John Spencer stars in a local television commercial.
Alaska Airlines

Portland head coach Spencer tries his hand at acting

PORTLAND, Ore. — A commercial that John Spencer shot for Portland Timbers sponsor Alaska Airlines has gone viral this week, and is offering the world a peak into the head coach’s sense of humor.

The commercial, the first in a series called “Alaska Airlines/Portland Timbers Employee Exchange,” shows Spencer barking instructions on an intercom to a very confused group of airline passengers.

His short speech, in a thick Scottish accent, is peppered with funny phrases and a comically aggressive attitude.

WATCH: Spencer stars in television commercial

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When asked about his acting after a training session this week, Spencer’s first reply was terse: “No comment.”

But the Timbers coach opened up a bit about the commercial on Tuesday.

“You can make anybody look good on camera,” quipped Spencer, who got through his lines in three takes. “I was nervous. You take people out of their comfort zone when you stand in an airplane and you’re not used to doing something [like that], and you are talking to a group of actors who are professionals. I felt like a bit of an amateur.”

And yet, Spencer’s comedic timing and his ability to commit to the character have earned high marks. He was also encouraged to play up his accent.

“[The director] asked me to try and speak more Scottish,” Spencer said. “When you try not to do something for 10, 11 years so [the media] can understand me, and then try and go back to your normal dialect, [it’s difficult].”
The Timbers players are fans of the commercial.

“It’s awesome,” midfielder Jeremy Hall said. “I remember seeing it for the first time and coming into training and tell him it was awesome. It’s hilarious. I couldn’t stop laughing.”

The players see Spencer’s humor almost every day. When Spencer is serious, he’s all business. But he is also quick to lighten the mood with joke and has a quick wit.

“He’s got a really good sense of humor,” said midfielder Adam Moffatt, also a Scotsman. “All Scottish people do.”

As far as the commercial goes, Spencer doesn’t foresee a spin-off career in acting.

“People have said, ‘You’re the voice of the team,’ but I’m not” Spencer said. “I’m the coach of the team. It’s not my team. It’s Merritt Paulson’s team. I just want to try and do the best job I can for the organization and for my players. At the end of the day, if I do a good enough job I’ll be here for a long time.

“If it’s not,” he added, “then I’ll be working as a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines.”