Portland Timbers Tuesday: Buzzing About Trade Talk & Vuvuzelas

By Ben Golliver

Vuvuzela | Portland Timbers

Photo by Patrick de Laive

Portland Timbers Tuesday: Buzzing About Trade Talk and Vuvuzelas

For fans of the NFL and NBA, the run up to the leagues' annual drafts often causes as much interest as the season itself. For poor teams, or rebuilding teams, the draft represents everything holy: youth, potential, the future and the excitement of the unknown. It's more fun to watch your team obtain the rights to the "superstar of tomorrow" than it is to watch them get crushed by the superstars of today.

Wednesday's MLS expansion draft isn't quite the same, as it involves the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps selecting players left unprotected by the other MLS teams as part of their initiation to the league. The top end talent won't be available for the picking, so some of the luster of the process is removed.

With that said, the expansion draft is a critical step in Portland's roster development, and Jose Romero of SoccerByIves.net chatted with Timbers technical director Gavin Wilkinson about his plans. The result, Romero writes, is a wide-open strategy: "The Timbers will be looking for perhaps a veteran who can make an impact, but also a younger player with an upside. The Timbers are also willing to talk trades with other teams once they have made all 10 of their picks, to help ensure they get the players they seek."

Trade talk is always a good way to get some buzz going around your team, but the Timbers have made it clear a different kind of buzzing will not be welcome at the new PGE Park: Vuvuzelas.

If you hibernated throughout the summer and somehow missed one of the biggest cultural memes of the year, a Vuvuzela is a traditional African horn (pictured above) that served as an unofficial soundtrack to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, with fans blowing them throughout the entire month-long tournament, creating a constant bee-like sound. Vuvuzelas are small, cheap and easy to manufacture in bulk, so their popularity spread worldwide faster than some guys take penalty kicks.

KGW reports, however, that Timbers spokesman Chris Metz says the team will ban Vuvuzelas from home games next season. "The decision to prohibit Vuvuzelas at PGE Park was made with the overall fan experience in mind… With the best supporters in the country, the atmosphere of a Timbers match is so unique and the club, in addition to many of its fans, felt that Vuvuzelas are not part of that authentic Timbers experience."

It's always grating when team officials lecture the world about the "authentic experience" that should take place at their games, but the Timbers get a pass here because Vuvuzelas are just that annoying.

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———-Ben Golliver

Ben Golliver is a freelance writer, native Oregonian and avid follower of the Timbers.  He edits Blazersedge, co-hosts The Dontonio Wingcast and regularly contributes to SB Nation. Follow him onTwitter.

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4 Responses to Portland Timbers Tuesday: Buzzing About Trade Talk & Vuvuzelas

  1. Torridjoe November 23, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    Not sure how much more “authentic” it gets than cultural props and constant crowd noise/activity at a football game! What’s annoying about vuvuzelas that isn’t also true of blaring rock music at Blazers games? The constancy of them
    makes it fade into the background for me. Besides, no way a US crowd brings enough into a game to make the noise the RSA make. Let em blow!

  2. Christian November 23, 2010 at 1:09 pm #

    That’s crap. Bought and played my vuvu proudly at Timbers games last season. In fact, PGE park sold vuvus last season.

    I guess I won’t be attending any Timbers games next season. Shame, really.

  3. Julian Chadwick November 23, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    Can I still play my Vuvuzela iphone app?

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