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Friday, April 15, 2011

Here Comes Timber Joey...A Real Man's Mascot!

Okay, I am not a huge soccer fan – I admit, when the World Cup comes to the “pitch” I’ll watch the games, but that really is the extent of it.  One time as a favor to a close friend, I went to RFK Stadium to watch two teams from Italy (Juventos against AC Milan) go toe to toe during a hot and humid summer day, but that was the only “in-game” experience of my life.

What I am a huge fan of, though, is the enthusiasm that the fans bring to the game and I’m not talking about the fans that are "over the top" and make Philadelphia Sports Fans look like attendees at the opera!  There is something about soccer fans that adds to the excitement of the game.  The non stop chatting, the constant buzz, the waving of the flags – whatever it is, they add a certain amount of energy to what is a happening down on the field.  The energy is contagious. 

Which brings me to the main point of this rant…I recently came across a commercial for the Portland Timbers, a new franchise in Major League Soccer, starring Joey Webber, or should I say, TIMBER JOEY.  It’s been a long standing Timbers tradition, dating back to when they competed in the North American Soccer League in the 1970s, that the Timbers have an authentic lumberman as the club’s mascot.  That’s right…we’re not talking about a big footed, cartoon character look a like with a gigantic head.  This is a true outdoorsman right down to the chain saw he carries around with him on JELD-WEN field, home of the Portland Timbers.  Timber Joey was born and raised in the timber town of Philomath, Oregon where he attended the School of Forestry.  He competed in state forestry, timber competitions, and ranked in several events including pole climbing, axe throwing, log rolling and hot saw operation.  And look where it got him!  Makes me wonder... what kind of background does it take to be a mascot in Major League Baseball?  Do you need a license in driving a three wheeled scooter, and a degree in shooting hot dogs into the stands?

Timber Joey stars in this video promoting the Timbers’ home opener vs the Chicago Fire.  And while you may not be a soccer fan, you can’t help but get caught up in the excitement.  The amazing part of the commercial…there is not one shot of the game, a player, a goal, a diving stop by the goal keeper – just Timber Joey, his chainsaw, and the Timbers’ fans.  In soccer, what else do you need? 

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