Member Spotlight - Frank G - Montreal Trip

I finally did it!!!  Have heard the stories, legends, tales, of away trips, since joining the Kings In The North, the last few seasons.  By half time of the road leg of the conference semi-final vs NYCFC I KNEW I was going to Montreal for my first away trip.  Nothing was going to stop me.

The journey began, for nine of us, on Monday night with a stop in Kingston.  Hit the local Boston Pizza, after a quick check in at the hotel, and stayed until they, basically, kicked us out at closing time. Headed back to our room for another pint, or two, some laughs, and, good times.

Tuesday morning, November 22nd….MATCH DAY!!!  Quick breakfast at the hotel, then, on the road for the last half of the drive to Montreal.  Adam, Braeden, Randy and myself caught up to Dave (#PINTOLEGEND) and Ryan just after the Quebec border.  Fortunately the hotel let us check in about three hours early, so, we could get on with prep, pregame, and, an awesome little side trip to Schwartz’s Deli for Ryan and myself. 

Dave was off getting us Metro passes, but, arrived at the Peel Pub shortly after Ryan and I.  The next two and half hours were pregame at its finest.  We had a great waitress with a really thick French accent that kept the beer, and food, coming.  The rest of the Kings, and, U Sector trickled in until it was time for a “mini-march” to the subway.  The look on some of the passengers faces as we chanted, and, bounced that subway car was priceless

Next up was the supporter’s march to Olympic Stadium, aka The Big-O, The Big Oh-Oh, The Big Shitehole…etc, etc.  The pyro/flares are sooo much better in the dark.  Got to the stadium for 6 PM as asked, but, waited for about 20 minutes while the staff tried to get their act together.  Kept singing/chanting, partially to stay warm, during that time.

Photography Credit: A guy called Tok

Photography Credit: A guy called Tok

Got to the front rows of section 149 shortly after getting in.  We hung the two Kings banners over the rail, and, settled in waiting for TFC to come out and warm up.  Coach Vanney, and staff, were first out to make their way over to us for mutual respect. Shortly after the boys came out for warm ups, and, did the same.  While this was happening the officials noticed the 18 yard box was too small, and, the old lines had to be covered while new lines were drawn…yup, only in Montreal!  

The match, finally, started around 8:30 PM and the 2000 give, or take, TFC supporters/fans were giving their all to try and be noisier than the other 58 000 in attendance. The first half was tough to say the least.  Two quick goals had the boys behind the eight ball, but, unlike last year, this playoff match-up has two legs.  Plenty of football left to play.

The second half saw the hated Impact, have a few other names for them, but, trying to keep this civil for the website, score another to go up by three.  Bowed my head for a moment, on Adam’s shoulder, but only a moment…couldn’t let those plastic supporters below us even think we were down and out.  Sub time….Ricketts and Johnson came on, and, the squad were reborn.  First up a nice pass from Seba, to Jozy for a beautiful header.  We went wild!  An all important away goal on the board!  Shortly after another scramble in the Impact box, and, Bradley drilled home the second goal.  Wild doesn’t describe our reaction to that one.  Hugs, laughter, beer flying, high fives, football ecstasy.  The scoreboard said 3-2 for them, but, that 2 was HUGE.  The boys had a few chances to get the draw, but, fell short.  However they kept Montreal to that three.  We celebrated that loss like a victory.  Going back to Toronto knowing a 1-0, or, 2-1 win would see us through to the final…not to mention all the other scenarios.

We were held back, for security reasons, for about half an hour then made our way to the supporter’s buses.  A quick trip to Brutopia, saw us in the basement with post-match drinks in hand,  A bunch of us were paying attention to the Seattle/Colorado match in between stories, laughs, and, drinks.  Final score 2-1 Seattle…the dream of TFC hosting the final was alive for sure!  Pretty sure I speak for everyone when I say we had a good time at the bar, before, stumbling into the bed to get some sleep before the drive home on Wednesday.

