Talking Points: Goals vs. Runs

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What's the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:

1

A few days back, part of the Talking Points brain trust (trust us, there are a few brains in this operation) was bantering about which offense was more impotent: Mariners or Timbers.

Then the Mariners went out and scored 21 runs. Here's how stunning that was: It's about as likely as the Timbers scoring three goals.

Seriously, while Seattle's major league baseball team was putting a major hurt on the Texas pitching staff on Wednesday, Portland's Major League Soccer was also getting plenty of buzz for its result. Unfortunately for Timbers fans, Wednesday's 1-0 loss to something called Cal FC in a U.S. Open Cup tournament match created the kind of buzz that figures to produce plenty of razing from rival fans, especially those in Seattle where the Sounders are shooting for their fourth consecutive championship in the 99-year-old national championship tournament.

2

Those of us who aren't as invested in the Timbers' results as the Timbers Army supporters are can appreciate what happened on several levels:

• Any tournament that gives amateurs a shot at guys being paid to play is cool. Which is why Wednesday's results was celebrated by soccer fans everywhere outside of Portland.

• It can be painful to watch high school soccer players miss penalty kicks with their team's season at stake. Watching Kris Boyd — who is being paid $1.25 million this season to score goals for the Timbers — send a penalty kick several yards over the crossbar doesn't generate as much sympathy.

• Which brings us to some of the reaction by Timbers fans to Wednesday's embarrassing outcome. Chants from the Timbers Army at the game weren't exactly on the mark either — the Timbers effort wasn't lacking; their execution was dismal — but they were colorful and heartfelt. We're guessing there are plenty of soccer teams that would trade places with the Timbers.

3

The Vancouver Volcanoes will receive championship rings prior to today's game at Clark College.

We can't fault our International Basketball League team, which won the 2011 IBL title, for commemorating the achievement. But we have to wonder how long it will be before we see one of the rings on eBay. After all, if Super Bowl winners and World Series champions end up selling their championship rings to pay bills, how long will it be before guys who are playing mostly for the love of the game will be tempted to try to monetize their rings.

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