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The Most Frustrating Question of All

Of all the questions worth asking, the most useful ones invariably begin with "Why?" And if it's good enough for 1.6 billion toddlers, who am I to disagree?

This internet thingy that everyone's using these days is great for answering the lesser questions of Major League Soccer and in particular the Vancouver Whitecaps. There's all manner of information out there on the who, what, where, and when – and even the how, to some extent. But more often than not, the why – or least the answer to it remains aggravatingly elusive.

It's the question we sports fans and armchair observers most often ask, and at the same time it's the answer we're least likely to get as mere mortals not privy to the inner sanctum of the locker room, board committee room, or the back office.

Why haven't the Whitecaps dropped a few million for a proven thoroughbred CAM to match the stud Clydesdale DM that is Nigel Reo- Coker? Why does LB Jordan Harvey have a nose for net when poor 'ol Eric Hassli couldn't buy, steal, finance, or swindle one from the striker position for near-eternity? Why brown last year? Why do season's tickets seem more of a risk this year than last? Why does the Canadian Championship seem like a pipe dream after Toronto FC not only broke open the piggy bank, but emptied the vault this offseason?

We offer our limited insights, throw up conjecture, clench fists, and gnash our teeth. And still the why remains little more than guesswork – insignificant blathering at times; the bard's a tale told by an idiot.

As happenstance would have it, I was dusting off some well-weathered books over the weekend, and became briefly re-acquainted with Macbeth. And for a moment, the themes of frustration, the immortality of time, and our all-too-brief existence on this earth seemed to square very succinctly with the history and direction of the blue-and-white, and our preoccupation with what, in the grand scheme of things, many might say is insignificant:

"… Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing".
— Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 19-28)

As we head toward the start of what's destined to become yet another yesterday, we'll of course be confronted with asking the who's, the when's, and the where's - the answers to which will all be revealed in good time. The why's? Well, some of the answers will become apparent - but many will remain a mystery forever as we wait to watch the 2014 season unfold.

For the most part in my experience here at 86 Forever, the best and most fruitful - if not the most entertaining - discussions have been borne out of the various attempts to answer those many "Why's". If the Caps continue to struggle to convert corner kick opportunities, or one of the new guys is struggling to adjust, or the team goes on an outrageous 12-game winning streak to start the season, let's all look for the reasons behind it through your input.

Toward the end of last season, a lot of "long-time lurkers" began to pop up and add their voices to the 86 Forever community. And I'm glad they did. I'm struck by how often I read a post that offers a POV that I'd never considered. And the quirky humour... well, you get used to it around here after a while... just don't ask me why.