My first away trip was everything I’d hoped for and more!!  If you’re reading this, and, haven’t been on one…don’t hesitate.  Make it happen, no way you will regret it!  Stick with the group, listen to what the road veterans have to say.  Be smart while having a blast!!  Special thanks to Dave Pinto, our fearless leader on this trip, and, Adam Geraldes…thanks, again, for driving brother.  Hopefully we can get Juli to her first away trip next season.  I know I’m already looking forward to my next one.

Finally!!

 

 

The home is where the heart is

The home is where the heart is

Can a section in a soccer stadium be considered a home? Think about it for second. Really…Think about it. You own a one or a few plastic moulded seats in a stadium that at times can be cold and drafty.  You get rained on it seems every other weekend, everything seems overpriced, nothing about it is seemingly comfortable. And to top it off the product you actually pay for isn’t always that great. 

That’s not like your real home is it? 

No, probably not. 

So why do you come back week after week, season after season?

Because beyond all of the above mentioned things that drive most people away, you meet people. People you might actually like enough to watch a match with. Then you meet more people, and they’re like minded too. Then you start talking the game, what did you see? Can you believe that play? Why is that guy playing…again? Is the ref truly born out of wedlock? Then one day you’re singing because some guy is leading the way. You’ve probably never sang like this outside of your buddy’s wedding or that time in the club/pub when (Fill in blank) did (Fill in the blank). 

Now it’s a week night, and you’re on your knees tracing a line on fabric to help create a piece of art that will be displayed at the next game. You’ve gotten to know all of these people around you who in any other walk of life you’d never speak to, and they know you. You’ve gone beyond small football talk and are talking about your job, and your upcoming vacation and that time in (Fill in the blank). 

The season is now almost done and you’ve now gone from the first time in an uncomfortable moulded plastic chair, to standing every game for the entire game, singing you lungs out, watching a game in the rain, without leaving your seat, making friends you now interact with outside of the stadium, the team you support is actually getting better! And most of all feeling like that chair and the section you’re in is now a home away from home.

To me that is how a section in a stadium becomes a home and how the people around you become an eclectic, odd but fun mish mash of a family. You support a common cause, both the team on the pitch and the people around you.  And no matter if you’re in a section where you are chanting as royalty or an original, being massive in a red patch, giving you beating heart  as an Inebees or bouncing in a U shaped Sector, we are all one messed up family.  

If you’re new to this… welcome to the ride.  If you’re vet…welcome home.

A tale from the beginning

Hello everyone, Dave here.

As we, Kings in the North, begin our fourth year together I decided to take a look back at where we started. For me it started on a cold January morning, we had just received close to a foot of snow and I had a flat tire that was minor and easily taken care of before heading into Toronto. What was I heading into Toronto for you may ask? Well I was going to meet up with four complete strangers (it feels strange calling them that now) at football factory to talk about this idea they had to create a new supporters group, the main goal of that group being keeping section 127 a supporters section. Those individuals who I now refer to as friends were: Mike Newell, Dylan Doyl, Michelle Doyl and Tara Allman. I don’t think any of us ever envisioned what was to follow.

 

 

We started that season with a handful of us scattered throughout section 127 but it wasn’t long before others, both within and outside of the section, took notice and joined in. What started as a pub inspired idea was really starting to take shape. The results in the stands were the opposite of the results on the field during our first year together and that season provided us a solid base to build from. Our second season in the section was much of the same for us in the stands. We have plenty of great memories including Patrick Patterson coming and joining us during one game and the memorable comeback over Portland right in front of us.

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Skipping ahead a little to our second offseason, we faced a major decision. We had grown to 80+ members and the stadium was being renovated. The front office approached us as well as the other SG’s with the proposition to move all of the groups to the southend. We didn’t take the idea lightly and reached out to all our members for feedback. Not everyone liked the idea but the ability to get all of our members in one area together swayed the majority of our group and our move was confirmed to the front office. This offseason also saw another major change within Kings in the North but unless you are very close to leadership we hope you didn’t notice. A change of leadership took place, Mike Newell took a step back and I (Dave) took over as the leader of the group. We made our move into 116, adding several members and the season was underway. The transition wasn’t always smooth and not everyone in 116 was happy we were there, but as the season wore on we were able to change many opinions. The culmination of that season was our first playoff berth and the subsequent celebration after that night against the Red Bulls made a lot of the effort worthwhile.

