It might seem strange to some, but even though Adrian Hanauer and Merritt Paulson own teams that are bitter rivals, they actually get along swimmingly.
It's hardly a secret that Adrian Hanauer and Merritt Paulson are friends. The owners of the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers have talked relatively openly about it and Paulson even snapped a photo of Hanauer while the two of them were out drinking prior to the UEFA Champions League final.
But never before now has that friendship really been detailed as Noah Davis so excellently did for the Wall Street Journal. There's some really great details in there, such as their mutual respect and that they come from very different backgrounds.
What was also interesting was how they contrast in ways that they deal with the public. While Paulson is never shy about giving his opinion, Hanauer is much more content to work behind the scenes.
In some ways, it actually makes a lot of sense that they might get along so well. After all, how many of us have good friends who root for the Timbers? Unlike previous stories that will go unlinked, this story does a good job of showing just how similar our two communities are.
"People in the Northwest will give each other crap, but we are pretty similar in a lot of ways," said Hanauer, who has led his franchise to the postseason in each of its four MLS seasons. "We're very green, very counterculture. We all like our music, our coffee, our organic restaurants, and our technology companies."
That is a message that seems to get lost too often. As much as we may hate the Timbers and maybe even their fans in general way, there's really no reason the animosity should go beyond the field.