Back in 2010, the team launched a series of billboards on the sides of buildings, at the ends of bridges, and across the city featuring some of the Rose City’s soccer supporters and citizens. That was followed by a photo shoot open to all fans where individuals of all ages posed with axes, chainsaws, scarves and more.
Now heading into the club’s 5th MLS season, the Timbers are bringing the campaign back.
This February 14 from 10 am to 6 pm and February 15 from 11 am to 5 pm, fans can come to Providence Park to get a new portrait taken.
What’s changed for you in the last five years? We reached out to a number of Timbers supporters from both the billboards and fan shoot in 2010 to hear more about how their Timbers fandom has deepened. - BC
You don't forget a photo like Franz Glockler's.
In his 2010 Fan Axe photo, Glockler, a burly Portland carpenter and Portland Timbers season ticket holder, rests two crossed axes behind his head, one on each shoulder. He gazes into the camera with an honest, probing look that exudes a quiet confidence.
On Glockler's chest, nesting rather uncomfortably in a BabyBjörn carrier, squirms his three month-old daughter, Peyton. The expression on her face is both bemused and also with a bit of surprised attitude.
The photo proved a big hit with the Timbers community, catapulting Glockler and his baby daughter from relative anonymity to larger-than-life billboard size.
For Glockler, the reaction to the photo and to the billboard that followed it was nothing short of surreal.
"It's not one of those things that you cross of a list like: 'I need to be on a billboard at some point in my life,'" Glockler told Timbers.com. "[The billboard] was definitely unique. I took a couple pictures in front of it."
The photo, Glockler explained, wouldn't have happened at all had it not been for his wife, Dawn.
"She mentioned that it was the last day [of the photo shoot] and I was like, 'You know what? Let's go do it.'"
He took his newborn daughter along with him because, he says, "there's nothing better than getting into a picture like that."
When it was finally his turn to have his photo taken, Glockler had no plans other than taking a good picture and maybe drawing a few laughs in the process.
So whose idea was it to include the BabyBjörn in the photo?
"I just mentioned to the photographer that I've got this baby carrier thing and asked whether I should throw that on or not and he jumped on it," Glockler explained.
"'Oh, you've gotta do that! That'll be awesome!'" he recalled the photographer saying.
"I guess I came up with the idea and he loved it and it worked out."
With Peyton already strapped to his chest, Glockler then grabbed the two axes on the photographer's insistence. "Let's just throw a couple crossed axes behind your head," the photographer told him. "That'll look good."
According to Glockler, the photo was just as big a hit with its photographer as it was with Timbers fans.
"A couple of games [after the photo shoot], the photographer randomly saw me at the game and said my picture was one of his favorites," Glockler said proudly. "That was kind of cool."
Glocker, a California native who used to cheer for the NASL-era San Jose Earthquakes, began following the Timbers during their final year in the USL, when his wife purchased him a season ticket as a birthday present.
"It was a really good [present]," he admits.
Since then, Glockler has witnessed a number of classic Timbers moment, his favorite coming during a July 2013 match against the Galaxy. In the 94th minute of that match, Timbers defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste headed home a late winner that propelled the Timbers into second place in the Western Conference.
"It was pretty crazy," Glockler said of the atmosphere at the stadium. "When you're on the Army side of the field [like I am]—and I've been on various sides of the field walking around the stadium—the passion that's in the Timber's Army section is just..." he trailed off.
Every now and then, Glockler is able to take his two daughters, Peyton, now four, and Flynn, who is two-and-a-half, to a match. While neither girl is ready for night games yet, Glockler says that they love going to the day games and rooting for their dad's favorite team.
When asked whether there would be any more BabyBjörns in his future, Glockler chuckled.
"No more babies for us," he said. "We're calling it at two."