Photo via Canadian Soccer Association
Myself and the other WTR writers tried to come up with TFC related things we're thankful for. You can imagine how well that went.
In Metaphorical TFC land, while Tom, Earl, Paul, Paul and the rest of TFC's management team sat down for a thanksgiving feast of freshly killed Golden Goose (they've been swinging at it for years, this year they finally finished it off) with all the trimmings, TFC fans once again got their annual October treat of a mangy flea ridden pigeon. All that's left is the wait to find out how much they're going to charge us for the exact same meal next year, and of course the giving of thanks.
Snarky opening paragraph aside, I'd thought in my head this could be a positive post, try and take a break from the doom and gloom and come up with actual things about the club to be thankful for, beyond the most basic example of 'well, at least it exists, it's better than nothing'.
I asked WTR's other writers to contribute, John couldn't think of anything at the time of writing, James came up with the obvious, saying "I'm thankful that, mercifully, the season is almost over... there's always next year."
Michael did come up with something, saying the following;
As a father, you try to give your kids sporting experiences that you never had. For my son, I hope one day he recalls the ball that I caught... barehanded... at a Yankees game in batting practice or how he got to sit on the zamboni at the Air Canada Centre prior to a Leafs game. For me though, one event sticks out in my mind as perhaps what was one of the most thankful experiences we have shared. That was to have had the opportunity to meet Adrian Serioux. I was then a U9 soccer coach and we had brought a couple of the boys down with their parents to a TFC event. I spoke to Adrian and asked if he could say a few words to the boys. He readily obliged, took them aside and explained that dreams can come true if you are prepared to work for it. Every day, there will be setbacks. Every day, someone is trying to work harder than you are. But if you get up every day and push through it, work hard even when you don't feel like it, you will give yourself the best chance for that dream to come true. As a father, these are words that we speak often but to have them said by a player that he watched every Saturday on TV and live at BMO, well I know that he was listening. I thank you for that little gesture Adrian and I hope that one day, whether in sport or in life, when his day is filled with challenge he will remember what you (and I) have shared with him."
As for myself, well it's a struggle right now. There's been some good moments this year, the CCL games against L.A, and especially the home leg against Santos Laguna were great occasions, and, as pointed out by Darth Pingu on twitter, winning the Voyageurs Cup again was a blessed relief, the 0-9 league record at the time making Vancouver's frustration even more amusing than usual. So that's some times I enjoyed, worth the ticket price and more, I think the Vancouver league game with Terry Dunfield scoring the late winner would have been another but I had to miss that game, but that's hardly TFC's fault so I'll include that as well.
I'm also thankful that we get to take a break and focus on Canada right now, and in that respect the resurgence of interest in Canada is very much related to the existence of TFC, as well as Vancouver and Montreal making it into MLS, so it would be unfair to not acknowledge TFC's part in that.
Overall though, there's very little positive to cling to, certainly not from this season and looking forward, there's very little to cling to as positive signs, any sense of optimism I still have took another couple of blows recently.
First off, the revelation of Darren O'Dea's way too high salary takes him out of the 'good example of what Paul Mariner might do in the off season to rebuild the team' category into the 'bad deal that will hinder the club's ability to build any kind of depth for next year' pile.
There's little to be gleaned from anything on the pitch right now, though Saturday was one of TFC's better performances, but reports of Paul Mariner confronting fans in the seats behind the bench, some of the most expensive in the stadium and challenging them to meet him outside after the game are very depressing, just more evidence of a disconcerting lack of professionalism. It really doesn't suggest he's the right man to be able to guide TFC out of the mess it's currently in.
How I feel about the club is very similar to what Ben Knight describes in this article from CSN. It's all gone so horribly horribly wrong, I'm in no way convinced Mariner can get it going right again, definitely not with the one season timeline to make the playoffs he's apparently been given, but I also feel there's a lot of truth in the argument that firing another coach would be a terrible step back.
So yeah, positive article? Not so much. I don't feel particularly thankful right now, mangy flea ridden pigeon year after year is getting tired.