Over the last few weeks, I’ve been guilty of the ‘Toronto Special’; I’ve conveniently (or subconsciously) forgotten how quickly the seasons change, and watched, over-dressed and mouth agape, both the mercury rising and the explosion of flora. The tree in front of my apartment, once so naked and bare, is now covered with fresh growth.
Hogtown is shaking off the cobwebs and putting on its Sunday Best, just in time for tourist season, when it matters most.
Why can’t our beloved Toronto FC follow suit?
This change in season, and with it the awkward realization that “no backpacks at BMO” means overstuffed pockets and looking like a pack-mule — or the impetus to invest heavy in cargo pants — has had a knock-on effect on my mood. Which wasn’t at all helped by the spectacular flame-out we witnessed go down Saturday at Mapfre Stadium.
What’s the point now of talking about “When TFC get healthy?” There’s still more than enough talent on their side to get results. They didn’t tonight. They might not get healthy. Tonight was a collapse. #TFCLive— Joshua Kloke (@joshuakloke) June 3, 2018
Over the last few weeks, I’ve gone for some levity in this column. I felt it my duty to WTR-land to provide some respite from the elation, disappointment, frustration, anxiety, and temptation for outright panic that has been the modus operandi of TFC support circa 2018. I’m a superstitious guy, so I was also secretly hoping it would have a knock-on effect on this crazy season.
We all felt the same way, I suspect. We all believed, in our hearts, that a change was a-coming. The pendulum was shifting.
Until this weekend’s result shook that belief to its core.
Just because I think Orlando is terrible, TFC isn’t done yet. But that might have been the night this season died. Bizarre season. And injuries aren’t to blame as much as other things. #TFCLive— Kurtis W. Larson (@KurtLarSUN) June 3, 2018
That cannot happen. Up 3-0 and draw 3-3 with 25 minutes to play. Poor decision making. This group was so good at managing matches. This draw must seem like a loss. Needed 3pts against a depleted Crew. #TFCLive— Gareth Wheeler (@WheelerTSN) June 3, 2018
While it’s no surprise the social medias are exploding, what is surprising is how much this sentiment is echoed right down the line from journalist to casual fan. This game broke our backs.
Let’s face it, when Wheels himself is out of nice things to say, you know you have a problem.
I mean, Twitter is calling for #vanneyout. Things are getting weird. (for the record, I really hope Twitter is joking).
So to hell with levity! Let’s scratch that itch this week:
Are we “capital-W” Worried now? Is TFC’s season in jeopardy?
Do we attack the summer transfer market? Make sweeping changes across the locker room and front office? Go full scorched earth policy? Do we even have a plan B?
I know that game was brutal, but was it enough to destroy our faith in the Reds? Or have we woke up to a fresh work week, and a renewed belief that the ship will right itself?
As I draft this up on Sunday afternoon, the white-hot heat of anger is already fading, and it occurs to me that, in many ways, this past game is a microcosm of the entire season thus far. So much to love, but an equal amount of inexplicable crapola. I wonder if this has anything to do with the response it’s engendered across all TFC fandom?
THIS WEEK’S PLAYLIST
Martin spent Saturday night throwing away all his previous drafts and has carefully curated a playlist where every track has an associative value to that collapse in Columbus.
It’s so well thought-out and idiosyncratic that I felt bad about subbing in Sloan’s “Worried Now” for playlist/article title double-word score, so we’re at 18 tracks this week, and not a single one of them is “Just Can’t Get Enough”.
To paraphrase Martin — the first track (Track #2 - “Moth Into Flame” - Metallica) is his description of the game overall. Tracks #3-12 are our starting lineup. “How Bizarre” - OMC is the “Vanney Special.” Next tracks are sub-specific and the final track, “Roundtable Rival” - Lindsey Stirling, is a gauntlet thrown at our opponents.