1) This is the eighth column in a row that might piss off Merritt Paulson, but is more likely to make him howl with laughter. In this series I’ll tell you what I would do if I owned the Timbers / Thorns on the one hand and am absurdly rich on the other. Not Jeff Bezos rich, but richer than Merritt Paulson. Rich enough that the team wasn’t my main source of income, but more of a hobby. Rich enough that I didn’t need the team to make a profit, I just needed them to break even.
In the first week we talked about TriMet. The second week we talked about food. The third week we talked about drinks. In the fourth week we talked about open practices. In the fifth week we talked about youth football. Sixth week we talked about T2. Last week we talked about posters. This week we’re going to talk about the other Portlands.
2) The idea. Of all the ideas I’ve suggested in this series, this one is probably the dumbest. I will create football teams for men and women in every city in the world named Portland.
3) The details. That whole idea came to my mind in 2018 when the Sounders put up those stupid billboards saying how much they love Portland … Maine. (Ha ha ha ha ha! You see? It’s funny! It’s funny because you thought they meant Oregon, but they didn’t! They meant Maine! Ha ha ha ha! So funny! Ha ha ha ha!)
Anyway, all Seattle’s not-so-funny joke did was start a lovely romance between the Timbers and Portland, Maine, and it was wonderful to see the whole stupid thing explode right on Seattle’s stupid face.
A few years later, I am the fabulously rich owner of the Timbers and Thorns. And do you know what Imma is doing? Imma sent a message to every city in the world called Portland telling them that I will provide uniforms for them if they can bring together men’s and women’s soccer teams at any level, whether professional or amateur.
How many Portlands would this include? According to this article on Wikipedia are some.
Of course, Portland, Maine can put a few teams together, but what about Portland, Arkansas? They only have 430 inhabitants. Do you think you can throw wood and thorns together? If so, I will equip them.
Portland, Australia? I will equip them. The other Portland, Australia? I will equip them too.
Portland, Ireland? Wikipedia calls it a “townland” and I have no idea what that means, but if they can get a few teams together, damn it, I’ll equip them.
Just for fun, check out this Wikipedia list and predict which of the Portlands in the world might be able to pull together a men’s and women’s team. And to be clear, they don’t have to be professional teams. You don’t even have to be adults. Does the local middle school team need universities? If they change their nicknames to Timbers and Thorns, I’ll equip them! I’m really, really rich, you know I wake up in the morning and piss a thousand dollar bills. I think I can outfit a couple of teams in … * reviews notes * … Portland, Ontario.
4) The positives. The only really positive thing I can see from this is building fans all over the world. I want us to be the most popular American soccer team in every Portland in the world.
How many fans do we have in Ireland right now? With my plan, I can pretty much guarantee we’ll become the most popular American football team in at least one Irish city. Or “Townland” I guess. Whatever it is.
And that could actually pay off in the end. How many Timbers sweatshirts do we currently sell in New Zealand? How many thorn hats? If I was outfitting a couple of teams in Portland, New Zealand, I’d be pretty sure we’d be selling a whole lot more stuff there.
5) The possible negatives. Costs. I might have to send 50 or 60 shirts, shorts, and socks to Portland to sign up for this deal. And I’d probably have to send new ones every year. Would all of the hats, scarves, and T-shirts I sell make up for these costs? Probably not. But once again I wake up in this fantasy world in the morning and pee a thousand dollar bills. (My urologist is a little concerned.)
6) Could this actually happen in the real world, where Merritt Paulson still owns the team? Probably not. I mean, it’s a pretty stupid idea. Ingenious and funny, but stupid.
But here’s something I would like to know: is there anyone reading this who lives in any of the other Portlands in the world? And if so, do you think you could throw some teams together? If so, you might beat Merritt Paulson. See if he’ll equip you. If so, the Timbers and Thorns would instantly become the most popular American teams in your city.
What do you think? Bad idea? Good idea, but slightly flawed? What shortcomings do you discover? Give me a few ideas to fix them. Let’s see if we can do it – at least in our imaginary world.