Daddy-Daughter Day at BMO Field

The prelude to my father’s first MLS game, and absolutely nothing about Toronto’s trip to Montreal
by Sonja Missio   |   Thursday, March 21, 2013

Red Dawn Rising - column on Toronto FC (TFC) & the Toronto Ontario soccer scene

I was going to write about the Toronto FC road trip to Montreal, but I decided not to.

You see, in that article I was going to chat about how the trip was exactly what TFC fans needed to reignite their passions for the team.

And with that, I would explain how wonderful it was; how the trip united fans more than they realized. From the #TFCLive hashtag being used to keep the Toronto travelers moving despite a traffic jam on the 401, to how “at home” I immediately felt upon seeing a U-Sector bumper sticker when I arrived at my first hotel.

It was my plan to discuss how excited I was, running around the Fairmont – my second hotel – in bright red pants, all the while bouncing and singing “doot-doot-doot-doot-doot-doot-doot” slightly off-key, as women in Ferragamo and Valentino tried not to stare. And I was going to recount how a couple hundred Toronto FC fans (give or take) nearly broke Montreal’s (million-times-better-than-Toronto’s) metro system en route to the game by bouncing in unison all the way from Peel Station to Pie-IX.

My original article, I’d talk about my post-match, chance encounter with a Peruvian Barcelona fan, who offered to give me his Montreal scarf as a sign of hospitality and good sportsmanship – I told him to keep the scarf, but he could buy me a drink on the return match in Toronto – and what these Canadian rivalries meant to Canadian bonding.

And then I was going to conclude that – ignoring the fact that it was freezing cold, The Big O’s beers are small, terrible and have an awful lids/taste (but was served into the 90th minute!), and the final scoreline – it was a great trip full of lasting memories, fantastic company and a fresh, pear-shaped bruise on my arm from being too preoccupied with my smoked meat sandwich to notice a metal countertop.

But, like I said at the beginning, I am not going to talk about any of that.

What I do want to talk about is Saturday, March 30.

Two Saturdays from now, the Reds will take the LA Galaxy in their first true “home opener” (aka at BMO Field) of the year.

The match will also be my dad’s first true MLS game of, well, ever.

Don’t get me wrong, he has seen Toronto play before, but only in the Canadian Cup and in CONCACAF Champion’s League (and once, against Udinese, on a Christmas Day family game of FIFA 12). He also attended matches during the Under-20 World Cup and various Canadian Men’s National Team games at BMO Field, but he has never seen a proper MLS game before.

Until now. Or, well, until the Galaxy game.

However, it’s not the actual inaugural game that’s important to my father, or more so, to me. Rather, the importance is what the game symbolizes. It is the passing of the torch; the man who taught me all about the love – and also an unhealthy amount of hate – of soccer, is now going to see his apprentice in action.

My father has encouraged and cultivated my passion for the sport – some would argue, rightly or wrongly – and now all his teachings have come full circle.

When I was younger, he would take me to his bars and hangouts mid-week to watch Champions League games and, more recently, to his childhood stomping ground of St. Clair and Dufferin to watch Italian national games.

So naturally it’s now my turn to show him “my house” at BMO Field.

And, to add to that, it’s time for me to pass along another tradition.

When I went to see Udinese – my father’s team – play live for the first time, he offered me his scarf. It was his way of giving me a part of his team and now I get the chance to do the same. I will pass my team’s scarf on to him.

And what a scarf it is! Have you seen this year’s season ticket holder scarf? It’s pretty stylish. And totally go great with that blue trench coat I own. Actually, it goes great with my leather bomber jacket too. Man, that thing looks fabulous with everything!

But I digress.

And, come next Saturday, I will see you at BMO, where the Friulano population will be doubled.

As will the swearing.

NEXT UP: March 30 –Toronto FC vs. LA Galaxy, BMO Field, Toronto, ON, Canada. 2 p.m. EST, TSN, RDS.

Sonja MISSIO

Nationality:
Canada
College:
Univ. of Guelph, Univ. of W. Ontario, Brock University
Club Domestic:
Toronto FC
Club Foreign:
Udinese
Supported Udinese since birth, TFC was her own stupid decision; writing on her masochistic relationship with soccer started after. Doomed as a Canadian - Friulano - Swiss - Filipina. Searching for Juventini actually from Turin and running for FIFA Prez.
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