Holy crap, Timbers, you did it.
The Portland Timbers needed five years in Major League Soccer to do it. "It" = WIN THE MLS CHAMPIONSHIP HOLY CRAP.
Oh yeah, I've been smiling. I watched the first half at Landmark Saloon, which opened its "shed" (really, it's an outside shed with seats on the outside and a fridge and a tap on the inside) early to show the game plus NFL on another monitor, with people I know through Funemployment Radio; I watched the second half at Big-Ass Sandwiches. And that first half had TWO TIMBERS GOALS IN JUST SEVEN MINUTES, and the first? Only thirty seconds after the game had started.
Holy crap. Again.
The Timbers had not looked like a playoff team earlier this season: some great wins, some inexplicable losses, and a general feeling of unevenness. Not flat-out mediocre like their 2012 season, but frustrating: fans knew they could be better, the team knew they could be better.
Then, holy crap, they were. And they reached the playoffs for the second time (first was 2013) and, as fans always hope, kept going. Including a penalty kick shootout against Sporting Kansas City that went so long as to get almost surreal. (Eleven rounds. One KC penalty kick hit one bar, then hit the other bar, never going into the net.) Friends and acquaintances of mine were at the second-to-last game near Dallas, TX; several of those friends and acquaintances are in Columbus, OH tonight, celebrating like their lives depend on it. I'm really happy for them, on top of being happy for the Timbers.
THIS FEELS GOOD.
Congratulations, Portland Timbers. You now have the best reason for a team to go on vacation.