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Blue Jays Playoff Atmosphere Foreshadowing for Toronto FC

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Toronto FC have lost plenty of press lately to their crosstown sports cousins, but the Blue Jays exposure gives them an idea of what could be ahead if they make a home playoff appearance of their own.

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

There's been nothing blue about Toronto FC's October so far. The club  kicked off the crucial month with a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union that puts them the closest they've ever been to the playoffs: needing only one point in their final three games.

For the rest of Toronto, however, they have been swept up in the so called "blue October" phenomenon, celebrating the Blue Jays playing in their first playoff games in over two decades.

The Rogers Centre has been electric, the streets filled with Jays hats and every TV in the area has been showing one thing: the boys of the summer who have finally made themselves the boys of the fall.

In some ways, the timing couldn't be worse for Toronto FC. Just when they are about to make positive front page news for the first time in their history the Jays have taken over that front page, and the two after that.

Toronto FC will never look at it that way publicly, a winning atmosphere in the town is good they have consistently said. In many ways they are right, and watching the Toronto Blue Jays should get them hope and inspiration for what could be in store next month.

Seeing how passionately Toronto has stepped behind the Blue Jays should be enough to give even the most baseball-hating TFC fans goose bumps. It shows how strongly the city can unite behind a team who gives them something to cheer about.

Even best case scenario the hype surrounding Toronto FC if they make their first ever playoff appearance will be nowhere near the level of the Jays.

TFC don't have the history of the Blue Jays, they don't have anything close to a championship season long ago that still inspires fans to flock to their stadium for the sentimental value.

In fact, through a vicious cycle of losing and mismanagement the TFC have lost a large number of supporters. Many are just returning to the club now. Others still need convincing that this won't all just blow up in their face again.

For them to return, and for others to start paying attention, Toronto FC need more than just a playoff appearance. Like the Blue Jays, they need a home playoff game to truly tap into the city's sports passion.

There has to be something visible and local for Torontonians to get behind. Toronto FC supporters need to be able to create a playoff memory at a BMO Field, not at a pub or at home on their TV.

Otherwise they run the risk of becoming the Toronto Maple Leafs, who's start to this NHL season has been a footnote in the city's news cycle.

Nothing is expected of the Leafs this year to be sure, but the silence under which they opened their season on Wednesday was surprising considering the fact that they have been at top of Toronto's sporting food chain for decades.

Getting lost in the numbers is especially probable if the Jays manage to keep themselves in the playoffs. In this case, a one and done playoff wildcard game on the road in the shadow of the Jays would get TFC little to no exposure.

It would be hard to consider that a successful season, one where the team finally rose to historic heights but were unable to do so with the general public interested in their success. It would still be a stepping stone, but an incredibly uneven one.

On the other hand, even in two losing efforts the Jays have shown how incredible of a sports city Toronto can be when they have a winner. Extrapolating that imagination to a packed, passionate and engaged BMO Field is exactly what the team should be playing for right now.

The Jays have started a Toronto sports frenzy, and if Toronto FC's can get at least one home playoff game at the right time they will be able to feed on that frenzy.