United We Stand

I arrived in Vancouver, Washington (near the southern border, only miles from Portland) and went to dinner at Best Western. About 85-100 people were in the restaurant. I’m at about a table for about 5 minutes when this "group" comes in (20 people). They have Timber paraphernalia with them. It appears that two of them are Timber Army.

They all sit at a large round table behind me and begin to talk very loudly about how Hurtado deserved his recent red card. One of the "TA" stands up and gives a brief talk about how "Seattle is famous for atrocities" and the Sounders are no different. One member of the group asked a question about why the Sounders always beat the timber. The TA member makes a comment about how that was only a rumor, and if it ever did happen, it was only due to luck.

OK – I’m really mad now and I jump up and go over to their table (In retrospect – Over the entrance to the restaurant is a huge Cascadia Flag. On each table is a Cascadia Flag and a small hand painted sign “Go Sounders Go”). I excuse myself and ask the TA member if I can ask him a question. He says yes. I said that he appears to be of the age to have played in the USL, and asked him if he did. His answer was, “NO – I’m from portscum and no one there is athletic.” I then asked him if he remembers what he was doing on July 1, 2009. When he answered, “Of course not – that was too long ago,” I responded, “Really, I remember what I was doing. That was the third round of the US Open Cup and I had been standing with ECS and mocking portscum.” I then said “Sir, your comments about Seattle were a lie and I personally say to you, you are are a ******* liar, as you were never there. Portscum has never beaten Seattle in a meaningful game. The only other people I have ever heard make the statements like you have are idiots from portscum. Are they telling the truth, and not me?” He stood up and after about 10 seconds said, “Portscum is a Cascadian city, and is filled with patriots. I cannot visualize them lying.” With that, I reached over and grabbed the small Cascadian flag and the Go Sounders Go sign and said, “I’m taking this back to my table where it can be appreciated.”

No one said a word to me as I started to walk back. However, after a few seconds, people started standing up and applauding all around the restaurant. Two men got up from a table across the room and walked over to me. The first identified himself as Mauro Rosales and the other man was Roger Levesque. In a loud voice after introducing themselves, Rosales said they have played portscum on numerous occasions. He then said, “We are over at this table to defend Cascadia from all foes, both foreign and domestic.” They then sat down and asked their waitress to bring their meals over to my table. A few more minutes went by with loud comments from the “portscum” table. All of a sudden, Levesque stood up and in a loud voice said, “All of you heard what the President said the other night. You are either with the Sounders or you are with the terrorists.” He then said, “Please stand and join me in Perry Cuomo’s ‘Seattle’.”

As he started singing, people all around the restaurant stood up and joined in. Several of the portscummers at the “portscum” table also stood up half way through the song and joined in. Both TA and the majority of the portscummers remained seated and refused to sing. At the end there was a great ovation.

The manager came to my table (he and his staff came out through the kitchen and sang). He thanked me for what I started and then went over to the portscum table and asked them to leave. “I will pay for what you have had so far but I cannot in good conscience serve you – get out now!!”

One of the TA then made a remark, “Well, we are not going to pay one dime for how shabbily we have been treated.” As they were leaving, one customer stood up and said, “Manager, here is $5 towards their bill, anyone else willing to chip in and get this scum out of here?” All over the restaurant, people stood up reaching for their wallet and saying, “I’ll chip in.” The manager, in tears said, “My family is from New York. I am now a citizen of Cascadia and so proud of what I see tonight.” He started crying and a couple of the waitresses helped him into the kitchen.

The two Sounders and I were there for about another 20 minutes and finished our meal. The hostess came up and showed us more than $100 that all the other tables had told their waitresses to give towards our bill. I thanked her but said I could not take the money. Rosales suggested donating it in the restaurant’s name to the Seattle Sounders FC, so I guess that’s what will happen. I just can’t believe how Cascadians are coming together now.

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