kids wanted to go early.  We could get in line and get wristbands... then I could leave to get Miko from the airport.  Joselyn and the kids would square away our 108 seats and we would join them as soon as we could get back and get in.  The kids could play their (now becoming traditional) pick up soccer games at Morrison and 18th, and Miko could get to experience the TA from section 108.

     The morning went as planned.  We arrived at about 9:30 AM and set up camp.  That's right, 9:30 AM on an 8:00 PM game day (and I was wristband 297).  This is the line culture that we participate in.

Some of us made trips for coffee, trips for McSomething-or-others, Pizza and beer at Hot Lips, and of course we passed the ball around.  The overcast sky cleared up, the temperature began to rise, and so did my excitement as it came closer and closer to time to go get Miko...
"The Brown Tornado".  

    THE Miko was a friend of mine from the Army.  He was finishing his short career when I was starting mine, and I bet we weren't even at Schofield Barracks together for a year.  It's one of those bonds though, that once made, will never be broken.  It started simply... he was old enough to buy me beer.  Now no matter the level of affinity I felt toward ANYBODY who would buy me beer when I was nineteen, I didn't call each of them my "brother".  He was from Los Angeles, California and I was from Los Albany, Oregon.  Quite the difference in culture.  I thought he was pretty crazy... he thought I was pretty crazy.  It worked.  We stayed in touch after he left and we've visited each other more than a handful of times in 20 years.  He came to Oregon for my wedding and I went to California for his (faux) graduation.  (It seems he was a credit short, so was able to walk twice... but I only made it to his first graduation party... the one where he didn't actually graduate).  I have a whole series of Miko stories... including why he's called "The Brown Tornado" (hint: it may have to do with a professional wrestling trial... or maybe a gangbang he participated in...) so stay tuned to find out.  He's a brother through and through and I couldn't wait to share the Timbers experience with him.
     I had arranged to receive a ticket from @Stephanzy106, and as we approached the wristband allocation spot at gate 3, my man showed up.  I want to thank him again for helping me out.  Since I live South of Portland and don't have to deal with PDX traffic, I wasn't sure how long it would take me to get my rig from Sunset Transit Center to PDX, then get Miko and I back to Jeld-Wen Field after he arrived.  I had heard that there were some issues with I-84.  I left at about 3:15 on the max from downtown to STC.  I was at the airport parking garage at 3:54.  His flight arrived a little early and he came through the gate at 5:10 PM, and we were at Hot Lips, sharing a pitcher and having pizza, before gate 3 opened at 6 PM.  It was amazing... We were in God's favor.  Things were going oh so right... I knew we were going to win.
     We managed to end up about five rows up in 108, toward the 107 aisle.  I pointed Sunday White out to him, and told him to do whatever she says.
His comment was "her armpits are so smooth.  I want to lick her armpits".  

I had told him on the way... this is one of the only times I'd ask him to be a lemming, and follow all of us over the cliff.  This cliff though, was a cliff that drops to soccer ecstasy.  You MUST sing.  You MUST use your arms and hands.  You MUST pour your soul out of your mouth.  Follow the Capos as they take you over the cliff.  I'm kind of an anti-lemming guy, as I know he is, but this is different.  At that moment, you must allow yourself to go with the masses.  I pointed out the scarves during the star spangled banner.  I pointed out the raised hands and forearms as we chanted "PT"-"FC".  I was so proud... and so happy to be able to share something this special with my brother that I don't get to spend nearly enough time with.
     You know how the story goes.  He went to the bathroom and bought a round of drinks.  While he was gone, Ryan Johnson scored.
When he returned.. smoke was still in the air.

It was shortly after that a VAN player scored too.  So what did I want to do?  I wanted to send him to the bathroom and beer run again... but no dice.  It ended as a tie.
     Miko pointed out that we always seem to hit the ground running, whether it's me visiting him or him coming to Oregon.  Whether it's me hearing about a show on the way to the airport to pick him up (and us ending up seeing Goldfinger downtown directly from the airport), or to us hitting the Downtown bar scene immediately on his arrival.  This time took the cake in my eyes.  Being able to bring him from the airport directly to a Timbers game, a Cascadia match at that, was the funnest and best thing so far.  I was able to introduce him to 20,000 of my closest friends, and I really appreciate how you guys accepted him in so readily.  Rose City Til I Die.