Portland Thunder Yin and Yang
Yin is to Yang as black is to white. The equal and the opposite are necessary and natural components of a balanced universe. The AFL corollary would then be what? Nick Davila is to completions as touchdowns are to winning. Well Portland Thunder fans, as you probably know all too well, only half of the analogy applies.
It can be argued that the Thunder are probably the most improved team in the AFL. Unfortunately, the Yin and Yang applies exactly at this juncture.
Yin: The Thunder have scored more offensive touchdowns in the past three games than their opponents.
Yang: All three games ended in losses.
Yin: Two of the losses came to the powerful SaberCats and the apparently Godlike Rattlers. In the Arizona game, the outcome was teetering on a razors edge and only decided late in the fourth quarter.
Yang: The third loss was to the Los Angeles Kiss who, though only winning a handful of games, now hold the fourth playoff spot in the division.
Yin: The offense has begun to find its stride
Yang: Unforced errors and lapses on defense have cost the Thunder what could have been a stranglehold on the aforementioned final playoff spot.
However, this duality is the very essence of a beautiful agony that creates truly loyal and passionate fans. It is indeed what we love the most about sports, or at least what sets that passion aflame.
All of this leads us to last Thursday night at the Moda Center in beautiful Portland, Oregon. The Thunder came out of the gate with an early TD and Kyle Rowley and company are rolling. Yin. Three quarters and three Rowley picks later (not all his doing by the way) and the lowly New Orleans VooDoo were leading for most of the contest. Yang.
On this night the Yin, the good and the righteous prevailed as the Thunder scored twice to take the lead and Portland’s defense mounted a ferocious stand to secure a needed victory. Happy and all the more impassioned, hundreds of fans waited to meet the players who headed to midfield laughing and joking privately. All, for the moment, is well in the Rose City.
It now falls to the Thunder to face its Jekyll and Hyde tendencies, its penchant for succumbing to the law of the Yin vs. Yang and bring about a consistency that will lead to a championship run.
Portland has accepted this team and fans seem to be showing up to games in bigger and bigger numbers. However, a huge offseason roster turnover coupled with a poor sophomore effort would be a mistake that could perhaps cost the franchise what seems to be a good start here in the Pacific Northwest. On the other hand, a playoff berth here in 2014 could propel the team well into its next season and perhaps create a buzz extending beyond curiosity and into the hearts of this great city.