Supporter culture in soccer is different than any other sport in the United States and the world over. Soccer fans have known that for quite some time now.
Slowly but surely, though, outsiders are beginning to take notice. And when talented filmmakers have done so, the result is the above documentary — entitled "Tifo: Inside the Timbers Army" — featuring the Timbers Army and their October 13 tifo display prior to kickoff of a Cascadia Cup match between the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders.
The Barnicle brothers, Nick and Colin — raised on the great American pasttime, baseball, in New England — embedded themselves inside the Timbers Army for the group's most recent trip to Seattle in August, and they were unsurprisingly both simultaneously taken aback and impressed by what they saw.
“I find myself in one of 15 buses barreling up Interstate 5 to Seattle, sitting on a keg next to the crapper. Everyone is inked up with some kind of Portland Timbers tattoo and they're chanting 'We Eat Children,'” Colin recently told Grantland for a piece of the video. “A thousand fans storm out upon arrival, popping green smoke. The air is mixed with the acrid scent of a cheap bar and the lingering haze of a Vietnam DMZ."
The word "fanatical" comes to mind.
The brothers then met back up with the leading Timbers supporters group, forged prior to the club's 2002 A-League season, for the creation process of a Beatles-themed tifo.
Hours upon hours of brainstorming, designing, planning, organizing, creating, painting, constructing and erecting go into one of the Timbers Army's massive tifo displays. All for something that lasts between 45 and 60 seconds. All for the love and support of their club.
And all of those things are on display in "Tifo."