I've had it with the fawning over Toronto fans. At the most, I'll allow that they're better fans of their home team than of anything else, including the game itself. However, the game, the concept of the beautiful sport and believing in its worth and value, is something I hold sacred.
I don't, however, understand the point of Toronto joining an American sports league if they're going to be so freaking rude about it. Booing the U.S. anthem? Singing their own anthem over it? If that happened at a U.S./Mexico match in L.A. (Where mind, the teams would be playing against each other and boorish rivalry would make a bit more sense) people would be livid. It doesn't happen, though. Mexican fans might ignore or cheer over the U.S. anthem at times, but sing their own over it? Not even in Azteca. Because it's rude and unsporting and they respect the game more than that.
I don't buy the "We didn't know our anthem was going to be played." excuse, either. Come on. Half the U.S. stadiums play their anthem even when there aren't any U.S. teams involved - just because they're hosting some event. When has the anthem ever NOT been played at BMO? Did the Canadians simply not trust their own organizers?
The Spanish announcers were simply befuddled during the game to see steamers thrown at Beckham. One questioned, when boos rained down on various MLS players, whether the Canadian fans understood that for this match, which team was the home side.
Sure they did. And they didn't care. If it's not TFC, it sucks, no matter how pretty the crosses of Becks were or the goals by Gomez and Blanco. That's so simple-minded, to not accept the larger concept of league representation, the opportunity to see some of the best players available working together for a common cause. If nothing else, respect the game, recognize and reward good play - but there was little of that from the fans.
It was especially ungracious when so many players from other teams had gone out of their way to say that they were excited to play at Toronto. They weren't talking about looking forward to the turf, either. They were hoping for a good reception from the fans.
If those fans had thought big for just a moment, thought, "Hey, here's a chance to show the world that we can be amazingly supportive fans, give the MLS players so much love that they'll be hoping their next trade is to Toronto, show the over a hundred countries this match is broadcast in that we are classy and appreciate quality play."
Instead, the fans came off like immature idiots who don't give a fig for the game. None of the cheering corresponded to good plays on the field, except when DeRo scored his penalty. Streamers were flung at the corner-kick taker when the MLS All-Stars had a chance to make good on a set play. Streamers were thrown all over the ESPN desk during the halftime show - yeah, it's not like the game needs more exposure on TV, no. (Don Garber, do you still think the Toronto fans are so wonderful when they're aiming streamers at your head on a live broadcast and making you look like a schmuck?) That'll show the world leader in sports to come to BMO.
Anyway, I suppose natural truth and consequences will take place. MLS will realize that the crazy atmosphere is very limited in scope. It is for TFC only and all other MLS events, including the final championship match, should never be held there.
The best fans in MLS? Not by a long shot. Fans who recognize how far the league has come, how far it still has to go, who can cheer generously for both club and league when the occasion presents itself - can you imagine the Fire fans if this game had been held there? They would have blown the socks off the TFC malcontents. DC fans, too. LA fans, RSL fans, heck, even Rapids fans paid more attention to the game and supported the All-Stars more last year.
* Actually, I'm wrong to over-generalize all TFC fans. Clearly, some were just fine. But more than a few made the representation of the whole look bad.