Thursday, September 11, 2008

...but imagine how exiting the comeback is going to be!

When you are forced to use the word "mathematically" to describe your team's chances at glory you know that you are in trouble. But, when your team is the Canadian men's national soccer team, all you really know is trouble.

In the end it was respectable. A 2-1 loss to Mexico in Mexico is nothing to be ashamed of. Now, a 2-1 loss to Honduras in Montreal...that's something to hang your head in shame about.

Let's get the hopeless optimism out of the way off the top:

Trailing Honduras by five points Canada's job is simple. Win out. If they do that--and Mexico does what it is supposed to do against Honduras--then Canada will go through (if they win out and Honduras draws Mexico at home then it will come down to goal differential).

No problem.


At least no one is flipping a coin yet (if you get that reference, I'm sorry. You're a long suffering nats fan too. I'll buy you a drink one day).

Watching tonight's game at Toronto's Duke of Gloucester was a bit surreal. After dodging your way through the beautiful people Tiff-ing in Yorkville, you found yourself surrounded by only the true believers in an atmosphere reminiscent of a funeral. This was not a crowd that needed to be reminded of the group standings. Many were around in '86. All will be around in '26, provided the chicken wings don't get us first.

Every last one of us knew it was hopeless. You don't go 50 years without winning in a country without a good reason. And the mess in Montreal assured us that a draw would mean little more than a moral victory (not that the two for 50 years record in that department was inspiring confidence). That we still show up is testament to, well, something anyway. As life burdens go, supporting Canada isn't that bad, I guess.


Look, here's the thing. We get that it would be easier to just pretend that we are from somewhere else--maybe we could grab a hold of out great grandparents' ancestry. We've heard the jokes, we know where Canada is ranked on that God awful FIFA list. We get it. We're just not that good. We might even suck. Whatever.

We support Canada because we are Canadian. Period. Full stop. And, we will always support Canada because it just feels right. We'll take more from a Gold Cup quarterfinal win--that was watched by no one in Canada but us--than we would from watching an adopted team win the World Cup. Many reading this don't get that. That's OK, because we don't get you.

So, we'll lick our wounds and refocus now. One point from three games is pretty bleak, but there are still three games to go. All we need to do is win them all.

Really, how hard can it be?


Jordie Dwyer said...


You HAD to bring up the coin flip!! I for one am disappointed (in you, but that's another story for another time) but alas knocking of Mexico - let alone at home - would have been worthy bowing to the FIFA gods because miracles like that just don't happen.
I did watch most of the game, but had to turn it off late because 1) I had to go to work and lay out a paper, and 2) My stomach could only take so much grief after my hospital stay last week.
Here's hoping we can get moral victories the rest of the way, until we fall on our swords next month when Mexico comes to my neck of the woods.
I'll be in the stands - or on the sideline with my camera (depends on whether my application is approved).
However, I think I'll be wearing black when I go - and it won't be because it's going to be cold outside.
Guess I can book my seat for another World Cup of just watching some good footie being played, without having to worry about who wins. Crap......

Jamie said...

Can't there be a B-World Cup, like the IIHF has for hockey?

It could be Canada, and other perenial close-but-not-quites like Finland, New Zealand, Bolivia and Liechtenstein.

Meh. It bites, but Red and White we remain.

sager said...

Modest proposal ... during FIFA World Cup 2010, we run a sim of alternative World Cup, with a Canada in the Group of Death with Andorra, Faeroe Islands and someone from the Oceania group.

And yes, I'm making jokes as a defence mechanism, because I would rather use of my whole ass to support Canada in 2010 rather than continue with my half-ass support of Sweden.

Thanks for the link at Scouting Sweden earlier today, Jamie, it's much appreciated. (Great blog, too.)