A House Divided: The Curious Case of the Orlando City Lions and Portland Timbers

Or better yet…to MLS or not to MLS, that is the question.

As I sat at my computer watching the Orlando City Soccer Club have their debut MLS match two weeks ago, I began to wonder. Witnessing 62,510 purple clad supporters of the Orlando City Lions cheer on their team in their debut sparked a sort of pride in me as the city finally got behind something that it could possibly identify with besides the theme parks. This then raised the questions. Am I a fan of this team? And should I be?

As a fan of sports, I am not what one would call a fair-weather or bandwagon fan. I am loyal to my teams through thick and thin. But I’ve never been a big fan of Soccer, futbol, the beautiful game, or whatever else we want to call it. I’ve had casual interest and watched World Cup matches and various EPL/MLS games in bars as a distraction.

Currently, I live in Portland, Oregon and soccer is big here, very big. The Portland Timbers are one of the most supported soccer teams in the US and the city frequently likes to go by “Soccer City, USA”. This is a very devoted and passionate fan base, which I can respect and appreciate. I feel like it would definitely be a great team to support as I quite enjoy the atmosphere here in Portland. But for this exploration of my desire to find my MLS loyalty we need to dig deeper.

I grew up in the Orlando area for most of my life. I witnessed the Magic become an NBA team. I watched the losing seasons, was there at finals games, and have followed them my whole life for the most part. From Scott Skiles to Victor Oladipo, I’ve supported the city and the Orlando Magic. But that is basketball, a sport I play and regularly watch.

Now, with futbol, it is a different story. I played a bit of Soccer in middle school but was not all that much interested in the sport. I was too busy playing basketball and baseball. Essentially, I have no established loyalty to any sort of Soccer team or deep understanding and reverence of the game. It just never came up, until now.

Orlando City’s Debut

I live in a soccer friendly town and since I have no previous sort of loyalty it would be natural for me to gravitate towards being a Timbers fan. It makes sense, I have friends and co-workers who support the Timbers. It would be easy for me to watch the games. Plus the energy of the fans here is very enticing. They also wear lots of green, which is my favorite color.(Though I can’t imagine being a fan of something based on the colors of uniforms.) But, my first professional soccer experience was in 2011 before I moved away from Orlando. I witnessed a fledgling USL Orlando City team beat a longtime EPL team, Newcastle United, in a friendly match. I watched this with my brother who is much more into futbol than I am by far. It was a pretty fun and memorable experience.

So I have some sort of link to the Orlando City Lions but I should probably be a Portland Timbers fan based on regional location. I don’t like the thought of being a fair-weather fan so when I choose something to support, I would say I’m a fan forever. I am not going to become a Trailblazers or Seahawks fan just because I now live in the Pacific Northwest. It just isn’t happening, period. I respect the teams, but my NFL and NBA roots have long been settled so they aren’t changing now. I may go to a game every once and a while, but in my heart they aren’t who I wish to win the Finals or Super Bowl at the end of the year.

MLS is a different beast though. I’m conflicted on how I should approach this or whether I should care at all. Do I arrive at my fandom through logic or initial experience? Also, could I support both teams and would that be wrong?

I will probably be seeing my first MLS game soon and most likely it will be the Orlando City vs Portland Timbers match next month. Who I will root for though, is still anyone’s guess.




Word of the Day

I’d like to point out a word that many people don’t understand or the media uses against us, the general public. The word is default.

This word is being thrown around by our leaders and media personalities constantly, but is it really accurate or is it just fear-mongering? With all this debt ceiling talk about to “resolve” itself, I would like to share with you something you may not know about our Constitution.

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

This is article 4 and 5 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Let us all take in this article. Read it again. Look for key words like “public debt”, “shall” and “shall not”, “the congress”, “authorized by law”. What exactly does it mean?

