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Thread: 'Pure' TFC fans

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by ensco View Post
    ^I agree with your comments on the true nature of and motives for Russian and middle eastern plutocrat involvement in Euro soccer.

    I have some thoughts on how "soft power" works in the Bell/Rogers ownership structure (it's played a bigger role behind the scenes than we think about), and their relationships with regulators and government entities, but will save that for a different time/place.
    There certainly are criticisms there too. Yes, though this is not the right forum to be arguing that specific battle. Feel free to PM me though, I'd be glad to "go at it with you", so to speak.

  2. #92
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    Great thread. I’ve had other sports passions ( Ottawa Roughriders, Bruins, Jays) and from the UK originally, so always loved “The Football “. Jays from inception through heart breaks like ‘85 but in ‘94 they gutted the team and raised the beer and food prices.

    that was it for me, wasn’t going to be taken for a fool. Unattached. Followed World Cup, Europe, and English soccer on TV, but that was about it. Then along comes TFC and finally my own team in my own town. It’s been a journey but wouldn’t give back a second of it, not a second.

    See you all Tuesday.

  3. #93
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    TFC wasn't my first love, but TFC is my top team right now and has been that way for a few years.

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    I think TFC fans are the best sport fans in the city. A lot better than the miserable moose face Jays fans I know

  5. #95
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    Since the beginning, Toronto FC has been the only soccer team I've ever followed. There hasn't been another football club in the world that I've come close to supporting. And just to let you know, despite having German, English and Scottish blood in me, the only national team that I will have a rooting interest in is Canada.

    I first had interest in the sport back in the late 70s. Growing up in Sarnia, most of out sporting attention was gazed towards Detroit where we got all of their TV and radio stations. When the Detroit Express joined the old North American Soccer League as an expansion team in 1978, I started following them closely. They even played a friendly at Norm Perry Park against Sarnia City.

    Shortly after, Nottingham Forest great Trevor Francis joined Detroit on loan for the summer. Unlike other well known world stars like Pele and Franz Beckenbauer, Francis was playing at the peak of his career. And it showed. He scored a shitload of goals for the Express when there was no offside rule inside the 35 yard mark and led the Express to the top of their division and third best record overall in their first year in the league.

    In 1979, our family visited the CNE on our way to the East Coast. When we were there, the Toronto Blizzard were about to take on the New York Cosmos in the first leg of a two legged opening round playoff at Exhibition Stadium - where BMO Field stands today. My brother and I went on our own, unsupervised, to pay $2.50 to watch the game in the general admission section (which would have been the supporters section today). The Blizzard lost the match 3-1 to the Cosmos, and I remember my brother and I standing over the players entrance and saw Beckenbauer sign autographs for the fans. There were over 30,000 for that game and the media were making a big deal about how soccer had finally arrived in Toronto.

    Sadly, it was not to be. So many teams in the league at the time, like the Express, were built on a house of cards and it didn't take long for them to collapse. And soon, the NASL withered and died.

    My interest in soccer didn't pick up again until the 1986 World Cup, where Canada made its first and only appearance. They played as well as they could, but couldn't score one goal in their three games and were soon out. But a year later, the Canadian Soccer League was born. Eight teams in two conferences, east and west. I think I watched every game of the week on TSN with Vic Rauter and Graham Leggat calling the plays. I was trilled when London got a team a couple of years later, but I was living out of the province at the time. But they sucked and didn't last long. And neither did the league, as the CSL folded in 1992.

    After that, my interest in soccer was, at best, lukewarm. There was the World Cup in 1994 being played in the United States, but that didn't last long when it ended. Soon after, Major League Soccer was formed in 1996, but they came out with stupid nicknames, hideous looking kits and an Americanizing of the game itself, with countdown clocks and shootouts to break draws in the game, to try an appease casual American sports fans and soccer moms. And the league's goal was to develop interest and talent in the United States, which seems to meant only U.S. cities be interested. No Canadian investments or fans need apply. So I had no interest in MLS then (it might have been different had Detroit had a team), and it seems not too many back then as the league nearly folded just five years in.

    Ten years after MLS was formed, there were rumblings about MLSE trying to get into the league with an expansion team for Toronto. It sounded good, but I wasn't going to believe it if and when they were officially granted a team. But in 2005, they were. And I started to get very interested in what this team could become and what it could mean for developing soccer talent in Canada.

