Representing The Rose City: Timbers have new, fan-created captain's armbands

At the end of July, the Portland Timbers launched the inaugural captain’s armband design contest and gave Timbers fans two weeks to come up with designs for a customized captain’s armband to go with the club’s primary green and “Rose City red” kits.

Timbers captain Jack Jewsbury and general manager Gavin Wilkinson were given the challenge of selecting the two winning designs out of the numerous submissions.  When it was all said and done, the Timbers unveiled the two designs last week naming Holly Duthie’s “Rising Sun” and Brent Diskin’s “Rose” design as the winners.

Jewsbury debuted one of his new captain’s armbands – Duthie’s “Rising Sun” made for the green kits – in the Timbers’ 1-0 win over Chivas USA at JELD-WEN Field on Aug. 24.

Both longtime Timbers supporters, Duthie and Diskin both wanted to make sure that their designs were simple, but also meaningful images of what the Timbers mean to the City of Portland.

“It’s based on the sun that the Timbers Army uses,” Duthie said about her design. “It’s basically a way to get the Timbers Army onto the field, thinking of the Timbers Army as the 12th man. I wanted it to be simple and easily visible from a distance.”

While the design itself may be simple, its meaning to its creator far exceeds its simplicity. The honor of having a Timbers captain wearing your own artwork is not a bragging right too many faithful Timbers fans have in common.

“It’s tremendous; I think it’s fantastic. Brent and I were talking at the game and we’re both just thrilled,” Duthie said. “It feels like you’re giving them a little bit of luck. It’s something from us that they can take with them.”

Diskin was also thrilled to be announced a winner of the Timbers’ first captain’s armband contest.

“This is a symbol of the captain of the team of the Rose City,” Diskin said. “To know that I had a hand in it, to help design it, is really a serious honor.”

Diskin, who has spent much of the past three years designing Timbers posters and signs with an old war-like propaganda feel, used his experience to come up with a design to represent the city of Portland.

“I started three years ago through my oldest brother who’s been a humongous Timbers fan since the beginning,” Diskin said. “I started to learn more and more about the Timbers, Timbers Army culture, and what everything meant. So this year when it all hit, that’s when I decided to go all in and support to my fullest extent.”

Diskin’s final product, which took nearly two weeks to reach its completion, is an image that he believes accurately portrays Portland’s soccer-crazed community.

“This isn’t just the Timbers’ armband, this isn’t the Timbers Army’s armband, this is the Rose City’s armband,” Diskin said. “I tried to include a lot of experience with all those items and smash them together into one very simple design.”

Diskin’s design is one of many pieces of Timbers artwork and regalia he’s created in his career and it’s one that looks to stand alone amongst the rest of his collection. The armband is a perfect symbol of what the inaugural MLS season has meant both lifelong Timbers fans and the Rose City.

“It’s for the Rose City,” Diskin said. “They call them the Rose City kits and that’s what it’s all about it. It’s representing Portland and the whole area.”