 

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As I sit here on the eve of training camp opening, writing about what we have been through over the last three year I can’t help but wonder what the next year(s) will bring.

Cheers,

Dave Pinto

 

Ain’t nothing like the real thing

Matchdays are special occasions, no matter what the weather or opponent heading to your local football ground to watch your team play is amazing. When you get near the stadium there is a nervous excitement that takes over you; the anticipation of what might happen today, you check you phone for line up news hoping the manager has selected your squad well. Maybe that dangerous striker on the opposing team is out due to injury, today might be a good day for your boys.

You stop off at your pre-game bar to chat with the throngs of like minded people who are all talking about the same thing, all feeling the same excitement you are. You’ve gotten to know a lot of these people personally throughout the years and they, as much as the football make your matchday experiences so enjoyable.

Now you only have 45 minutes before kickoff and you start to make your final journey to your seat in the ground. As you approach the noise gets louder, you can hear chanting inside the stadium, you start humming the beat and the words in your head. You’re ready for kick off now, You’re in your spot, these people who have become friends are standing side by side with you, anthem is done and it’s game time. You go through the twists and turns, the highs and lows that a football match can take you on. Feeling like there’s nowhere else you’d want to be.

There is nothing like being at a live match. As much as T.V and the announcers can make a game interesting, and I’m not belittling what they do. Nothing beats the in person eye test, nothing beats signing your heart out for the 11 guys on the field you call your own. In the majority of cases you’ll go to a match and you’ll be entertained (one way or another) by the product on the field. Then there are moments that you couldn’t imagine not being in the stadium for. Several recent moments come to my mind in no particular order:

Champions League at the Dome:

I know, a bit of an odd choice considering it wasn’t at BMO. However that was a special night, especially going 2-0 up in under 25 minutes. A feat that hadn’t been seen much in these parts back then.

 

A comeback in the rain:

Most people had fled to relative dryness, and who could blame them when it seem TFC would slump to another loss to Columbus, then enter Andrew Wiedman. It also produced one of Kings favorite pictures. I still don’t know how you got pitch side on the Oso goal Stu.

 

Tassles for the win!

Terry Fucking Dunfield. Nuff said.

 

Seba Magic:

On the same night as the bat flip no less. Only time I shed a bit of a tear in BMO.

 

Add your favorite moments in the comments, and see you at the stadium in May!

Mike

Keep calm and follow your Capo - 2016 song list

The first regular season game is almost upon us and with that the posting of the song list for 2016. There are a lot of old favorites and a few newer tunes that pepper the list this year. Doesn’t matter if you’re an old head or brand new to the section, take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the chants. Youtube links are provided for most of the songs so you can figure out the pacing and tune.

We do claim any of these song as our original works, aside from translating "We're in the stands". Shout outs to RBP, Inebriatti and U-Sector.

P.S: For the newest 116 members, it always takes a few games to get familiar with the chants. Don’t worry no one will bite your head off if you aren’t perfect come May 7th.

Songs for 2016:

New/Newer songs

We’re in the stands - Original vfb Stuttgart song – New & translated for TFC:

We are here in the Tor-on-to

Our hearts beat loud, and lives in our passion

Oh TFC

As long as we’re here in the stands

Our passion will continue til’ we die, Oh TFC!

La-la-la-la la-lalalala lalalalala Oh TFC!

La-la-la-la la-lalalala lalalalala Oh TFC! (Start from the top)

Youtube link for the pace and drum beat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD5tX9-wc6o

 

EVERYWHERE WE GO

Everywhere we gooooo

Everywhere we gooooo

It’s Toronto Boys, making all the noise

Everywhere that we gooooo!

