MLS to PDX: A Dear John to Some Flames

Look. We have to talk.

A lot of things have changed since Major League Soccer (MLS) brought us together, hasn't it? It's been a whirlwind, really, and I remember all the good times. With New England, there was the improbable run at MLS Cup in 2002, the salad days of 2005, on which followed the bitter trials of 2006.

And even if my late relationship with the Crew isn't strictly speaking romantic, we've had some good times too, haven't we? There was the Schelotto signing and...and...well, the Schelotto signing was an exciting time, wasn't it?

But if the reports are true and an MLS team comes to some corner of the Pacific Northwest, I'm afraid I don't see much of a future for us. The phone sex has been really, really great. Just great, honestly. And I never once faked anything. You know that, don't you? But once I hang up, you're not there any more. Do you understand? I can't curl up with the phone after we, um, finish and, you have to admit, we've covered all the role-playing scenarios I can think of and it's not like we've got options with positions or anything. And whips over the phone: it just doesn't translate. I'm afraid I just can't carry on the long-distance thing.

I know we agreed to flings with other leagues; I always had my Portland Timbers and had whatever the hell it is you have back East. But those were, you know, flings. It wasn't the same league and, somehow, it just didn't feel like "cheating."

I know this is hard, but I don't think I can share my heart like this. So, if and when a team shows up in the Northwest - and even if it's Seattle team - let's just try to end this. We both deserve better, true companionship; I think you know that's true. The thing is I don't want this to be an ugly surprise when the team comes along, so I thought I'd get it over with now, when we can still have some fun together. And I know you'll find someone else out there, someone who can make you happy, maybe even someone who can appreciate your um, "fascinations."

Anyway, I'll call tonight. Would it make you happy if I played the deacon again? For old time's sake?

(For those looking for less-silly analysis, there's some nice stuff out there. Both My Soccer Blog and WVHooligan did nice work looking over the two cities as candidates; The Offside Rules came up with some decent reasons why the ownership group in play may not "get it." And, naturally, the Timbers Blog makes a great point about why the City of Portland may not be the easiest partner to work with - and that's significant for the Portland bid.)



Bob said...

If Seattle gets a team you aren't allow to support them my friend. That is like rooting for evil and we are know where that will get you.

Fingers crossed he chooses Portland. Fingers crossed Portland doesn't screw the pooch.

The Manly Ferry said...

A fair sentiment, Bob, but I don't believe I've introduced you to my "free love" side.

Now, if both Portland and Seattle had MLS teams, there'd be no question: I'd be Portland green (or whatver color they choose) through and through, much as I am now with the USL set-up. But if it's a rough status quo ante - e.g. MLS v. USL - I'll stick with Portland for the USL (and back the local boys to the hilt in, say, the U.S. Open Cup), but pull for a Seattle team on all other occasions.

Like you, though, I'm hoping to avoid such hard choices. And if it's between Qwest Field and PGE Park, holy shit, I hope Keston go with PGE - even without a face-lift (I know; fat chance). It will look better several times over and, to be blunt about it, I just like Portland much, much better.

But with this city's capacity for pooch-screwing, I'd say we're best off hiding every damn dog in town.

Bob said...

Fortunately we are going up against Seattle and they are equally inept when it comes to sports. They could have had an MLS team from the get go but didn't have the political will.

The interesting person in this equation is Paul Allen. His company runs Quest and right now they basically let the Sounders play there for free. If Keston is simply looking for the best deal Seattle might win. If he is looking for the best soccer situation Portland will win hands down.

I do find it funny how many people in Portland root for Seattle teams. I was raised to loathe the cities near me, but then again I was born in Philly so hating NYC and DC is easy.

The Manly Ferry said...

That's a funny cultural thing I've always kind of enjoyed. I experienced a bit of it living in Boston; the same applied growing up in Cincinnati - I was supposed to loathe Cleveland and Columbus growing up (Toledo and Akron, for some reason, didn't count). I failed horribly on both counts and was a Cleveland Browns fan growing up.

The same kind of thing happened in high school: I moved to Pullman, Washington, home of Washington State University (WSU) and was supposed to loathe all things University of Washington (UW) related ("Huck the Fuskies" and all that). Naturally, I went the other way, rooting for the Huskies all the way through high school; when I moved to Seattle and went to UW, I started pulling for WSU Cougars.

You're probably seeing a pattern by now. I'm happy to report this knee-jerk contrarianism has subsided, but I think my, um, "flexibility" on these issues has its roots in this history.

choppers said...

Welcome up, anytime. It might surprise you to know that at least a few Seattleites feel the same way if a club ends up in PDX first...

The Manly Ferry said...

Doesn't surprise me in the least. It's a soccer club; not sides in a blood-feud. So long as the rivalry isn't direct, what's the harm in a little cross-state dalliance?