There are many who inaccurately portray this article as authorization for the President to just keep borrowing money for whatever we need in fiscal year 2014. The reason article 4 in the 14th amendment was written was to protect the public, not the government. This is why this area of the constitution is referred to as citizenship rights and equal protection. It was specifically written as power granted to the citizens of the US, not as a government power. The term “shall not be questioned” means “can’t be ignored”. So the public debt we owe and has been acknowledged by law can’t be wiped clean or not paid back based on the whims of the government.

This protects the public by making sure the government does not spend whatever they want and then essentially bail themselves out. This does not mean we need to pay for future spending, only debt we have incurred. This also does not give the President authority to borrow more money for future expenditures,  like say a budget for fiscal year 2014 which has not been approved yet. There is a fundamental difference between expenditures and debt.

Our debt interest payment is roughly $20 billion dollars per month. Our revenue in 2013, according to the  U.S. Treasury, http://www.fms.treas.gov/mts/mts0813.pdf , ranges from $122 billion to $406 billion per month. It is important to note that all of our DEBT can be paid with this revenue, but not all of our expenditures and purchases we plan to make. Please understand that the 4th article of the 14th amendment means we must pay back public debt first and foremost before any other expenditures. Whatever is done with the leftover money after the debt payment(interest/principle) is paid is up to congress to decide how they distribute it as it is their duty to authorize such future spending.

I just want to clarify that to default would mean we can’t pay the interest payments($20 billion monthly) on the national debt, which in total currently stands at:

$ 1 6 , 7 4 9 , 1 0 4 , 3 5 1 , 2 7 0 . 0 5     – http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

Have a lovely day.

Take a trip on my magic carpet ride.

H-1 freeway traffic

I am beyond annoyed at road construction here in Hawai’i. Let me rephrase that, I’ve BEEN beyond annoyed at the construction. For the past year I have driven by such a gross mismanagement and waste of taxpayer funds that I must now rant. I cannot hold myself back any longer. I am Jack’s pent up all consuming road rage.

Hawai’i, the paradise that it is, is filled with its fair share of real world problems. It is my belief that the Hawaiian Department of Transportation’s brilliant planning takes the cake. They are notorious for their blunders on the intricacies of travel. They are public enemy numero uno.

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Watching the News Makes Me Sick

Why, oh why, do the major media outlets make me feel so angry? I seriously become ill while watching the news. Please tell me what is causing this ailment. Is it because no one is really honest? Maybe. Perhaps it is the complete and total lack of understanding about identifying root causes? Possible. How about the sensationalizing of the frivolous to keep the general public in the dark? Most likely. Or maybe I’ve just completely lost touch with the rest of humanity who “gets it” and I don’t? I’m actually inclined to think the latter has a high probability of being true at this point.

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How To Have Patience: A Guide for the Orlando Magic Fan

Pat Williams and I at the Magic Game


If one of these is your status update today, then perhaps you should keep reading. If one of these status updates appears on your news feed today please point them here. Let me take a moment to calm your fears and stress the transcendent words of the Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy, “DON’T PANIC”.  I am a huge Orlando Magic fan and I’m here to tell you that it’s not the end of the world.

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Feeling left behind perhaps?

If you were to ask the general public what criteria defines a great rock show, you would probably get a multitude of answers. I can safely say that no matter what your answer might be I’m pretty sure I got it on Monday night.

Bloc Party came to the islands and opened Oahu’s newest concert venue, The Republik, in a fitting way. The unfinished nature of the building, the lack of a box office, the proximity to the speakers, and the spilling of a poor girls beverage(which I’ll discuss later) while immersed in sound. These all contributed to one of those nights where you noticed the faults, but didn’t care. It had that underground(second floor building) “just between us” kinda vibe to it all.

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So that’s how it feels huh?


And now, the conclusion we all were dreading. This paranoia wasn’t one of disappointment, but one of inevitability. Dreading in the sense that, at some point, this Batman saga had to end and we would be left with no more Caped Crusader.

There will be spoilers and as such this will be your only warning.

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