    The early years were a lot of innocent fun. I stayed up late to watch TFC's first MLS game against Chivas USA out in Carson, California. The early games, our side didn't score any goals and it was getting a little frustrating. But I had a funny feeling that would change on May 12 against Chicago. And boy did it ever, as Danny Dichio became a legend at the 23:13 mark with TFC's first ever goal, and the seat cushions were launched from the stands. The game ended with our side's first victory 3-0 against the Fire. There were more victories as the season went on, but there were a lot more losses as well. But that was to be expected from an expansion side. But the fans didn't mind, as they were generating lots of energy for the team they could finally call their own. The southend was a wild fun place to be.

    And I wanted to hitch my wagon to this vehicle called Toronto FC.

    I attended my first live TFC match the following year. A July afternoon game against San Jose. Upper deck, front row, looking right at the middle of the field, sitting next to the TV cameras. It ended a scoreless draw that would have been broken if Armando Guevara hadn't of missed on a penalty kick. It was that match that I met up with the Red Patch Boys hosting a tailgate party and membership drive. I signed up on the spot and have been a member in good standing ever since.

    That year, I remember experiencing my first disappointment when TFC lost the first Canadian Championship to our new mortal enemies Montreal, then in the USL. But the following year our side avenged that bitterness with the Miracle in Montreal, and Dwayne DeRosario, our big off season acquisition, scoring a hat trick in that match that gave us our first silverware, the Voyageurs Cup. It looked like we were on our way to bigger things.

    But then the last game of the season, where a victory would have put TFC into the playoffs for the first time, and Toronto lays a big egg. A 5-0 loss to the Red Bulls at a rainy Giants Stadium. And, for the next five years, things got worse from there.

    The losses were bad and the instability worse. So many coaches come and gone. Management fucking things up all over. A cancer developed in the locker room. There were some bright moments during that time, like TFC upending the MLS Champs the LA Galaxy and David Beckham in the CONCACAF quarterfinals. But there was so much darkness around the club that it had an effect on interest. The low point was team striker Danny Koevermans calling Toronto FC the worst soccer club in the world, and he might not have been wrong.

    Then in 2013, Tim Lieweke becomes MLSE honcho and vows to make sweeping changes to the club to make it better, signing Jermaine Dafoe and Michael Bradley, creating the Bloody Big Deal campaign, and arrogantly proclaiming Toronto FC would make the playoffs in 2014. I was at the home opener against DC United, which was a huge event in the city. Dafoe scored the only goal in the match and it looked like things were looking up. But then, TFC went back to their losing habits, missing the playoffs yet again, leaving a big fat egg on his face. It was really frustrating watching and following this team at this point. I think I skipped more games than I watched during those years. I might have given up altogether were it not for my membership with the Red Patch Boys.

    On July 2015, I surfed upon a match between TFC and New York City FC at Yankee Stadium and with nothing to do that day I watched. NYCFC, a new team that year, get out to an early lead and I was thinking to myself "yup, same old TFC". But then, all of a sudden, a small Italian striker from Juventus named Sebastian Giovinco put the team on his entire 5'4" frame and started scoring amazing goals that put TFC back in the game and nearly won it for them if it hadn't been for a late goal that they gave up in extra time. Since then, my love affair with TFC was rekindled and I found myself watching more games on television, just to see what sort of magic Giovinco would pull off that game. And boy, did he pull off a whole lot of tricks that summer, leading the league with goals and becoming the first 20 goal 15 assist player in MLS history on his way to capturing league MVP honors and putting Toronto FC in the playoffs for the first time ever. Where they ended up getting smacked down on the road in the knockout stage 3-0 to hated Montreal. A shitty way to end a glorious season.

    2016, TFC were able to build on the previous year's success. Giovinco was still scoring, but so too was Jozy Altidore, who also joined the team the previous year after a swap with Defoe. Toronto finished third in the East that year and beat Philadelphia in the knockout and NYCFC in a two legger. Then it was on to the Eastern Final for the first time. And a date against hated Montreal. And emotions and anticipations were running sky high. I don't think I was ever pumped up for a series such as this.

    When Montreal went up 3-0, I was at an emotional low. But then TFC scored back to back goals to keep things close and to gain crucial away goals for the series. The second leg of the series was probably the wildest TFC match I've ever seen. And probably the greatest. I was disappointed when Montreal scored first, but our side wasn't going to give up without a fight, clawing its way back until the match went into extra time, with Toronto scoring two goals that avenged our loss from the previous year against hated Montreal and into the MLS Cup Final for the first time ever at home. That might have been the greatest playoff series I had ever seen, and Don Garber would agree with that. It was a bloody shame TFC lost to Seattle in the Final like that with the winning side not making a single shot on goal during 120 minutes of play, but it laid the foundation for the next season.

