TFC 2012

The Year That Wasn’t


No such thing as a clean slate

Don’t mistake my scarce posting these past few months as me giving up on Toronto FC. I’ve been consumed with other things, like moving my family and renovating a house. Sure, the trajectory of the season made it easier to step away and take a break from supporter-ville. But the fire burns on – despite a soaking from the honking hose that doused us in 2012.

With this week’s news of a price cut on season seats, there’s at least some solace. Next season’s repeat of crushed hopes, deflated expectations and manager rotation will sting a bit less. Many friends and other supporters in the seats around me may not be swayed by the gesture. At least a few told me six or eight weeks ago that they weren’t coming back. No matter what.

That’s the price MLSE have to pay for botching Club building 101. Not that anyone there seems to be accountable for the six seasons of abject failure. I still haven’t seen anything on the table suggesting the cash cow of Toronto sports will be at all invested in reversing this course. TFC sure doesn’t need another ‘clean slating’ of the roster and organization.

The legacy of losing can be reversed. The management culture of bad deal-making and internal instability will eventually be turned around too. A winning season, and a trip to the playoffs, are all that would be required to zero the meter with supporters. Memories of this heart-breaking grind will be short if TFC can actually turn a corner on being competitive in the MLS.

I feel for the players this season. It was a shit show. Maybe they’re to blame in terms of performance. Maybe the club, management and ownership deserve to wear more blame for not giving them the backing they deserve.

One thing’s certain, in this season of complete futility, I never got the sense that the players lacked commitment or gave up. Many even inspired me with their pluck and perseverance in the face of disgrace at every turn. For this alone, I salute them all. I hope most of them return and are given a shot at redemption here.

My butt will be at BMO Saturday, for the final home match against the Montreal Impact. My eyes, however, are looking ahead. Holding onto the last flickers of hope, I hope the price break isn’t just a cheaper way to absorb the same abuse. 2013 starts after next week’s match in Columbus. Let’s pray year 7 is our lucky one.

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