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    Post Today’s News, Thursday , May, 29

    Justification for streamer-tossing paper thin
    Cathal Kelly

    Having spent more than a year on the fence about the rightness or wrongness of allowing fans to throw streamers at Toronto FC games, my mind was made up a week ago.
    As a D.C. United player moved into one corner of BMO Field to take a free kick, a half-dozen fans came pouring out of the box seats and craned over the railing, five metres or less from the corner pole.
    Once there, they began to whip – and "whip" is the only word for it – streamers in the United player's direction. From that distance, there was no chance for the paper wheels to unspool. They were whizzing past his head like pellets. Unlikely to hurt much, but certainly unpleasant to catch in the eye. The whole thing turned suddenly from the sublime to the ridiculous.
    The streamers have been present since Toronto FC's inception. At first, they were tossed from several rows back, arching down on the field in a graceful tumble. Fans reared back in amazement when the first few were thrown at the 2007 home opener.
    Once the crowd realized nobody was going to stop them, the practice spread into every section of the stadium. When the L.A. Galaxy visited last August, fans brought pink streamers for use specifically against Landon Donovan. I recall that as the first example of what we now recognize as the "streamer cyclone," when an opposing player momentarily disappears inside a cloud of oncoming paper tape. It was comical. It was also clear interference and thus patently unfair.
    For weeks now, the club, its players, coaches and the fans have twisted themselves in knots trying to explain this away as an atmospheric add-on, like the smoke machine in the south end or a sing-along. The difference is that smoke clears and off-key warbling doesn't interfere with the flight of the ball.
    "As long as it's safe, it's not a problem," MLSE executive Bob Hunter, who is in charge of all venues, said yesterday of the streamers. "It potentially can cause distraction, but I don't think it's (a) physical (danger)."
    Well, by that definition you ought to be able to toss empty drink cups and popcorn at players taking free throws down at the ACC. The safety argument doesn't wash. But in fairness to MLSE, how else can they defend the practice?
    Hunter was clear that Toronto FC would enforce a ban on streamers if instructed to do so by the league.
    Whatever side you fall on in the streamer debates, the answer may soon be imposed from above.
    The spark was a crude video shot at last Saturday's Columbus-New England game in Ohio. Fans can be seen throwing bottles and other detritus, along with streamers, at players. One jackass is caught on tape screaming racial abuse at the Revolution's Kheli Dube.
    Major League Soccer is investigating the Columbus incident. In the U.S., where the tabloid media is just aching to paint all soccer fans as out-of-control racists, expect the league to hammer down hard.
    Rolled into that investigation is what one MLS source called a "re-examination" of the streamer policy league-wide. Streamers are a big issue only at BMO Field and Columbus' Crew Stadium. Also, the occasional lit flare included in Toronto's streamer barrage has not escaped notice. FC fans have now wandered into the league's sights.
    During halftime at every MLS game, fans are reminded to "refrain from throwing objects on the field." However, the league has in the past allowed clubs to set their own standards and police their own crowds. Now, the Dube video and its accompanying negative publicity have made that laissez-faire policy difficult to maintain.
    One suspects that TFC officials would like the streamer issue to disappear. They might prefer that MLS play the bad cop, while they could make commiserating noises just before the crackdown.
    My guess is the league will oblige in the coming days.




    Toronto's National Soccer Stadium is just a Pipe dream


    PAT HICKEY, The Gazette

    As I watched the Impact play Toronto FC Tuesday night, I recalled a conversation I had two years ago with Kevan Pipe, who was then the executive director of the Canadian Soccer Association.
    I expressed the opinion that the so-called National Soccer Stadium in Toronto was a monumental waste of taxpayers' money for the benefit of a private enterprise.
    I also suggested the private enterprise, Toronto FC, might have a negative effect on Canadian soccer. Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment had secured the exclusive Canadian rights for Major League Soccer (MLS) in Canada and my fear was the team would siphon talent from the Impact and the Vancouver Whitecaps, two successful United Soccer Leagues First Division clubs that were planning to build privately funded stadia.

    Pipe dismissed my argument. He said Canada was in need of a base for its national team and the Toronto stadium would provide a venue for international fixtures. As for Toronto FC, he saw it as an opportunity for Canadians to play at a higher level and even went so far as to suggest he could see the day when the Toronto FC roster would feature the bulk of the Canadian national team.

