Timbers prep for life after 'Timber Jim'

PORTLAND, Ore.Following the retirement celebration of former team icon Jim Serrill, better known as “Timber Jim,” last Thursday, the Portland Timbers prepare for a new era and continue their search for a new team icon/mascot for the 2008 season and beyond. 
 
“The key for the organization here is find the balance between maintaining such traditions as cutting wood slabs for goals and taking the appropriate time to find the permanent replacement to fill Jim’s big shoes,” said Timbers president Merritt Paulson. “We will not be forcing this and we are fortunate to have some very qualified, legitimate lumberjacks in the area. It is also important for us to solicit our fans’ input before a final decision is made.”
 
Starting Thursday, as the Timbers host the Minnesota Thunder at PGE Park, the club will have select guests help continue the team’s traditional goal-scoring celebration of cutting wood slabs until a final decision on a new mascot or icon has been made.
 
“I’m excited to pass the torch on to the Timbers’ next icon when the time is right,” said Serrill. “The club has great candidates lined up who will be fantastic representatives of the organization, spread the love and help carry on the long-time traditions of the club.”
 
Serrill served as the Timbers’ team icon for the better part of 12 seasons (1978-82; 2001-07). He announced his retirement from the organization in January and gave a final performance on April 17 as the Timbers opened the 2008 USL First Division season. A commemorative “Timber Jim” banner now hangs in the rafters of PGE Park.
 
The Timbers face Minnesota on Thursday and Northwest rival Seattle Sounders on Saturday at PGE Park. Tickets, starting at $11, are available through the PGE Park box office, area Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at (503) 224-4400.