Thursday, February 26, 2009
Montreal Impact on television, playing my viewing part but not with my heart
My take on this, for what it's worth.
Last night I watched the CONCACAF Champion's League between Montreal Impact and Santos Laguna on CBC Bold. I suppose it was the correct "CBC" thing to say, but when commentator Jason DeVos said that no matter what team you cheered for in Canada, tonight was a night to cheer for Montreal because they are Canadian, he left me light years away.
First of all it is a club championship. The Impact have a mixture of nationalities on their team, as is the norm in this global game. The Impact strikers were Panamanian and Cuban, the keeper American, one defender French and I think an Argentinian in the midfield. Plenty of homegrown talent too, but to their credit they present themselves as Montreal's team, not Canada's. (They do have Quebec government sponsorship on the back of their uniforms and wear the provincial colours of bleu et blanc, but I think I can make my point without dragging sovereignty vs federalism into the fray.)
I was also not happy that the CBC coverage called Santos 'the Mexicans' too many times. I know that their striker is Ecuadorian, but besides that I still do not know what city or region they hail from. It is a club championship, CBC.
I cheer for Toronto FC. Maybe because of the blog or having season tickets or even an internet addiction, but I probably think about TFC every single day. OK, I take holidays and other active days off, I am not confessing to anything unhealthy here. I heartily cheer for Toronto FC.
The Impact have no place in my heart. I watched last night in the same spirit that I watch many UEFA Champions League games, I enjoy the game and spectacle and want the best team to prevail. I love the game and want to be entertained. I would no more cheer for Montreal because I was born within Canada, than I would cheer for Man U because my parents were born in England.
Do I want CBC to have great ratings for their coverage ? Yes, but only to prime the pump for the even higher ratings to come when Toronto is in this spot . I also feel that the better Montreal does in the competition, the more fun it will be to watch TFC beat them in the 09 qualifying come May and June.
There may be some who value the Canadian Men's team higher than I do and therefore cheer for Montreal's homegrown players more than I would. They may be better people than me, but I know where I stand on the club or country debate. So, I will watch the return game next Thursday. I hope to be entertained. I hope that Nigel Reed and Jason DeVos devote more time to educating the audience about the hometeam. After all, I want to learn more about teams in the Mexican league. To enhance my future pleasure when Toronto FC gets to beat them.