WHAT WE LEARNED IN 2015:
At first review, 2015 seems an unfriendly equalizer. Life’s increased complications further reducing Little Friday numbers; thin ranks; a lapse of interest; a subtle erosion; The ride ethic’s early promise disappearing into carbon-laden exhaust pipe puffs of convenience. Even the new egalitarianism at the table seemed subdued, almost apathetic; the usual suspects missing; the favorite tables lost to the gentrified masses; the TFC sliding further into chasm of old Portland relics. And what of the fallen Faks? Gone as mysteriously as he arrived, leaving only the trace of drool on the Yukon floor and cryptic messages hanging in the ether. Had the rough-edged rock of the TFC been rounded off by necessity’s flood and deposited with other common stones in the middle of the road?
No. Upon closer inspection, the melancholy arguments of a “flattened” year are truly misplaced. Ride nights held well, with a tarmac shortcut, the discovery of the Burlington Bluff, and Bridge of the Peeps crossing highlighting a year that began with a foggy ride to Leisure. Attendance, while spotty at times, was buffeted by the Return of Kong, dogged attendance efforts by Gato, Swan, & Vic, and a five bar night that echoed past forays past schmidnight. In shuffleboard, cutthroat provided a fresh respite on slimmer nights. The equality in competition, at first seeming to represent a lull in interest/spirit, produced a level of drama and tension never before seen, the results truly undecided until the final game of the year. While true that little can be done for the inevitable slipping of cozy lost Portland into its crowded successor, many outposts remain largely untouched, gloriously overlooked or too remote for less intrepid youngsters. Despite the insipid production of new nightspots out of step with the modest needs of the TFC, the new bar machine is still spitting out suitable haunts yet to be uncovered.
2015 turned out to be a year of further resilience rather against decline. Faced with setbacks, complications, and the impinging complacency of advancing age, the TFC still shone like a beacon in the fog. There will be challenges plenty to address again in 2016. Possibly more, but hopefully less. Trends will ebb and flow and the walls of the new Portland trash compactor will squeeze us out from time to time, but there is no shortage of respite from the junk, given continued commitment to the collective’s intrepid spirit. Let the young imposters buzz shoulder to shoulder, turning craft cocktails into new scene honey in strategically stacked hives. The true buzz of the wild awaits us, laid out like a named joint from a corner store, a flask of tonsil paint, and a foggy ride to an empty bluff. As they fiddle with their remote control in an attempt to access the increasingly near & familiar, we shall search the horizon, as we have always done, endeavoring to control the humble meaning of places remote.
62 individual bar visits; 22 individual bars (94/31 in 2015)
7 new bars (down from 11 in 2014, 12 in 2013, 16 in 2012, 25 in 2011)
New Bars: B-side, Bridgetown Brewhouse, Cheese Bar, Crystal Ballroom, Glisan St Pizza, Liberty Glass, Mash Tun
Montavilla 10, Hutch 9, Vendetta 8, Rumpus 7, Monsters 5, Roscoe’s 5, Yukon 4, Leisure 2
4-4-2, B-side, Bridgetown Brewhouse, Cheese bar, Crystal ballroom, Gigantic, Glisan St Pizza, Holman’s, Liberty Glass, Mash Tun, Standard, Velo Cult
5 bar nights: One
Most frequented bars: Montavilla (10), Hutch (9), Vendetta (8), Rumpus (7)
Bar of the Year: Monsters (Roscoe’s 2014, Tannery 2013, Hutch 2012, Star Bar 2011, Sandy Hut 2010, Roadside Attraction 2009, Vendetta 2008, The Nest 2007)
Best Eats: Roscoe’s, Glisan St. Pizza
Best Beer: Commons Celebration?
Most fathers out: 9 (6/2/15 Monsters)
Varsity attendance (26 or more): Dubz, Vic, Swan, Gato, SA, Bezzo,
JV: Lizza, Phiets, Kong
Lunatic Fringe (10 or fewer): Zulu, Namath, Gness, Faks
Fallen Father: Faks
236 (243 games played in 2014, 274 in 2013, 308 in 2012, 443 in 2011, 357 in 2010)
1500 games: (Martin 1440)
500 games played: Swan, Vic (Bezzo 429)
100 games: Phiets
150 hangers: Dubz
50 floods: SA, Dubz
Coppa Ascetic (all 4 coppas won): Dubz (completed 2015)
Century Award (100 Wins): no one
Big Night: 7-0 (Gato Dubz 5/19 Yukon), next 5 (Gato/Vic)
Mean Streak: 9 (Gato Dubz 5/19-5/26 Yukon, Vendetta)
SOL (Most Shutouts): Swan 9, Vic 9
DOA (Most Shutouts Against): Gato 9, Kong 5, Swan 5
Father Flood: Vic 8.
Kielbasa Nostra: 7 in 2015 (6 in 2014. 7 in 2013, 5 in 2012, 15 in 2011). Vic, Kong, Bezzo, Dubz SA, Phiets (first)
Double Hangers: Swan 5/5, MV (fist since 2011) 6 total career.
High end: Swan 2 (11, 3/31 Rumpus, 9, 7/28, Rumpus); Gato (9, 11/24, Monsters), Kong (9, 11/4, Rumpus)
Hangman: Gato 17 (Dubz 14 in 2014); Record: Dubz 46 (2011); Career: Dubz 154
Stag (Singles Player of the Year): Dubz 9-2, Swan 7-3
Coppas: CDP: Swan; CDE: Dubz; CDA: SA; CDI: Dubz
Stages: Swan 3, SA 2, Gato 2, Dubz 2, Vic, Bezzo, Lizza
Varsity (50% or better): Vic, Dubz, Swan, Gato, Lizza
Golden Hog (Most Games Played): Gato 156, Vic 150 (SA 316 games in 2011)
Secret Policeman’s Other Bell (Runner up): Dubz
Silver Sombrero: Kong (37.68% over 69 games)
Ride of the Year: First trip to Burlington Bluffs
Heroic Endeavor: Phive Bars
Golden Wheel – keeping track of bike attendance