Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Nascar Demographic is Dead and how it Relates to the Portland Timbers

Just finished reading "Southern Culture on the Skids" talking about the dying demographic of NasCar fans. Ben Austin describes the early beginnings of NasCar and tracks it through an ill-fated pit row spat that rocketed Racing's popularity and now NasCar is left with a model that is indeed broken.

Competitive stock-car racing has its roots in moonshine-running, NASCAR president Mike Helton has said "The old southeastern redneck heritage that we had is no longer in existence.  But what NASCAR has done is that it has strayed away from its roots. NASCAR had grand ideas of tracks in New York City, fans have now complained that drivers are too corporate and bland and that the racing is now boring. The cars no longer look like the cars the fans had driven as kids. In another odd move NASCAR moved race times to later in the day that no longer coincided with the traditional time when people where arriving home from church. What NasCar has done is to get away from its traditional base. They now screen off entire sections of Daytona grandstands so the track appears full to sponsors and fans.

What does that have to do with the Portland Timbers one may ask.

Well the Timbers have had similar success with a campy comfortable product with a real feel good approach to its success. It has been a grass roots word of mouth growth where the the team now is drawing 10000 fans a night to see their beloved team play in a league that is truly bad.  Not really the players but rather promotion and opponent fan base.

Well the Timbers have been awarded an MLS franchise and start playing next year in what looks like a  beautifully renovated  PGE park. It is estimated the 10000 figure next year will be 20000 and that is not a stretch. That will happen in the short term. Now the challenge is to produce those numbers in the long term and the Timbers will do that by sticking to their roots.

A recent uprising against the new crest was a result of a perceived lack of management insight into sticking to their roots. Out sourcing the logo design to an out of state firm was not a great start. Hopefully that public relations hiccup was merely that.

But change is constant but change need not be chaotic. The Timbers must keep with what got them here.
The Timbers are not NASCAR and they are not the Portland Trail Blazers and there is no need for cheer leaders or for gods sake (NASCAR term) please keep out the pumped in music. Footy fans are spur of the moment and don't need cues as when to be fired up. The Timbers Army is doing a great job in talking with the field office and vise versa. This needs to continue as the fans understand the direction of the teams just as well as the field office much like the fans of the Oval sport.

But it is the teams money and resources. It is preferred to put a winner on the field, but it just as important to stick with tradition. Little traditions such as "Green is the Color" playing before games, sales reps stopping by your seat and asking for feed back, plenty of bike racks for those riding to games and may i repeat NO PUMPED IN  MUSIC. Sorry a little pet peeve of mine but we are fans and not customers and we like seeing PGE park filled to the brim. We have great tradition, a great city and it what got us here and will help us grow in the future.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


When I lived in Arlington Va. I went for a run and waved hello to a neighbor and his friend who were innocently drinking beer on sultry typical DC fall evening. When I got back from my run there was a swarm of police and ambulances in front of the house and apparently they had played with their Dads hand gun and it went off and killed one of the boys. I still remember the neighbors gathering that night and the father of the boy who owned the gun was pissed that he could not get blood stains out of the carpet. He had the only NRA bumper sticker on a mostly liberal minded community.

Yesterday a 3 year old got to playing with his Dad's handgun (a police officer non the less) and we lost another young person. Story here if you are so inclined.

Our founding fathers are 286 years old and their original intention is now distorted. It took 5 minutes to load a damn musket. Now a days we have guns that can shoot 100 rounds a minute. I must admit I did not research the fact but the direction of my statement should be understood.

My questions are.

1.Why does one have to own a handgun.?
2. If so how hard is to lock it up.?
3. What if anything can be done?

From some Pro Gun site
A fatal gun accident, particularly when a child is involved, often makes state or national news. This gives the impression that: fatal gun accidents are more prevalent than other fatal accidents, gun accidents are increasing, and civilian gun ownership must be further restricted or regulated.