    2017, the year of the Big Red Machine in MLS. With the addition of Victor Vazquez to the lineup, Toronto was just crushing it, defeating their opposition with such ease on their way to a record setting regular season that got them the Supporter's Shield as well as the Voyageurs Cup for winning the Canadian Championship. They had a shaky playoff run, nearly losing it all to the New York Red Thugs, but they made it back to the MLS Cup Final at home again to Seattle again. For three quarters of the match, it looked like deja vu, with Toronto dominating play only to see Stephan Frei deny them. Then, Altidore scored and the whole place went up in delirium. When Vazquez scored with just seconds remaining in extra time to secure the Cup for Toronto, you just felt all the years of supporting this team through the heartache and darkness was well worth it. Especially when Bradley lifted the Cup over his head.

    Sorry if this post seems too long. But I've pretty much given up on following most of the sports that I grew up with and concentrated the vast majority of my interests with Toronto FC. I invested a lot of money with them through merchandise, travel and watching games both home and away. I've met up with some great people along the way and had some good times with them. I've been to both MLS Cup Finals Toronto has been in live and I wouldn't give up on those experiences for anything. This team has put us through hell, but they've also taken us up to heaven. I never thought I could support any team the way I've supported Toronto FC After ten plus years with them, I can honestly say Toronto 'Till I Die.
    TORONTO FC, 2017 MLS CHAMPIONS!!! (Still the greatest in league history!)

  6. #96
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    ^Great Post —- I’m happy mine might not be the longest one up there now....ha ha ha....seriously though, awesome memories deserve to be shared, thanks for sharing.....

  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfcfans View Post
    ^Great Post —- I’m happy mine might not be the longest one up there now....ha ha ha....seriously though, awesome memories deserve to be shared, thanks for sharing.....
    Thanks. I didn't expect it to be so long. I got carried away with all the memories.
    TORONTO FC, 2017 MLS CHAMPIONS!!! (Still the greatest in league history!)

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    I watch other leagues around the world but there is only room for 1 in my heart. I live and die with this club and will never stop supporting it. Toronto 'till I die. Great memories there Redcoe. I can still see that entire match vs. the L'Impact in my mind.

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    Great post.... I have do make up an extra 30 minutes in the office now.
    I love that tagline

  10. #100
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    Born and bred in Scotland and grew up a Hibs fan, I haven't lived in Scotland since 2001, been in Toronto for 5 years now. I'll always be a Hibs fan but with each passing year my interest in Scottish football wanes just a little bit more(the lack of competition in the league and zero TV coverage in North America doesn't help) As I invest more and more of my time and money into TFC and watching other MLS games on TV, the reds are getting closer and closer to becoming my 'first' team

  11. #101
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    Purely TFC

    Awesome post Redcoe15
    ....Enjoyed reading that one
    Last edited by OfficeGuy; 02-26-2018 at 12:49 PM.

  12. #102
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    I hated soccer growing up. I thought it was boring and sucked. That all said I didn't really watch much sports as a kid. If it wasn't a cartoon, I wasn't interested. But I did see the Jays win the World Series and the Raptors come into existence. I pretty much only played basketball as a kid since all you needed was a ball and hoops were readily available in Parkdale. I would catch the odd Leafs playoff game but I didn't have much interest in hockey. My parents didn't have much money so I could count on 1 hand how many live Jays games I went to. The rest, forget it, money wasn't there.

    A lot of this stems from not having a soccer team to follow. Canada only qualified for the World Cup the one time the year I was born. Canada and Poland both sucked hard in the 90s. My dad would mention the glory years of Boniek in the 70s, but I had no frame of reference as I grew up in Toronto, so I had no real emotional connection to past Polish glory. My Italian and Portuguese friends at least had something to watch at Euro or World Cup time, they all seemed to have an uncle who had whatever satellite channel that showed games from the old country. No such thing for me. I think World Cup 94 completely flew under my radar. Add to that no Toronto team to watch and nothing on regular TV and you have a kid who could not care less about soccer.

    In high school I started watching some hockey and the NFL. Then the 2002 World Cup rolled around and lo and behold Poland had qualified. Even with the time zone issues, I had something to watch. From then on every two years I had some soccer I could watch (Poland or not). Little by little my interest in the sport would increase. I decided to visit my family in Poland in 2006 for about a month. The World Cup was happening in Germany so I ended up watching a bunch of games on TV and went to a WKS Slask game when they were still in the 2nd division. I was starting to love the game but it was still an every 2 years thing.

