There is no question that no love is lost between Toronto FC and Jermain Defoe after the events that unfolded last season. Whether it is alluded to or not, Defoe is still a shadow that hangs over this club, and one that they will unable to rid themselves of this season. But the club itself is looking to move on after what they hope are actions that indicate they have learned from the mistakes they made last year.
Today, Toronto FC released this ad with the new tagline for the season "Unite. Support. Belong". Maybe they should have added a fourth word as well "forget". This is as close as the club could have come to taking a shot at the departed Jermain Defoe without explicitly mentioning his name. Its part of the new club mentality, tired of being pushed around and now, hopefully, ready to rise above.
The commercial opens with a shot of bloody big deal posters peeling off of a building, before revealing the fact that the bloody big deal bus does still exist. It's being parked like some kind of batmobile, maybe the scraps will be reused in the new BMO Field construction. Although, considering how the team collapsed during bloody big deal that might not be ideal.
Then it pans in on Michael Bradley, who apparently likes to watch Downton Abbey during his offseason training sessions. Frustrated with the character development, he turns it off. Finally, the advertisement somehow gets taken over by scenes from the new Spiderman movie. Spiderman has apparently sold out as he weaves Toronto FC's slogan "All for One" into his web.
There is also another quick shot of the kit that is set to be revealed by the club tomorrow in a television broadcast at 3 PM, with the official launch party being held for the Vancouver Whitecaps game on March 7. The kit looks better and better every time it appears.
In all seriousness, the advertisement isn't anything revolutionary. The slogan "Unite. Support. Belong" isn't going to catch on nearly to the extent that bloody big deal did, and potentially not at all. However, the line "only through adversity do you find out who you can count on" is the saying that may stand out the most from the commercial.
For a club that is usually fairly reserved and politically correct in everything it does, this tongue in cheek ad is abnormal. That's what makes it more refreshing, and hopefully an indicator of the sort of no-nonsense mentality that Toronto FC will have this year. This kind of fighting spirit has been missing for years, and if nothing else Defoe may finally have brought it out.