The reality does not correspond to the perception created by media coverage. Fatal gun accidents declined by almost sixty percent from 1975 to 1995, even though the number of guns per capita increased by almost forty percent.

Tongue in cheek one can concluse the per capita is up because we accidently killed so many. But once again it is a single life that ended, a father lost a son and its an acceptble risk.

I disagree.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Just Random stuff that Comes to My Mind

I am really doing some repetitive work and when something pops in mu mind I will just jot it down.

From NPR of Montreal
1. NPR is a great place to listen to new releases. Currently Listening to the New "Of Montreal cd" . I used to like this band but it seems like they now have Prince like vocals. On second thought its a little more like Spoon.

2. UP is playing PSU in soccer this weekend. That PSU is my ala mater Penn State. Go Lady pilots. Wonder where Kendra Chandhoke has disappeared to.

3. Muslims find America, the Tolerant. It seems like they have not ventured out side the city, but that Jones dude in Florida is crazy.

4. When I asked my family via text message what the score of the Braves/Cards game was they all had an answer within 10 seconds.

5. This is the last scheduled around-the-clock weekend closure for southbound I-205. Crews plan to use night time double-lane closures through October to complete joint work and restripe lanes on both directions of the bridge. I hate this as I will be missing my soccer game again.

6. Just started reading a book with a cover and Pages. My first one since I got the kindle a year ago. J. Robert Lenin's Funny Papers. and its pretty good.

7. My wife is reading to her students and playing the cd from our wedding. Wonder what the kids thing of the Loch Lomond song called Carl Sagen.

Love this  JRL wackiness. (This is lifted from here).

1 egg = 2 T vegetable oil
1 T prepared mustard = 1 t dry mustard
1 prune = 8 raisins
1 pizza = 12 dollars
1 C Coke = 1 C Pepsi
sunrise = sunset
1 wasp = 14 ants
1 hug = 5 handshakes
1 punch in jaw = 8 middle fingers
1 stomach flu = 10 staff meetings
completing free coffee card = spying nude neighbor through the window
licked by dog = gift of ugly necktie
cloud = crow
bowling trophy = promotional t-shirt
finding a $20 bill on the sidewalk = finding 20 $1 bills on the sidewalk
thunderstorm = trick-or-treating
car door slammed on fingers = testifying against brother-in-law
legalized gambling = africanized killer bees
car alarm = painful urination
misspelling = untied shoe
 lawyer jokes = 1 C bread crumbs
empty parking lot = dream-within-a-dream
shaving = sauteeing
pinking shears = parsley
tapanade = “Rashamon”
bone spur = church pew
eleventy-twelve = 122


9. A new way to make eggplant happened by accident as we were out of eggs.
  • Soak sliced eggplants in salt and water
  • Dip in a mixture of vegetablee oil and Mayo.
  • Bread accordingly
  • Broil in Oven

 10.  I swear or cat Astrid was getting poop out of the liter box and taking it to our Beagle who promptly ate it and then proceeded to run around like Marion Berry on Crack.

Our weather has been weird  We get sights like this. But how can one argue as it has been late October weather in early September.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Let's Build a Temple for the Overly Religious

Lets for arguments sake just say that Timothy McVeigh (At the end of his life he would state his belief that the United States government is the ultimate bully) was a Christian zealot. For example, " Throughout his childhood, he and his father were Roman Catholic and regularly attended daily Mass at Good Shepherd Church in Pendleton, New York" .This statement ,alone taken on purpose somewhat out of context from Wikipedia, (a common Internet tool that many times is mistaken as absolute truth by those doing book reports) can in our media driven world be read and interpreted as true by many in American society. It happens all the time.

Which in a sound byte world would come across as "Christian goes Jihad on Government Building"  if the press decided to report this in such a way the fallout could be different..  It is a far fetched scenario of sorts but the truth is somewhat close. Number one and besides the point the the basically pro Christian Press would not report it this way. Number two -Let us suppose the press reports it this way and Americans actually believe that a Radical Christian bombed the  Federal buildings (including a day care center) that actual resentment toward Christians would result in threats against God Loving Christians/

Would it cause a national uproar (Ill call it a major chasm) against a church going up near ground zero in New York.