    Read more


    McBride returns, may land on TFC

    Brian McBride is leaving Fulham of England's Premier League to return to North America.
    The 35-year-old forward, whose contract expired after Fulham avoided relegation on the final day of the season, played for Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew from 1996-2004 and was a seven-time all-star.
    If McBride signs with MLS, Toronto FC would have the first chance to sign him. However, Toronto could sign him and trade him.
    McBride, from Arlington Heights, Ill., dislocated his kneecap in August. Although he scored just three more goals after returning to action in February, his ability to hold up the ball, distract defences and win headers helped galvanize the team.


    Read more


    SUNSHINE





    Great love does not exist without joy and without great suffering ,that's why One club is worth only as much as its fans !


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    Thanks Denime! Interesting news on the McBride front!

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    Another soccer mom sunshine girl

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    Why do I keep reading Kelly? Luckily I remebered to stop at

    "FC fans"

    He's a hater. Doing nothing for our game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fort York Redcoat View Post
    Why do I keep reading Kelly? Luckily I remebered to stop at

    "FC fans"

    He's a hater. Doing nothing for our game.
    He is notoriously Anti-MLSE, and now anti- TFC, I fear that as soon as the canadian soccer landscape is expanded to include VWC, or MTLI will will be subjected to glowing reports about their teams while the mud is slung at ours. . . . . Shame.

    Streamer ban coming? - YAY!
    NOTICE: Wager with STB: OVER 2 shots on goal in the First half wins a Pint at HT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fort York Redcoat View Post
    Why do I keep reading Kelly? Luckily I remebered to stop at

    "FC fans"

    He's a hater. Doing nothing for our game.

    I don't know why I bother reading his work either. Perhaps I somehow enjoy the absurd nature of the Canadian Press' relationship with football, that this man is actually paid good money to write absolutely uninformed nonsense- I'd prefer more curling coverage to his wasting of space he calls a column.

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    kelly reminds me of mclown sometimes, he has an opinion and no matter what evidence presents itself, he will push his point with no limit, he seems like a disgruntled reporter who didnt get the career he wanted, or is working at the star, and had his sights set on a job at SI, he is just another writer who needs to print junk in order to have people read his column, and it is comical to read some of his stuff, just like it is to listen to Mclown

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    oh and the soccer mum is cute!!!

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    Oh MG...for shame....for shame!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Groove View Post
    oh and the soccer mum is cute!!!
    wow.. to each his own I guess.

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    As always thanks Denime. We can all hate Cathal together but at the end of the day it is the league that will decide to stop the streamers etc... I just hope we don't get nets or plexiglass down in the corners.

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    Im writing a note to that dick pat hickey right now.
    Ill post it after.
    Hopefully it gets some sort of response.

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    PAT HICKEY at The Gazette describes the turf issue as if MLSE had a choice, and they picked turff to line their pockets with extra cash in the off-season.
    He should be reminded that the turf was a requirement imposed by the government, and the city.

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    Dear Mr Hickey,
    You cry that Toronto FC (here on known as TFC) is not developing players simply because they (from here on known as 'we' ,
    as we supporters feel we are one with the team) fielded only 3 Canadian players. My friend, your research is both short sighted and ignorant of the truth.
    Yes our current team is lacking in Canadian players simply because of the great gap in talent that exists in Canadian Soccer. The goal of any team is to win, and
    unfortunately fielding a winning team of all Canadians is not presently an option. Ideally they would all be Torontonians, as you would no doubt prefer all Impact players
    would be Montréal. Indeed our lack of Canadian presence is not through lack of effort, as you may recall Adam Braz (who plays for Montreal Impact) was a member of
    our team last year and he was a terrible player . Sadly several other Canadian players that made the team and were subsequently released.
    Other players who would be suited to play for TFC are playing in Europe for greater amounts of money (dont forget we have a salary cap) or for other teams in the MLS
    that need their services (such as Scarboroughs Dwayne De Rosario). The truth is that TFC IS developing soccer players for Canada and for Toronto FC (as
    any good club does). Recently coaches such as Chris Cummins and Canada's Nick Dasovic were signed to coach for the TFC Academy which takes place in the CSL (a semi
    professional leage). There are plans to create even younger teams (as they do in Europe) simply because the CSA has failed to do so for many years. This all takes
    time, need I remind you that as a club we are only in our second season. Effective youth development programs take years, not months, and had the CSA taken the lead in
    this matter years ago, I would not be writing.

