TFC 2012

Fairy Tale Fatigue


Never Never Neverland

It’s been hard to write about TFC for the past few months. Despite a brief glimmer of life and a few wins, the Paul Mariner era has started just like all the others. Soon to be fired managers legacies of the past look remarkably similar. Lots of losses. Lots of finger-wagging and blaming the players. And sadly, lots of forecasts for a radically different season next year.

The mood in the stands mid-week was dismal. It was the worst I’ve seen yet. And rightly so. Toronto FC flopped through another loss, and generally looked awful.

Even with Darren O’Dea back in his office, the team’s defending was atrocious. Chicago had far to many free runs at goal, and though they showed more life in the second half the Reds were lucky to only give up two goals on the night.

Worse still, the team’s offense looked weak and disorganized. They seemed incapable of putting together the final two or three touches that would put real scoring chances on goal. Even when they settled the ball and held possession, the attack had little coherency. And it definitely had no bite.

There are lots of worthy excuses for this state of affairs. Injuries. Coaching change mid-season. Youth and inexperience. Injuries. MLSE’s mysterious power to profit while always losing everything. You know the song. And I am tired of singing it.

On matters TFC, I generally remain an optimist. But as the certified suckiness stretches toward season number seven, it’s getting ridiculously hard to hold onto this hopeful view.

To help me regain my supporter faith, I’ve come up with five fairy tales that need to be accepted as pure fantasies:

(1) Rebuilding during the off-season will turn things around in time for next season.

(2) MLSE has a plan for fixing this losing culture at TFC.

(3) A few expensive veterans and a core of young promising guys can compete in the MLS.

(4) Decent Champion’s League performance is enough to keep team and supporter morale high.

(5) Overly-rapid management turnover has ended now that Paul Mariner is at the helm.

Over the Rainbow

I want to believe. I really do. I think TFC has good talent on the roster. I think Paul Mariner is competent. And I think there are lots of other supporters out there who believe those things too.

Six years in, however, I really have a hard time drinking the kool-aid. How many times can you put on the shiny shirts and fill up at the pricey taps and realize that your heroes are poisoning you?

I enjoy attending live matches too much to give up my seats. I imagine most of the people who keep renewing theirs are in the same frame of mind. As a result, I have to believe that Toronto FC will hold onto a revenue stream that is more than ample for the task at hand.

I’m not saying that money is the main issue. I just mean that I really doubt that supporter sourness will run the team out of Toronto. As fans of footie in this city, we’re stuck with them. And them with us.

I don’t even need to have a team that wins everything all of the time. Manchester United is not what I desire. I could easily settle for an Everton. Sure, it would be nice to win a title or two every once in a while, but being competitive and being in the hunt for those titles every year would be enough for me.

Are you listening Fairy Godmother in MLSE Castle? Get us all out of the Grim and give us something we can believe in.

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