Beyond obsessively contemplating the daily goings-on of Portland's league-besting Major League Soccer team, there's one thing that dedicated members of the Timbers Army care about most.
When one first stumbles across the private Facebook page for the Portland Timbers Scarf Squad—a fan-run, 2,000-member group of scarf-hoarders who sell and trade their collections online—scrolling through the page can feel like Bubba's never-ending shrimp descriptions from Forrest Gump.
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You've got your pre-MLS scarves, scarves with video game characters, scarves that say "Fuck Seattle" (or Ohio), Goonies scarves, brewery scarves, scarves for team members, scarves for mascots and coaches, scarves for kids battling diseases, scarves for winning games, scarves for games we really want to win, scarves for Reddit, scarves about the drama incurred by making a scarf for Reddit, and on and on…and on.
Members are so active and impassioned about their hobby that as soon as I joined, it took over my Facebook news feed. It's not uncommon for the page to have dozens of posts a day, with members posting massive walls of text and joining lively (and sometimes seriously intense) debates about the ethics behind their out-of-closet dealings: Scarves are to be sold for face value, no more, no less. Ethics are strong with these ones.
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Face value of most of these things is $10, but to get a coveted neck warmer like the first rendition of a Tetris-themed scarf, or the holy grail—an original "No Pity"-emblazoned scarf from the Timbers' USL days—you might have to trade a firstborn child, after weathering intense discussion about whether or not it's kosher to trade children for scarves. Heck, I might get blocked from Scarf Club for writing about Scarf Club. But on the bright side? If that happens, somebody might make a scarf about it.