    Your assertions about BMO Field being a waste is rather comedic. I wonder, sir, if you can see the largest white elephant of a stadium in Canada from where you write? We
    certainly saw it looming large of Stade Saputo on Tuesday night. But I digress, basic research would have turned up the fact that the choice of turf was controversial
    here, and is by no means a settled issue.

    In short, please do some research before you start to take jabs at a team that is making great leaps for Canadian Soccer (because the CSA isnt).

    Sincerely,
    Ossington Mental Youths
    Last edited by denime; 05-29-2008 at 12:19 PM.

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    Here is a piece on TFC and the Newcastle guy who came up to have a visit:

    http://www.newcastlevipers.com/news/detail.php?id=2099

    It covers the similarities between the vipers and TFC, the vipers bieng the hockey team in Newcastle.
    Road Trips: July 7 2007 Chicago, July 22nd 2007 Columbus, August 11 2007 NY, October 13 2007 LA, March 29 2008 Columbus, May 24th 2008 DC, May 26 2008 Montreal, June 28th 2008 NE, March 7-11-14 2009 Charleston, March 28 2009 Columbus, April 10 2010 New England, May 12 2010 Montreal, April 7 2012 Montreal, March 16 2013 Montreal , June 3 2014 Montreal, March 14 2015 Columbus

    Twitter: @RPBPhil

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    Concering Kelly's 'streamers are PATENTLY unfair because it INTERFERES with the game' screed! Imagine telling NFL fans they can't boo and scream at the visiting team because it 'interferes' with the game..This booing can COMPLETELY disrupt a team into taking penalties, calling the wrong play, and even leading players to run into each other..Now THAT is INTERFERENCE, but it's also just part of the game..So butt out you whining twits who think the streamers are harming the game..It's part of our home field advantage, and as long as some twit doesn't start throwing harmful projectiles, it should CONTINUE!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roogsy View Post
    Oh MG...for shame....for shame!!!
    u guys really dont think so eh, gotta stop drinking on the job then

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ossington Mental Youth View Post
    Dear Mr Hickey,
    You cry that Toronto FC (here on known as TFC) is not developing players simply because they (from here on known as 'we' ,
    as we supporters feel we are one with the team) fielded only 3 Canadian players. My friend, your research is both short sighted and ignorant of the truth.
    Yes our current team is lacking in Canadian players simply because of the great gap in talent that exists in Canadian Soccer. The goal of any team is to win, and
    unfortunately fielding a winning team of all Canadians is not presently an option. Ideally they would all be Torontonians, as you would no doubt prefer all Impact players
    would be Montréal. Indeed our lack of Canadian presence is not through lack of effort, as you may recall Adam Braz (who plays for Montreal Impact) was a member of
    our team last year and he was a terrible player . Sadly several other Canadian players that made the team and were subsequently released.
    Other players who would be suited to play for TFC are playing in Europe for greater amounts of money (dont forget we have a salary cap) or for other teams in the MLS
    that need their services (such as Scarboroughs Dwayne De Rosario). The truth is that TFC IS developing soccer players for Canada and for Toronto FC (as
    any good club does). Recently coaches such as Chris Cummins and Canada's Nick Dasovic were signed to coach for the TFC Academy which takes place in the CSL (a semi
    professional leage). There are plans to create even younger teams (as they do in Europe) simply because the CSA has failed to do so for many years. This all takes
    time, need I remind you that as a club we are only in our second season. Effective youth development programs take years, not months, and had the CSA taken the lead in
    this matter years ago, I would not be writing.

    Your assertions about BMO Field being a waste is rather comedic. I wonder, sir, if you can see the largest white elephant of a stadium in Canada from where you write? We
    certainly saw it looming large of Stade Saputo on Tuesday night. But I digress, basic research would have turned up the fact that the choice of turf was controversial
    here, and is by no means a settled issue.

    In short, please do some research before you start to take jabs at a team that is making great leaps for Canadian Soccer (because the CSA isnt).

