Well, that was a week.
Let’s take stock:
A measure of redemption for Toronto FC in MLS? Check.
A decent cushion for our beloved Reds before they head south to the hallowed ground that is the Estadio Azteca? Ditto.
On a personal note, the case could even be argued that the Soccer Gods read, or at least skim, this very column, as the Ice Cream Man himself, that old “baked cake” Jay Chapman, got himself some much needed minutes. (Like many of you, I adore last week’s “baked cake” metaphor via AMS1984 — been overusing it pretty much everywhere outside of proper bakeries. Context is king, after all).
It’s as good a time as any to take a breath and celebrate our achievements thus far. In honour of this, I’m not going to ask about MLS/CCL hangovers, away goals, the expectation of some seriously hostile Club América supporters on the coming away leg or the cage/ Thunderdome they sequester away fans into at the Azteca. I’ll be mum on the ongoing VDW vs Auro Jr. debate. I’ll stay away from the ascent of a certain Ashtone Morgan, the curious case of Elbows & Osorios, and throwing any real shade at the esteemed Miguel Herrera, that Preening Gasbag/Walking GIF of a manager at Club América. Finally, I promise not to ask about absolutely anything involving the numbers 3-5-2 or 4-4-2.
This weeks’ hot take is more of a lukewarm or room temperature take. I think our nerves are frayed enough for some levity.
This week I’m going to indulge my inner kit nerd. To my mind, the last time WTR did this was waaay back in 2016
Hopefully you will join me on this adventure in the comments, where ye olde magic happens.
What’s your all time favourite TFC kit? What’s your least favourite?
Personally, and I’d like to think this has nothing to do with the success the team has enjoyed whilst sporting it, my stone favorite TFC stripe is the current 2017-18 home kit. Loved it even before that snazzy gold star. I think it’s just perfect. Our boys look smart and like they mean business on the pitch. All the little details are on point, and, as a die-hard Star Trek obsessive, it can’t be ignored how closely it hews to a starfleet uniform — just sayin’ — and yes, TFC would obviously be the redshirts of TNG era.
Close second has to go to that beautiful 2014-15 onyx away kit — please don’t call it black. The fit — the simplicity — those fire-engine red stripes — just all around fantastic. That silver BMO logo is sick. Only knock is the old school clip-art MLS logo. Speaking of MLS, it’s too bad they didn’t allow TFC to line up at the halfway line and do a pre-match Haka like the All Blacks. That would’ve been fun.
And no way I’m ignoring the Ed Hardy-esque All-Over-Print Canadian flag 2012-13 home kit. That one was special. It’s simply stunning. Full Stop. It would probably be my favourite if it weren’t for the “looks good on a hanger, looks horrid on me” factor. Even the replica variants, which are supposed to be more forgiving to dad-bods, fit like a sausage casing and do you absolutely no favours if you happen to have more than 0% body fat. Many of my unbiased friends are mad about this one, but then, many of my unbiased friends are built like bean-poles and would look good wearing a sock as a T-shirt.
On the flip, and it does pain me to say this, considering the history involved, is that long (quarter?)-sleeved 2007 alternate kit abomination. I know, I know, it was a different era, and that kit was well in line with the rest of the league/global football at the time, but seriously, what was Adidas thinking? What’s with the criss-crossing multi-coloured lines everywhere? Why do they all point to the crotch? Why choose a shade of grey that looks like sun-baked concrete or a bowl or gruel? Why tailor it to fit like a muumuu? Also, the collar looks like the first ever attempt at a “u-neck.” At best, those kits are equivalent to those comfy PJ’s you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing outside the house; even for a quick trip to the mailbox (pity points for how good it looks as an oversized shirt-dress, though).
Does the brand new 2018/2019 away/alternate kit even rate? Pretty sure we have yet to see it get any meaningful minutes.
I’d even be willing to open this question up further to include all TFC branded merch, just for completeness’ sake. Do you have a favourite scarf? (There’s a recent U-Sector custom jobbie I’ve seen around BMO that is ridiculously amazing) What about jackets? Socks? Key-rings?
There have been some truly great examples of TFC-branded goodness over the years. I didn’t pull the trigger on the Sebastian Giovinco OYO Sports mini-figure a few years back. Totally regret that now, fetches a decent price on the resale market.
Of course, there have been some heinous misfires — that hot pink button-down dress shirt disaster that seemed to forever be on final sale comes to mind — but seeing as we’re taking a collective trip down memory lane, seems fair to open up the margins.
And what do you know? As I’m drafting this up, I get an email offer for a free mini-trophy for spending $100 or more on TFC swag. Go figure. If nothing else, I must at least have the attention of the soccer merch gods.
I have a feeling this discussion is going to be some great fun.
THIS WEEK'S PLAYLIST:
Actually... there is a second shout-out in this playlist. Some of you may question what “Freed From Desire” is doing here. My friend Gavin wouldn’t, as he repurposed the lyric to “Giovinco’s on fire!” throughout the 2016 season. Try it out. It’s kinda awesome.
I’d also like to note that I ensured this was a strong playlist, with a lot of depth (check out the five subs on the bench — tracks 13-17) to mirror what TFC is bringing south next Tuesday;