LOOKING FOR LOVE AT MLS CUP
Ratings for MLS Cup plunged 44 percent from last year and grabbed just 748,000 viewers, a near record low. It’s almost as if ESPN knew what was coming–the game, the crowd, the referee, the weather, the ratings. Why else would they not promo the game during their international friendly double-header earlier in the week? Why else would they send Steve McManaman? Other options were always there for both MLS and ESPN, but it all must have looked awful, awfully familiar to a network which in this environment has better things to spend money on when it comes to counting the commercial returns. But it’s hard to blame the bottom line. You play the capitalism game or go home alone and don’t ask for a second chance. Charlie Sheen aside, very few in this world can do what they want at all times and get away with it. Even the mighty NFL gets caught occasionally.
And so now MLS Cup will move on to next year, and at its absolute baseline will be more productive in future seasons, just like Jeff Cunningham, Edson Buddle, and a seemingly endless line of players that passed through Toronto before moving on to greater successes. Goals scored by former Toronto players since leaving the great white north (my big brother in blog Bruce McGuire mentioned after the game): more than ninety. NINETY! Don’t want to be forced to buy a MLS Cup ticket as part of your season ticket package? Right or wrong, right place or wrong time, rest assured that problem will not be Toronto’s anytime soon.
The Cup tears runneth over again, but not like last year. The tears here aren’t produced by a near-perfect inner-city setting or Drew Carrey and his band of merry pranksters; they’re pulled from my face by the bitter winter wind whipping off Lake Ontario and wrapping around street corners.
I love you Toronto, I really do. From the crisp air holding hopes of snow, to the clean streets and polite people, to the restaurant-table-side credit card machines, to the fact that your soccer team is not a spectacular surprise but simply another respected and covered team in a town that holds plenty of other pro-sport options, there is plenty America and American soccer can learn from your story. But this here is not a love a story.
From tomorrow I must borrow
so to save for today
moments wishing this dream
didn’t leave me this way.
Thin voices chime, “come what may”
or maybe whisper, “some day”
but ring in silent cliche
for this cast away
Walls caving to goodbye waving
in just a matter of days
Dire dreams roll into nightmares
drop me down in a maze
Not given a choice of ways
Every turn the feeling stays
Memories weave a hot heavy haze
Haunting as the hound that bays
Reeling senses to cold pretenses
the waking in lieu
of the uncommon chance
only dreamed by the few
Still trying to deny they knew
simple truths like the sky was blue
While sweating thoughts that too were due
Dripping wet like morning dew
Words empowering then souring
yielding thoughts of setting adrift
Mentally mixing molten metals
worriedly welding closed this rift
Through nestling nights now lost I sift
Unpacking my one lone true gift
meant for you and me to help lift
us from the cold currents so swift
Suddenly strong, apparently wrong
this dream seemed meant to be
more than just simply sleeping
as if time were using me
I’ll try going back to sea
Yet still searching for the key
In time we may come to see
that only love will set us free.
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Thanks to all of those who came out to The Social on Friday night in Toronto and partied with the Designated Players.