Friday, September 03, 2010

The Sunshine Goal


From soccercityusa

Thursday Sept.2 will be the last regular season home game at PGE Park for our beloved Portland Timbers before the leap to MLS.
Please bring a large Sunflower to this historic event.
At the 80th minute we will sing "You are my Sunshine" and display these tokens of our affection until the end of the match.
Sunflowers will be collected and given to players and coaches as the Timbers pass the Timbers Army.

"You are my Sunshine" is part of Timbers lore. It is sung at every Timbers game as a tribute. Timber Jim's daughter, Hannah, was killed in an automobile accident in 2004, and in her memory, the Timbers Army made a tradition of singing "You Are My Sunshine," often led by a tearful Timber Jim.

Tonight was a tribute to everything Timbers as it was the last home game for the Current squad and we were locked into a key division game against the Islanders from Puerto Rico. The atmosphere at the park was trully electric. Sunflowers were every where and there was a great game on the pitch as both sides settled into a defensive struggle. Ryan Pore nearly found the back of the net as the first half ended.

As the 80th minute approached sunflowers appeared out of every corner of PGE park and almost everybody in attendance broke into "You are My Sunshine" with sunflowers raised. The game proceeded and James Marcelin wrestled a the ball away midfield sending a cross to Ian Joy who fed Doug Demartin on the wing. Demartin lofted a perfect through ball that Ryan Pore out marked his opponent and headed in the game winner as the crowd was singing. The place went absolutely crazy.

You honestly could not have scripted it better and it retrospect as I write this it seems like a script but it happened at PGE park in front of 15000 thousand plus fans. Some had tears in their eyes, others donned sunglasses and it was a magical moment that I was happy to share with my wife, my son and our friend Erin on her bithday and 15000 people I will see agian.

As we walked out of the stadium I ran into a friend and he asked me if I shed a tear.

My answer was simply "Yes". one guy speaking to another.

Timbers by dougall5505, on Flickr

Thursday, September 02, 2010

I Remember 1969 -Researching the Expanding Past

I was having a discussion with Dad the other day and he told me he played baseball with Charlie Engle when he was 53. Charlie is an interesting chap who just threw a no hitter at the age of 79. I replied that the last time he (Dad) played baseball was when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon.  Dad's flippant response was that he was not 30 in 1958.

So a little research. Debunking the myths.

When we were kids on Sunday nights all our cousins (The Hoovers) would come over to the house and we would usually eat Chicken Delight. I did some quick research and the place still exists in some form. We loved the chicken wings, the blueberry muffins and the coleslaw. We would usually eat, the parents would drink beer and the kids would run around the house and eventually get their leg stuck in a wagon or some other calamity.

And in some seasons the parents would sit down and watch Roller Derby. The Philadelphia Warriors.with the likes of Buddy Atkinson. Jim Trotter and Judy Arnold. They would watch them them play or skate or what ever they did.

Well the reason for this diversion is that Dad tells me he was not 30 when Niel and the gang landed on the Moon. But he did back up his mis-claim that the lunar landing happened in 1958.

So I did some checking as Charlie Engle is real and one night in the summer of 1969 Roller Derby was pre-emted by the lunar landing. I remember watching those grainy images and to me it was one of the more exciting moments in my life.

The Basic facts behind it.

The Apollo 11 space flight landed the first humans on Earth's Moon on July 20, 1969. The mission, carried out by the United States, is considered a major accomplishment in the history of exploration and represented a victory by the U.S. in the Cold War Space Race with the Soviet Union.. I did some additional research and July 20th was indeed a Sunday. It all fits.

Whether Dad played against Charlie Engle at the age of 53 is open for debate.