15 April 2010

(Definitely Not An) Overnight Success

"I did it overnight, it couldn’t happen any quicker"
-Toronto rapper Drake

"Well the destination reached in down-a East detention
Where they whip down me pants look up me bottom"
-Toronto rapper Snow

As the kickoff for GAME 3 approaches, I am mostly free of the worries and doubts I had about the beginning of our franchise. It was mildly disappointing to lose the first match in team history on the road in Seattle, but not even managing to score was more worrying than disappointing. We wouldn't lose every game, and we'd eventually have to score, but a nagging doubt would still broadcast doomsday scenarios in my head. How long would it take to score? To win? Would we ever win? Could we go a whole season without winning????

Gratefully, Sebastien Le Toux must have been reading my thoughts, because he assuaged my troubled mind in splendidly swift fashion, smashing the game-long duck to pieces before half of the crowd were in their seats. And he would keep the party going all night long, collecting a hat trick as well as the Union's first MLS scalp. With the exception of a major mental error, the Union looked like the dominant side for most of the evening, and the eventuality of Le Toux's gamewinner was never really threatened.

So with a quality victory under our belts, we turn our attention to the newly created Canadian MLS franchise. I am still bitter from the Olympic Men's Hockey Gold Medal Game, and could really go blue in the face with Canadian hate speech...but I won't.

Last week, AUCU was stuck for words to write about a D.C./Philly sports rivalry without a lot of history. Toronto, and their F.C., challenge me in a different way. I have a surprisingly bottomless supply of hatred for The Only American City In Canada. Since TFC is owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, they share more than a few DNA strands with the Laffs, and as such, in 2007 they were forged in the flaming fires of failure into a sporting lineage devoid of any reason to celebrate for the last 43 years. And the Red Bulls think 15 years is a long time?

In any given spring of the early 00's, there were a few certainties: a couple of Neptunes-produced jams in heavy rotation, and a bloody mess of a playoff series between the Flyers and Laffs. The most fascinating aspect of this rivalry was the mentality of both teams, and their coaches, which dictated that, win or lose, the team that survived would be so tired and beaten that winning was not so different from losing. The respective atmospheres of the home crowds buzzed at a level only possible when the right combination of passion, history, blood, and artistry come together. Toronto played for Canadians no matter what Tim Horton's they went to.

Given the quality of the rivalry, I might be expected to have and give some begrudging admiration or respect for that team, or their fans. I don't, and I won't.

And maybe I should examine Toronto's lineup, and make observations and comments about funny names or funnier heritages. But guess what? I didn't recognize a single name on their roster. That could be the Blue Jays batting rotation for all I know.  Or the Marlies.  Or the Raptors.  I mean, honestly, who cares?????

Ah crap, just remembered this.  Kick someone for me tonight, Danny.

Game on.

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