Something to Rile Up TFC Fans

Dear Toronto FC fan,

I hear you're excited about the Voyageurs Cup coming up this evening. Don't pretend you aren't, either. Many of you Toronto types love to pretend you're not interested in what you're really interested in. It's the same adorable way you guys talk about how much you don't care about the Vancouver Whitecaps, or the Montreal Impact, or the Columbus Crew, and prove you don't care about them by constantly bringing it up.

Well, I care about you guys. I haven't got the misguided pride to try and hide it, to think that I'm somehow "above" having rivals. You're Canadian, we're Canadian, therefore I want us to beat you. Also, somehow your captain is Brazilian and our captain is American, and your coach is Dutch while our coach is Icelandic. That adds a certain United Nations quality to all of our games.

And here's what annoys me about all this. Way too many of you are coming into this game, in our house, thinking that you're probably going to win this one. Apparently a 4-2 thrashing didn't beat enough humility into you and three years of unsuccessful Voyageurs Cup results before that weren't enough either. How about the fact that you've never beaten us in Vancouver, not even one time? The fact that you guys can't beat the Columbus Crew is considered a source of civic handwringing; the fact that you guys have only beaten us once is basically ignored as you stroll in with cocky smiles.

Yes, the Whitecaps are on a run of bad form. You got me there. We just blew a 2-0 lead at home to a mediocre opponent, after all, and that's... oh, right, we didn't do that. I'm not trying to say the Whitecaps are having even a decent year. I'm just saying that Toronto's year is exactly as bad. We are fellow basement-dwellers, you and I, and to pretend anything different is to indulge in the same self-indulgent delusions that brought us gems like "Mo Johnston just needs one more year to build this team" and "Julian de Guzman is easily worth a designated player's salary" and "we will get thirty goals from a strike force of Chad Barrett and O'Brian White."

Ah, yes, but you could at least give us lessons on soccer support, that's for sure. Why, with an attendance of just under 19,000 fans a night, you almost bring as many patrons into your beautiful little stadium we helped pay for as bring into our crappy temporary aluminium monstrosity! Don't say it's just our first season and the honeymoon will end in Vancouver someday. I hear that a lot from Toronto fans. It's weird, the fact that Toronto fans take it for granted that supporters treat teams as a fad and will stop watching when the novelty wears off. To be fair, between the Rock and the Argonauts and the Blue Jays, it's probably true. In Toronto.

Go back to your little stadium on the lakefront and sing the Danny Dichio song into an increasingly melancholy void, trying to fight off the realization that you're going the way of the Lynx. The Vancouver Whitecaps, founded in 1986, have outlived the Canadian Soccer League, the American Professional Soccer League, the North American A-League, the United Soccer Leagues First Division, and the USSF D2 Pro League. They've buried x professional soccer teams over twenty-five years. And they'll bury you too.

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