I have a confession to make: I’m pretty sure I’m the reason Toronto FC lost on Friday.
It’s all my fault. I didn’t get in a round of pre-game Superstition FIFA.
Let me explain. For at least the past three seasons, sometime before every TFC game, I’ve spooled up the Playstation, locked in my expected starting XI (tbh, these days it’s Benedict’s predictions), and led digital avatars of our boys on a dry-run of the fixture ahead. Compulsively. Win or Lose (but mostly Win), it was and is my unqualified belief that this simple act resets the scales of universal karma and readies the cosmos for another TFC win, or something like that.
It’s an arrogant presumption to assume that little ol’ me and my PS4 have anything to do with the success or failure of the Reds in real life.
Or is it?
Did my poor time management jinx the result? Only the Shadow Knows, but let’s follow my obvious segue to its logical conclusion, this week’s discussion question:
What are your pre/post-game rituals? How superstitious are we in WTR land?
Some more fun facts:
I’m onto my second lucky TFC scarf. The first one is a 2009 vintage Season Seat Holder jobbie that I wore from 2009 until the 2017 playoffs (and rarely washed), when my fiancé grabbed that grey and red 2017 MLS playoff number. I ‘borrowed’ it throughout the balance of the playoffs and the 2017 MLS Cup. Needless to say and much to her chagrin, this became lucky scarf mk2, and she never saw it again (she’s a big fan of this year’s SSH “Wings of Desire” scarf, so it’s all evened out).
I’m mental about getting to BMO at least an hour before kick-off. This is partially because the only thing that drives my European friends crazy about the BMO Field/TFC experience is how late fans arrive to the games, and it has rubbed off on me. To them, it’s inexplicable that you’d come to a match minutes to kick-off, let alone 20 minutes after play has started. Also, I simply must have time to hit the King Club at the North End for some cheapie Budweiser cans.
So yeah, I’ve got me some rituals. We’d love to hear all about yours.
Do you have any lucky charms? strange rituals or superstititions? Do you only enter BMO via gate 3? Grab beers/food at a certain vendor/kiosk? Do you have to sit at a certain spot at home/your local for away games? Listen to a certain song/playlist pre/post game?
What about the Pandora’s Box that is jerseys? What makes a favourite? How many is too many? How do you choose the player to honour on the back?
Do you also indulge in some ‘Superstition FIFA’?
Sports, and by extension, Sports Fans, are chock-a-block with superstitious ritual. The Playoff Beards, the Pre-Game Poops, the choreographed dance of spits, bat-taps, pants, sleeve, collar, and cap adjustments that is modern Baseball.
A follow up/bonus question:
How did your rituals/superstitions first manifest?
I’m thinking there will be more than a few hilarious stories there. For example, my crew at BMO really wants to codify the “You went to the bathroom, TFC scored, you stay in the bathroom” rule. Which I’m against, since the guilty party is often yours truly.
Do you believe in magic? We do. We’d love to see some, in the comments, where it lives out its days in perpetual bliss.
I’m going for levity here, but if you need to express your frustration over that 1-0 loss, WTR has you sorted. Mitch did a post-mortem. Charlie did his game thread. I agree with them 1000%, and I’m still not that worried. This season has been far from ideal, but MLS is a league that rewards how you finish, not how you start.
If there's anything we've learned on @Radio_Cascadia about the MLS season, it's how you finish the season, not how you start it.— Ed Pham (@edpham) May 14, 2018
Speaking of finishing, last week I asked you to Name The Squirrel, and we got quite the response across WTR-proper and the social medias. So much of a response, in fact, that we felt the only fair way to crown a winner was with a 100% authentic poll. We’ve whittled the list down to the finalists:
What’s your favourite name for the squirrel?
This poll is closed
Ruud van Nutselroy
Is your favourite name missing? Leave a comment! Try to rally support for it.
Special thanks to Charlie for building this thing!
THIS WEEK’S PLAYLIST
I’m expecting the next few weeks will be back-to-back Playlist Takeovers, really excited about that. I’d love to get more community members to do this — I’m curious about everyone’s tastes — so let me know in the comments if you’re interested and we’ll go from there.
I packed this week’s salvo with some Dallas flavour, and what do you know? The selections work just as well for a loss as a win.
I put “Just Can’t Get Enough” in there too, for the sake of superstition :)