Portland, Oregon, The United States of America.
November 2012 remains a landmark in football history.
Real Oviedo is saved by tens of thousands fans worldwide and some of them get to trigger a massive response in their local communitity.
Meet Sherrilynn Dawson aka Sheba @shebainpdx, an Oregonian Oviedista who instilled the Carbayón spirit into her fellow Portland Timbers fans to make such a massive impact there that she ended up inking Real Oviedo crest on.
Interview by @ruudresistor
-Had you heard about Real Oviedo, Oviedo or Asturias before November 2012?
I first heard about Real Oviedo back in the spring of 2011. Alberto Mateos, a graduate student from Oviedo, asked some questions online about my home team, the Portland Timbers, on a Timbers discussion board. We started exchanging information about our clubs and towns. I heard a lot about Oviedo and about the team that reminded me of home–the same weather, the same fierce independent streak, the same ENORMOUS love for a small team.
We kept exchanging information. I shared about the Timbers’ short history from 1975 to their joining US Major League Soccer in 2011. Alberto shared the book “El Espiritu de 2003.” I fell in love with the team and the town, and started following the games on RPA over the internet (and RTPA when I could).
-When did you first hear about Real Oviedo’s increase in share capital?
I’m not sure exactly, but pretty early on. I had been following the campaign to oust Alberto Gonzalez, so I knew of the club’s financial troubles. And I’m sure I saw something pretty early on Twitter about the increase in share capital.
-Why did you decide to become a Real Oviedo shareholder?
Right away. I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of. And I knew this was a team that, like the phoenix, had risen from the ashes once before. I wanted to be a part of the solution that helped Real Oviedo to thrive.
That’s why I challenged my Timbers Army friends in Portland to buy shares as well, promising to get a tattoo of the RO crest if they purchased at least 100 shares (in the end Timbers Army supporters purchased close to 500 shares in all).
-What football team do you support? Do you attend any matches?
My first team is of course the Portland Timbers. I attend every home match and as many away matches as my schedule and my wallet will allow. My second team is Real Oviedo. I watch every RO match I possibly can, and listen to them online when I can’t.
-How do you keep up with Real Oviedo’s developments?
I read about the team online, I listen to Miguel Fernandi call the matches on RPA, and of course all of my Oviedo twitter friends keep me up to date as well.
-Did it cross your mind that you would end up being such a committed fan?
I have heard it said that you don’t choose your football team; it chooses you. That is definitely the case with Real Oviedo! The club chose me, and I am a fan for life.
-You still have not been here but you have already become a big icon for Real Oviedo fans, have you got any plans to come over?
I really, REALLY want to. As a school principal my work calendar is unfortunately not well matched with the 2B league calendar. But I do get a week off in March, and I have been saving my air miles. All I need is money for once I get there. 🙂 If I can afford it, I REALLY want to make it out for Supporters’ Week in 2015. We’ll see; fingers crossed!
-Do you think this club is, as Michu said, ‘like no other’?
No question. Oviedo clearly has a fighting, independent spirit. Whether we are talking about the miners back in the dark times of 1934 or the fight to save Real Oviedo in 2003, the town is clearly one that fights back in the face of adversity. That same fighting spirit was evident during the increase in share capital in 2012. Whether 1st or 3rd division or anywhere in between, this club is clearly unique, and I am honored to be able to share in even a small part of such a special club.
-What kind of reaction do you get from people when you tell them you support a Spanish side in the third tier?
(Laughs). They are usually surprised when they hear that I have never been to Spain myself, and they ask what could possibly have been so interesting about the club to me in the first place. Then, of course, when I start to explain, they ask where they can see the matches themselves. 🙂
-Is there anything you would like to tell Real Oviedo fans?
Thank you so much for giving me the chance to be even a very small part of something so special. And cross your fingers for me. I REALLY want to come to visit!