    TFC itself wasn't on my radar really the first 2 seasons. Yeah I would see people streaming around the neighbourhood after games in their jerseys, but I really couldn't be bothered. I think part of it was some naysayers telling me how the quality was shit and we played on plastic. But then in 2009 a friend of mine decided to grab a pair of tickets on a whim. We went, and I had a super fun time. The noise coming from the south end blew me away. I ended up buying a scarf at the game (which is now adorned in many a TFC signature). I went to 4 more games next season (one being that friendly against Bolton and I believe a CCL game), and I bought a jersey from the Adidas store downtown. I tried to watch some more games but the broadcasting situation in those years was terrible. Remember Gol TV? Who the hell had that channel? It was a mess. Streaming also wasn't that great either.

    Regardless. I was sold. I was in. I decided I wanted season tickets. I looked on cragislist early 2011 and a guy was selling his seasons since he was moving away. I've been in 111 every since. My seatmates bailed after that season but I held onto my one seat. At this point you'll have to bury me there because as Leo said - I'm not fucking leaving! I haven't missed a home game since then and over time I would watch more and more away games. I rarely miss one nowadays and generally plan my year around TFC. My wife and I have traveled to Montreal a couple times together in the past few years and are looking forward to the October game this year. The Eastern Final series against the Limpact is the greatest sports thing I have ever witnessed. Nearly missed my megabus back from Montreal because of the the paint issue. Besides watching some NFL due to a pool, I have completely checked out of other sports.

    Think about the possibilities available to kids now for soccer entertainment. Streams galore, lots of matches on regular TV, FIFA, and a local team that has become successful. In 15 years when those kids are university age and want to party, like when I first got into TFC, they will be in hook line and sinker. Hopefully the CMNT benefits from this one day.

    Toronto Til I Die.
    Last edited by magmadragon; 02-26-2018 at 04:49 PM.

  13. #103
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    I don't follow any teams other than TFC

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    Grew up with Trinidadian parents, so we did not really have a club back home to support so that was never a factor. My pops was a big Brazil fan so my first big soccer moment was definitely following the 98 World Cup with him. Heartbreaking to say the least lol. I dove more into soccer during the 2002 World Cup, waking up at all weird hours of the night to watch games. Good World Cup. I remember finding my first soccer idol in Ronaldo, he was just so smooth. From there I became a 'Real Madrid fan.'

    Next was the coverage of the EPL, before I had soccer practice every Saturday Morning, my dad and I would watch it with breakfast. I had an affinity for Drogba, he was just too cool as well. There I also became a 'Chelsea fan.' I do remember always telling my dad, that I wish we had something Stamford Bridge or Anfield or any atmosphere like that in Toronto, I'd go all the time. He said he could never see it happening. (Not out of pessimism, but rather a man who was knee deep in Ontario soccer and it's mess from the 70s till this day)

    Fast forward to the present, I still check the scores for Chelsea and Real Madrid games but a win or lose doesn't bother me one bit. But a TFC draw? OH MAN, livid for the weekend!

    The team and academy came a little too late for my shot at the team as a player lol but as a fan, I got my wish as a fan to be able to experience a real soccer atmosphere and I couldn't be happier to be a season ticket holder.

    An aside for my dad, I remember taking him to the 2016 playoffs and he was in awe and amazement, I could really see the pride in his eyes as someone who just wanted to spread the love of football to Canandians. This means more to him than it does to me I think. He came from Trinidad in the 70s and got his referee license and coaching licenses and has done a lot for the GTA. He coached guys like DeRo and Serioux and reffed the De Guzman's without questioning the fact that opportunities were slim for Canadians. Kudos to those old heads who kept on believing in the dream that soccer would be taken seriously and be seen as a spectator sport.

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    TFC is the only sports team I've ever truly supported (as in watch games, talk about, purchase tickets and kit, etc.), period.

  16. #106
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    Loving all the stories in this thread!

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    Quote Originally Posted by molenshtain View Post

    In Fever Pitch, Nick Hornby talks about things that make a perfect game: rain, atrocious refereeing decisions, lots of goals, coming from behind to win. The Eastern final had all of that. And when Nick Hagglund jumped about eight feet in the air to head home the goal that made it 5-5 on aggregate, the stadium absolutely exploded. It was utter pandemonium. The two goals in extra time (Cheyrou, Ricketts), the ones that actually put us in the final, were pretty good too. But that was the goal that made everyone believe. The moment when we went from loving them to wanting to marry them.


    The single greatest live event I have ever attended in terms of emotional investment and roller coaster events. It pefectly summed up football support on every level.

