“Soccer can’t work in Edmonton”
To fuck it can’t. The truth is we still don’t know for sure either way. But that’s all the haters (and there are haters, make no mistake) will be saying in comment sections all across the interweb. Hey, at least there are comment sections to be found now.
2 years ago, we wouldn’t even see an FC Edmonton related comment section scroll across our news feeds (unless it was the Eddies themselves, obviously). In their last year, however, I saw countless articles published by the likes of the Edmonton Journal, the Sun, Global, and the (mighty :P) CBC. Progress is progress, even if it was too little too late for this incarnation of FC Edmonton. We’ve been over this before, so I won’t beat a dead horse, but without Canadian rivals, it’s isn’t a fair trial. Period.
And while I can surely understand the frustration and trepidation of folks who were there for the entire ride – namely the Faths and the beauties at Loyal Company of the River Valley – but this isn’t the end. It’s merely the beginning. I know it. The same way the previous iterations of Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps laid the foundation for the respectable clubs (yes, franchises, I know) that they are today.
I believe the Universe is either (or both) in Progress and/or in Entropy. And on a scale as relatively small and as insignificant these little clusters of box stores, parks, pavements, and suburbs we call cities, it’s often as simple as choosing to believe you are progressing, and letting those with similar beliefs cluster around you until it grows (like a cancer, in the eyes of your haters and doubters). And if three’s a crowd, what’s #CanPL now?? It might still be a tad short of an army, but we’ve got a damned respectable little militia roused.
And so what if we end up looking like “a couple of sad old dudes watching academy games”. First they laugh at you, right? You know the rest. The same people who will make fun of you are the same people who will watch the NHL religiously and wax poetic about the original six. I guarantee it started the exact same way. A few passionate, “crazy” people, and a bunch of crab’s trying to pull them down into the bucket.
I’ve now spent nearly 8 years in Edmonton. Lord knows why I chose it over Vancouver or Calgary to come to school. It’s nearly as cold and miserable as the hellhole I climbed out of to begin with. But I did, and I’m now glad I did. I know there is something a bit old about the whole City of Champions thing, but there is something about the no-nonsenseness of the residents that I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s why we’ll be the last to the CanPL party, but it won’t quite be the same until we’re there, either.
But the thing about champions, is that they have to fully not care about what their lessers think of them (in fact it’s what makes them champions). So, when this comes to fruition, and some salty hater looks and you and tells you “You guys are like cockroaches”, you laugh right in their face, smile right back and say “We’re worse than fucking Cockroaches!” and carry right the fuck on Crab, and don’t mind that bucket behind you.