    Sincerely,
    Ossington Mental Youths

    nicely written and 100% true.
    Great love does not exist without joy and without great suffering ,that's why One club is worth only as much as its fans !


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    Thank you kindly

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    So it appears that Mr. Kelly doesn't watch any other MLS games, nor games from any other city in the world. Streamers are quite tame compared with what is tossed in other countries, and within the MLS I seem to recall watching Houston fans throwing streamers almost as ardently as those in Toronto. Even a full streamer thrown from 10 feet without unrolling will not cause much, if any, damage to the target - but corn cobs, beer and flares could be something completely different. If there is damage from a streamer that didn't roll out, then perhaps some of the players ought to consider a less dangerous profession - I have a hard time believing a streamer is anywhere near as dangerous as a hard tackle or cleats up.

    This is just another way of visiting teams trying to take the fans out of the game, much as they do when they take the south end for the first half - then the keeper won't have to put up with the fans in the second half, when everyone is there and has had an hour or more of liquid courage pumped into them.

    And how many times in various sports have you seen the cries of the fans getting the foul or penalty called? That's as bad as homer or anti-homer referees. it may not be often, and is usually not fair, but it does happen from time to time, and is as much interference of the game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Groove View Post
    oh and the soccer mum is cute!!!
    i was kind of thinking tough week so far

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    Must ....avert .. eye .. arrrhhhh too late!

    Cathral Kelly, really trying his best to be hated it seem.

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    Response from Pat Hickey:

    Gentlemen, If you read my column closely, you will read that I took exception to comments made by me by Kevan Pipe several years and i stand by them.
    Regading the development of Canadian soccer, I agree that the CSA hasn't done a good job but the great problem has to do with the sporting culture in Canada and in North America. Soccer is in competition with every oother for a limited number of athletes and those who have a choice will gravitate to the sports with the greatest exposure and financial reward. Soccer isn't there yet and may never be there.
    People who run soccer (and I should point out that my father was involved on a high level with the U.S. Soccer Association for decades) like to point out that iit is the most popular sport in both Canada and the U.S.) but for the majority of the athletes, it is a second sport (I played it as a conditioning tool for basketball) and there are limited opportunities to advance through a system that leads to a pro career. The idea of academies and MLS-sponsored youth leagues is a good one but 15 years of experience in the U.S. has yet to lead of flood of talent through these programs south of the border.
    I agree that there isn't enough available Canadian talent to field an entire MLS team and that was my point, that Kevan Pipe was either naive or stupid that you could have a team filled with Canadians., And, as you point out, players will continue to seek the highest level of play and that means going to Europe when the opportunity presents itself.
    As for the stadium, if you did some research, you would know that I have written enough about the waste that was the Olympic Stadium for the better part of 30 years. In principle, I am against taxpayers' money being used to support private enterprise and MLSE has been taking advantage of the taxpayers' largesse for years (Air Canada Centre, Ricoh Centre, Oshawa Arena and BMO Field). It's great for teachers in Ontario but not so great for people who have to wait in line for surgery. I am aware of the controversy over the turf and I stand by my assertion that if you have a stadium designed for world-class soccer, you put grass in it. As I said to Kevan Pipe yesterday, if you want fields for broad community use, you could have build three or four FieldTurf fields for $3 million.
    The other point I didn't go into is the fact that MLSE cut a deal with MLS and the CSA giving it exclusive rights to the MLS through the 201o season. Is in the best interest of Canadian soccer.It appears that Montreal and Vancouver will land MLS franchises but they will be paying upwards of $40 million, as opposed to $11 million for Toronto, and will be battling to secure sponsorships and TV deals with an established entity in T.O.
    Pat
    Pat

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    Obviously, we are going to be writing back.

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    Good.

    He makes some points in a weird way. Yes, Montreal and Vancouver will be handicapped because MLSE got there first - but that's business, pal, the league's been around for years, what was stopping them up till now? And yes, MLSE has done a good job of partnering with government projects for places like Ricoh and BMO, but they are playing within the rules. It's not our fault Montreal fucked up so bad with the Olympics they ruined it for everyone else in that city forever.

    And I wonder if he can back up the claim that soccer is the 2nd sport for most people who play it? He seems to basing this on his own experiences from thirty years ago. Things have changed.

    Looking forward to what you write back.