    Do I "follow" other teams/sports. Yes.
    However TFC is the only team I will sit in a muddy field in Columbus for, roach motel it in Montreal, drive hellbent to Foxboro last minute, stand drenched waiting out a t-storm until the game is called at BMO, interact with a supporter club, and actively promote amongst those I know.

  18. #108
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    Only TFC for me. When I left back home there was no soccer club there so while I enjoyed watching games I never really cheered for any particular club. Now that my home town does have a team I don't really cheer for them.

    Only one passion babe. Only TFC

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    Well I got into soccer because my dad was always a big fan, first soccer game was in the early 70’s dad taking me to watch the Toronto Metros of the old NASl watching games at Varsity and I was hooked on the sport, I’ve been a fan of all the pro soccer teams that have called Toronto home right up until TFC. As soon as MLS started I followed the league since day one. I even attended a couple of MLS Cup in person in D.C. , even sat in the press box twice at those DC MLS Cups and attended VIP parties and the awards dinnners at both of the MLS Cups DC United hosted back in the early 2000’s lol my friend and I were able to get press credentials that got us in to all the MLS Cup events for free lol. , but always kept hoping Toronto would get a team and when it happened it was amazing to finally get a team in MLS. I’m a TFC fan but I’m also a big Napoli fan in Serie A the city closest to where my parents are from.

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    TFC isn't my first soccer club... Soccer was introduced to me by my grandfather as a young kid. We would watch Juve games when ever we got that chance whether it was live or on VHS. He would tell me stories of all of the legendary players and matches that he saw. Juve will always be a part of me for that reason and for the longest time they were the only sports team that I had that were consistently winners.

    When TFC was announced, my brother and I got a set of tickets not sure what to expect (we now own 4). I missed the first game but was there for TFC's first goal and I was hooked. This was my team in my city. I had friends mock me due to the terrible product on the pitch, but it didn't matter as this was my club and I was going to be there through think and thin, summer heat waves, torrential down pours and it being cold as f$@k out there. I never wavered, even after Koverman's comments of being the worst team in the world and the shit show that was our FO, I bled TFC. I been all over the US and Canada to watch them play and the sense of camaraderie with other fans where ever I went was something that I never experienced before and has changed me and I realized now how a team can mean more than just results. I have seen children grow up from being babies in year one to now being early teenager or teenagers become young adults. This to me is what this club is about it is the connections to my fellow supporters and to the team that I don't think can ever really be replicated.

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    Great thread. Love seeing the cross section of supporters and fans.

    TFC is the only football team I follow - and MLS only league watch (other than the odd game). In fact, TFC is pretty much the first time I've been a real fan of any team in any sport.

    Grew up as a hockey fan - watching as much of anything I could and while liked the Habs I wasn't a true fan. More a case of just loving individual players on different teams. As I got older and played more elite levels, that became even less the case of following any team. Eventually I spent time in NHL teams systems a player and never really understood through my own eyes what the fan experience was. Of course, always excited to go to baseball games or the odd CFL or NFL game - but again, never as a true fan of a team. Was (am) a Bills fan but not die hard by any means. When playing in Europe I was introduced to live football, going to a number of games there. Immediately loved the game - especially live. After a couple years back in Canada made my way to first TFC game (CCL game at home to Cruz Azul) and was hooked. Next season I had partial pack, joined waiting list and been SSH since next year after.

    It's through TFC that I've come to enjoy being a fan, following the team, buying gear, reading these boards and the like. I've since moved from GTA to Windsor and kept my seats. Even though I only get to a handful of games a year, still worth it to me. I'll admit through all this I've been able to relax more, enjoy sports as a spectator and immerse myself in the experience. TFC has been gateway to me enjoy that side of hockey more and supporting Argos (even through what has become the huge stadium dilemma).

    So in those terms, I see myself a pure TFC fan - especially in terms of soccer/football.

  22. #112
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    I've found it hard to attend other sports baseball, hockey, basketball- having gotten used to TFC and the atmo at BMO.

    Last summer my 5 year old was dying to go to a Jay's game because all his friends had t-shirts watched it...so we got a pair of tickets gifted to us for his first foray...
    - he quite loudly asked why no one around us was singing OhCanada!
    - Didn't understand the concept that everyone took a turn in baseball, - he kept waiting for the rest of the team to 'come out'
    - was utterly perplexed and confused by The Wave
    - and my favourite part of the afternoon...when he asked if he could sing for the team... then stood up and belted out 'Sebastian Gio-vin-co!'

    Out of the Mouths of Babes as they say...

    We didn't fare much better at the comp't Leafs pre-season game at Ricoh...so my little guy- definitely TFC-Pure!

 

 

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