Between The Horns: Abandon all hope, Timbers fans

The Timbers haven’t had an easy time this year, but the last time we discussed them, there was still reason to be optimistic.

That hope is gone now.

The Timbers haven’t had an easy time this year, but the last time we discussed them, there was still reason to be optimistic.

That hope is gone now.

As I write this, the team is marching to Houston like doomed Spartans, and though I do not know the outcome of that match, I can’t imagine it will be pretty. The Timbers are just another doomed notch on the Houston Dynamo’s safety-caution-orange bedpost.

Let’s drop the pretense. The Timbers are the worst team in the league right now.

“Oh, but Randall,” you protest. “Toronto FC is the worst team in the league. They haven’t won a game all season! Their goal differential is -12, for God’s sake!”

That is nonsense, dear reader. The Timbers’ two wins are a mirage. They don’t exist. They are worse than a mirage. They are an affront. The Timbers’ second win shouldn’t even count. The goal wasn’t scored by our dynamic new offense; it was put in by Kansas City’s own defenders. That win embarrasses both teams. If I can get all Einstein for a moment, I would ask you to visualize the Timbers’ 2012 season as a bowling ball pressing down into a memory foam mattress. The Timbers are so dense with misery that everything that could derail a soccer season is literally being pulled down into them. They are a singularity of bad.

We are being cosmically punished for abandoning Kenny Cooper. We were fools to trade away his lovable caveman brow and guileless smile for Scottish striker Kris Boyd’s Jason Statham-esque receding hairline and human-sized nose.

We got rid of the guy who scored the Timbers’ first goal in major league soccer, and look where it’s gotten us. Cooper is playing for the New York Red Bulls and currently tied for goals with French phenom Thierry Henry for most goals scored, at nine.

Nine! Nine goals!

Cooper has outscored our entire team by himself, and he isn’t even the premier striker on a team named after a god-damned energy drink.

I don’t want to pin this all on Boyd, because evidently he walked into a much more precarious position than was originally supposed. After last year’s strong performance, it looked like a hot forward was all Portland needed to take it to the next level. Instead, they’ve turned into a pumpkin before our eyes.

No one has looked more surprised by this turn of events than coach John Spencer. I wouldn’t normally second-guess the personnel decisions of a man who makes enough money daily to buy my life, but the guy has looked worse than clueless this season. Who decided it was a good idea to move star midfielder Jack Jewsbury to defender against Columbus? I guess it worked out in the end, since Jewsbury was in position to head out a dangerous ball in the 27th minute, but it also took the wind out of the Timbers offense’s already-deflated sails. We were lucky to walk out of that game nil-nil.

We’re currently sitting in last place in the Western Conference with eight points. That might not sound too bad, but my sources tell me last place is actually the worst standing when it comes to getting a playoff spot. Statistically, the team in last place is quite unlikely to make tournaments where membership is determined by winning. At this point, we might be better off hiring the best computer science major in Scotland to surreptitiously change the standings on MLS’s website.

I don’t want to indulge in conspiracy theories, but have you looked at our last-five-played record? It’s L-L-W-L-T. That might look like nonsense at first, but have you considered Spencer and Boyd might be trying to spell “thanks for the paycheck, assholes” in their native Gaelic?