Sunday, March 25, 2007

...and everytime my team takes the field I let out a cheer and wave my debit card in their general direction....

So it will be BMO across the chest. Stupid move.

The other day the team uniform was unveiled . The management went with the Euro model and now we see the sponsor rather than the team logo splashed onto the shirt. I would have argued for a season or two (or decade or two?), to go with Toronto FC across the front. Despite the success in season ticket sales and the Beckham splash, there are still many unaware of this team and this league. Don’t you want that awareness and loyalty to be developed first? To be all sophisicated we have a team without a nickname, but to be profitable we sold that prime ad space before a ball was kicked. Did I mention that I am less than a fan of MLSE, Richard Peddie and the great Canadian banking sector??
You may see teams around the globe with a corporate squiggle, but I thought that this modern blight was preceded by lifetimes without them. Those were the lifetimes in which the fans fell in love. Isn’t Barcelona FC the great holdout to selling off that space?? Why did we cave so early?
And BMO sucks. What is a big M for Montreal doing on the uniform of a Toronto team? And when they pronounce it Beemo I end up thinking of Beemer autos and it is not a warm and fuzzy association. BMWs are driven by people who have never even noticed that service charges add up. If I have to swallow advertising, give me a beer logo or athletic connection. Even a supermarket chain would have been friendlier.

Hey we don’t have a mascot yet do we ??
Then it has to be a big fuzzy bank machine with eyes. His name is dollar fifty (with a sidekick - security breach). Hey BMO that’s my pitch. I claim the idea first and sell it to you. Give me 2 million and it’s all yours.....

Friday, March 16, 2007

blog preamble

It is time to start writing about the season ahead. I need to blog about Toronto FC and the joys and sorrows of supporting a team. I suspect that I could be a fan of the team, the blog wouldn't make much sense without that inkling.

I have purchased two season tickets for 2007. Cheap seats, but not the cheapest. I don't see myself as a chanting/singing ultra (a little middle aged for that) but could become a fan.

I am a fan of the game and am slightly acquainted with the MLS. Twice, on visits to Los Angeles, I have attended MLS games. One was at the Rose Bowl and the other at the new HomeDepot Centre in Carson. Yes, I understand the arguments about the quality of play within the MLS. There is a vast gulf between play at the big global soccer level and what will be on offer in TO. No question.

But you have to support the local product. You have to start somewhere and be happy that we are starting at all. Could it happen ?? Can a MLS team with a brand new soccer-only stadium connect with the local fans of the game ? Selling 14000 season tickets indicates a huge hunger. I am willing to buy my ticket and be a witness.

I am new to blogging. Not sure where I can go with this. I do follow a few teams through the eyes of entertaining bloggers. Maybe I can fashion something that is informative or opinionated or fun, a way to follow the team and enjoy the season. A good blog should contribute to the conversation that surrounds anything worth caring about. With that in mind.......


countdown....and introduction.

First, the history behind the blog name.
I was born and raised in Toronto. One of my earliest memories was walking with my dad from our place in Parkdale to Exhibition Stadium. It was the sixties, so the stadium was home of the Argos. It might not have been the world's best football stadium (CFL or otherwise), but it was our football stadium, home of our team. Having a stadium right in your neighbourhood was special and my life as a fan was begun. To me it was the heart of the city.

Later a baseball team was brought to Toronto and a baseball design was grafted onto the place. I don't know which writer coined the phrase "mistake by the lake", but it became associated with Exhibition Stadium. It was ugly alright, but it was still home turf for the fan. The mistake atmosphere extended around the stadium as we had neither the gathering atmosphere of the stadium in a neighbourhood or the tailgate party version where the party is in the parking lot.
Building a domed stadium downtown finished the Exhibition area for outdoor sports. The mistake by the lake was torn down. The CNE (Canadian National Exhibition, the annual fair on the grounds) continued but has been in serious decline.

So mistake by the lake is a salute to the history of the location. The arrival of Toronto FC and the building of BMO Field is not the mistake. This blog hopes to be part of a new chapter in these parts. Welcoming a new team in a new stadium by the lake is hopefully the long overdue correction to those old mistakes, bringing us full circle to what once was and what could have been.