Flying football.

Alaska Air commercial featuring Portland Timbers head coach John Spencer:


Here in the States we call this game “soccer,” and instead call “football” a game that only involves using one’s feet to kick in the margins of the game: to begin halves (kickoffs), when you’ve given up your turn (to punt), want to grab a few points (field goal), or just scored (point-after-try and then another kickoff). All of the kicking in football happens in “special teams.” In professional American Football (the NFL) those teams practice separately, have special coaching staffs, and run their own special plays. It’s kind of an oddity. Football fans like to crack jokes about “soccer” — that the game is boring, there’s not enough scoring, and the game is too long. In reality it is our “football” that is a little bit silly; consider there are only about 11 minutes of game action in an NFL game. A whole lot of grown men standing around; and then running into each other.

Even over here in little America there are avid football fans. (And by “football” I mean “soccer,” which is the true football). Listen as Portland Timbers fans all join in together for a chant: “You Cannot Stop Us … We Are The Rose City”:

I love Portland.

They’re called the Timbers Army:


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