You may or may not know about the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It does what it says - it grants wishes to sick kids that need a bit of a boost while they fight their particular health fight. Sometimes the wishes can be heartbreakingly prosaic, like "I wish I could have a lawn mower so I can help my neighbors more", and sometimes they're more celebrity-driven, like "I wish I could meet (insert favorite athlete/team/movie star/musician here)". The foundation then, through the generosity of its donors and the celebrities that are the target of the wish, do what they can to make these wishes come true.
Enter Atticus. Atticus is eight years old, and he has cancer. His cancer was discovered when he experienced pain while playing for his team, the Green Machine. Atticus is a big Timbers fan, and the genesis of his wish was that he wanted to meet the Timbers, but he also wanted to include his team in his wish, because the Green Machine all love the Timbers and Atticus' best friends are on his team.
So when the Make-A-Wish people contacted the Timbers, somebody - not sure which side, but whoever it was deserves some sort of medal - suggested more than just a meet and greet, or attending a practice. They suggested that the Timbers take on the Green Machine in a game.
So, today at 11.30, that's what's happening - at Jeld-Wen Field, with a crowd present, a reasonably first-string Timbers squad playing, the TA adapting normal Timbers chants for the Green Machine, Timber Joey there to cut log slices for goal scorers, and with all the other trappings of a "normal" game, the Timbers will take on the Green Machine in quite possibly the only Timbers game I will ever want the Timbers to lose.
Lots of athletes and teams do things with Make a Wish, and all of them are super-awesome, because they make kids who are struggling forget their struggles, at least for a bit. But this is the first Make-A-Wish I have heard of that's an actual game, and not just a practice or a scrimmage or a meet and greet; it's pretty much the coolest thing the Timbers could possibly do, and I'm really in awe that a team would go this far above and beyond to make a special experience for a little kid.
If you're anywhere near Jeld-Wen today at 11.30, come by - admission's free. I'll be there, rooting like crazy for the Green Machine.