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    As am i (youve already captured quite a few points we intend on talking about, especially Saputo ignoring/refusing the MLS for a long time)

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    Defo keep ya posted (he does make some good points but i feel as if hes changed the tone of his article to suit these new points as opposed to his initial ones).

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    Dear Pat,

    Thank you for your reply, it is rare indeed that people take the time to engage with those who may have a difference of opinion. We do appreciate your candor, and your arguments do provide us with a new perspective on this issue. Hopefully, we provide you with some insight from our side of the coin.

    We cannot understand your objection to MLSE demanding exclusivity in Canada until 2010. When there was uncertainty about the television viewership, and the "flightworthiness" of the MLS in Canada, it was smart business to reduce competition. In light of the fact that neither Vancouver, nor Montreal, were serious MLS contenders at the time the expansion (arguably they are not serious about it now), what possible objection could be raised to that clause? Furthermore, Saputo has had the opportunity to join the MLS before, and he declined to show an interest. It is his fault that Montréal is not currently in the League. That he will have to pay substantially more is the cost of making a poor business decision and allowing MLSE to prove that the MLS can work in Canada. Had he been off the mark sooner, it would be us complaining of the expansion fee and the 2010 deadline (as that would surely have been a condition of his).

    Whether or not you have written before on the subject of public funding for stadiums is irrelevant to us. We cannot research every article you have written so that we may fully understand your position. Your position, as a journalist, should be clearly stated in your article; it should not require us to research your past writings to gather an idea of what you think. Arguably, public financing of private entertainment venues brings about some reward in terms of quality of life, employment, and generally providing something of interest. Surely TFC is a positive addition to the city of Toronto, and the regular entertainment of 20,000 people is no small benefit. Would you oppose public funding to help maintain Vieux-Montreal? While different in scope the principal is the same, public funding benefiting private interest, but helping the common good.
    With regards to the lack of flood of talent in the south, what is it that you suggest is done otherwise?

    Ignore the sport all together?
    Close up shop on a team/sport that is starting to garner great support?
    Dismissive and negative attitudes are hardly encouraging. Please dont offer the 'tough love' retort. There are two solutions, either the CSA is dismantelled and in its place a proper functioning soccer association and/or (the more realistic of approaches) clubs like Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps and Toronto FC step up to the plate and create the needed systems and schools to create and nourish soccer players.
    Judging by the tone of your initial article you chose neither option. You railed against the CSA only with the intentions of negatively portraying Toronto FC.



    Please sir, it is hard to believe that Mr Pipe believed that the current Toronto FC team would be made up entirely of the Canadian National Team. Even the most ardent TFC/Canadian National supporter would have a hardtime with that. It would be a mistake to write it off completely as you seem to have done. As of this moment TFC (and its counterparts in Montreal and Vancouver) are making significantly developments in Canadian soccer and its not unreasonable to believe that all Canadian teams will one day be a possibility.

    In summation, we think you wrote an article quickly and in response to a rather bitter night at Stade Saputo. In doing so, you took several sideswipes at subjects from the CSA, to MLSE, and TFC as well. We posit that your arguments, while interesting, still do not bear scrutiny. On a personal note, we would like to thank you again for taking the time to respond, and hopefully you will do so again.

    Best Regards,
    Ossington Mental Youths

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    Dear Ossington Mental Youths,
    I agree that MLSE made a good, I'll even say great, business decision but I continue to ask whether it was in the best interests of Canadian soccer and the taxpayer.
    You are right that Saputo had a chance to get into MLS but he made a business decision not to seek a franchise because he didn't have a suitable stadium and nobody to build one for him. But Montreal would have been able and willing to join MLS this season or next. I'm not sure where you get the impression that "they are not serious about it now" because MLS commissooner Don Garber and the owners in Montreal and Vancouver have all signified that the process of bringing the two cities into MLS is moving forward. Toronto FC deserves credit for raising interest in other Canadian franchises because it is a success in a league where attendance and TV ratings are stagnant.
    I don't feel that I have to outline my opposition to the use of public money every time I write a story. I write for a Montreal audience and my views are well known. What is particularly troublesome to me is the frequency with which MLSE lines up at the public trough.
    As a matter of information, the article was written before the bitter night and I'd like to think quite a bit of thought went into it.
    Pat

 

 

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