Here's the Thing About Canadians

We traveled to the MLS Cup in Toronto with the Sounders FC

December 12, 2017

by Gregr

Here’s the thing about Canadians...

The Sounders FC traveled to Canada for an MLS Cup rematch against last year’s losers, Toronto FC and we went along!

by Gregr

Having never been to something as important as a championship match in any sport, the excitement level was indeed quite high. This is silly, but it literally felt like we were taking part in history rather than just reliving it in tales over time.

On the other hand, I have been to Canada several times and felt the warm embrace of a culture that just seems to chill out in comparison to their angsty neighbor to the south. But as we wandered to BMO Stadium to watch the Sounders FC play one final 2017 match, I could only wonder what we were in for as fans in the extreme minority.

We’ve all seen video footage of a fan from an opposing team getting punched in the face when traveling to support their favorite sportsmen/women, but would that syrupy Canadian politeness be put on hold when the beers and cheers were flying? I mean, this is the country whose favorite sport, hockey, involves sanctioned fighting with appropriate penalties mid-game. Could that culture really accept some dumb nerds from the States hollering about soccer?

by Gregr
by Gregr

Immediately upon walking into the stadium, the sea of red we encountered overwhelmed and of course we didn’t pack Moses. Note to self: don’t forget Moses next time. As a side note, I for one am glad Seattle doesn’t wear red, it’s impossible for me as a ginger to pull off that look! Also, the fact that Sounders FC wear rave green makes for a nice Christmas narrative.

We weren’t there more than a few moments before I started to hear fans popping off, but it was hilarious like a robot just learning how to talk trash -  like they had never bantered with anyone before “ohhh… you guys… *finger wave*” delivered like George McFly trying to sound threatening. The biggest smiles, winks and silly Canadian accents coming out intensified the joy I felt being at the Cup final.

One guy came up to my friend Brian who wore his Denver Broncos beanie (above) “hey, cool hat!” shouted the stranger. Brian turned to say thanks when the guy saw the (not) matching Sounders FC scarf and immediately withdrew his compliment to all of our laughter.

Sure there was some dude that put a shoulder check into Manley, and that’s not cool, but I have to assume he does that to other TFC fans in order to show off some bullshit macho nonsense in hopes an equally stupid female will be impressed by such monkey nonsense. And we ran into a drunk fan at a bar hours later who kept yelling over a sea of people that hadn’t been at the match, “hey, f*** you Seattle”. That guy is just a jerk and every culture has those.

Massive respect for the traveling supporters and their organization abilities to pull off not only filling up two sections with Seattle love but also had time for tifo!

by Gregr

After a long, sorta ugly 90 minutes of play, the Seattle Sounders lost the MLS Cup 2-0 (that's two nil if you're trying to impress the English), and had a tough pill to swallow in the freezing cold of Toronto, but those Canadians made an MLS Cup loss feel like just another game, not a crushing defeat. The joy for success and the "come on, try harder, buddy"'s hollered with each missed kick or errant foul made this event feel much more what it is: a group of adults getting payed to play a game they love. This is the way sports should be. Thanks, Canada.

A few more photos:

Some friends we made. One guy saw me taking photos and came up dressed in white and said "hey, I hope you beat the hell out of 'em today. I'm from Vancouver and would rather see Seattle win than Toronto." Thanks, buddy.

by Gregr

While most of Tornoto's downtown was pretty boring and ugly looking, Princes' Gates is this beautiful piece of old world expression that makes for a lovely entrance and exit to and from the match.

by Gregr

Canada has these incredible black squirrels running around everywhere - we were blown away by how cool they were and how little they camouflage themselves...

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Also, shoutout to the Sounders FC Rave Foundation for giving us these gloves to keep our Seattle hands warm in that literally freezing Toronto cold!

The @ravefound kept us warm for the full 90 at #MLSCup! -@heygregr #EBFG

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