PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter came to the defense of his team’s mascot, Timber Joey, on Wednesday afternoon, reacting to aspersions cast by Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer ahead of Saturday’s match between the rivals at CenturyLink Field (2:30 pm ET | FOX in the US, TSN2 in Canada).
In an interview on Tuesday, Schmetzer called into question Timber Joey’s credentials as a “lumberman,” and wondered about the Timbers’ log cutting goal celebration.
Porter was having none of it.
“I actually just got off the phone with Timber Joey and I wanted to clarify his experience working in the woods,” Porter told the press at the start of his weekly address. “I will have you hear today that he is a legitimate ‘lumberman.’ He has worked in the woods and, to quote him, he has ‘cut, milled, and built things out of wood.’”
Of course, just what it is that a “lumberman” does remains something of a mystery, even to Timber Joey – Joey Webber – himself.
“I read about them the other day on Twitter,” said Webber during a phone interview on Wednesday evening. “I have never heard the term lumberman. I have heard lumberjack and I have heard timber-faller and timber-feller and millwright and logger, but that is about it. Lumberman was a new one to me.”
And Webber should know. In addition to his mascot duties, Joey has had a wide breadth of experience in the timber industry.
“I have done almost every job that you can think of, maybe with the exception of driving log trucks,” said Webber. “I have cut trees down, I have set chokers to them, I’ve brought them up the hill, I have milled them, I have built houses with them, and I have sold houses that other people have built; just about everything from start to finish. I have even planted the trees sometimes.”
Still, despite all of his logging experience, there is one thing in particular that sets Webber's heart to racing: cutting a log slice after each Timbers goal at Providence Park.
“I have been able to climb up a tree that is leaning over a house and save the house from the tree falling on it. I have been able to clear out dead snags so that they can build roads in the woods. There is excitement with everything you cut, but there is nothing like cutting at the stadium.”