Link  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpDKnqwm4As

 

***ONWARD TORONTO***

We are singing

Our hearts are beating

If it’s us you hear

You’ll run in fear

Cause TFC are here

We are Toronto

The Reds we follow

Someday we’ll be the champions

La la la la laaa

La la la la laaa

La la la la la la

La la la la

La la la la la la

La la la la la

La la la la la

Some day we’ll be the champions

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mOY1eOW2Lg

 

***WITHOUT WARNING***

It happened with out warning

I fell in love with you

There’s no way to explain it

Deep down I know it’s true!

There’s just something about you

That’s got a hold on me

For you I’m always singing

For you I sweat and bleed!

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ckpli_DWUao

***RAIN OR SNOW***

Toronto!

We love you so!

We sing for you no matter rain or snow!

You know it’s true

Our love for you!

So win the Cup and make our dreams come true!

TFC! Ole! Ole!

TFC! Ole! Ole!

TFC! Ole! Ole!

TFC! Ole! Ole!

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5N7n1O7SR7o

 

The Ol’ Standards:

***We Love you***

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee... love you!
We love you!
We love you!

and where you go
We follow!
We Follow!
We Follow!

'cause we support Toronto
Toronto!
Toronto!

and that's the way we like it!
We like it!
We Like it!

OOOooooooOOOOOOOOOOOH
OOOooooooOOOOOOOOOOOH
OOOooooooOOOOOOOOOOOH
OOOooooooOOOOOOOOOOOH

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2QZjnQwVh4

 

***The Bounce***

We built the house on Lakeshore for
The Reds! The Reds!
We’ll never stop till we've won the cup
We said! We said!
And when you hear us its plain to see
Toronto's the greatest in history
and the reds go marching on to victory

NANANANANANANANANNAANNANANA
ANANNANANANANANANANANANANAN
ANANNANANANANANANANANANANNA

And the reds go marching unto VICTORY!

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjIbrux2bjU

 

***Oh when the Reds***

Capo “oh when the reds”

Crowd “oh when the reds”

Capo “go marching in”

Crowd “go marching in”

Everyone “OH WHEN THE REDS GO MARCHING IN”

“I WANT TO BE IN THAT NUMBER”

“OH WHEN THE REDS GO MARCHING IN”

Starts slow and then speeds up each time it’s repeated

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3G2pbgk9m4

 

***Our Passion***

Can you hear our passion?

Can you hear us signing?

Can you hear our hearts beat?

You’re my everything, You’re my everything

Ohohhhhhhhhhhhh! Ohohhhhhhhhhhhh!

Ohohhhhhhhhhhhh! Love you T.O!

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxLt0ejvrYc

Going beyond the Pitch - What The Reds Mean to Me.

Toronto FC came into our lives ten years ago.  The passion we hold for the team is not only because we love our city, but because we love the sport they play.  Many of you probably have the same story as I do, coming from a family who didn't really get North American sports, but knew one game through and through - Football.  My dad coached, many of my childhood soccer teams.  He's the one that put a soccer ball in my hand and taught me how to play.  I still remember when I was 4, he put me in goal since everyone was rotating - well the one rule that stuck in my head as a four year old was you don't touch the ball with your hands.  No one told me the goalie was exempt from that rule, and so I tried saving the ball with my legs, and of course every shot was going in.  Now I play mostly goalie in the men's leagues I am in - go figure!

Over the 10 years of the Reds, I can remember the joy my dad gets in going to the games with me.  There's a point where the relationship between father and son, turns into just being buddies.  My dad is a sports fan, just like me, where no matter the level of soccer, he will want to watch.  I see him watching, and cheering on the Timbits soccer players during half time at BMO too.  The passion for the sport is in his blood! The first experience we had at BMO wasn't actually a TFC game.  My dad and I went to one of the matches at BMO (also known as the Canadian Soccer Stadium) during the 2007 FIFA Under 20 World Cup.  I remember him saying at that time, if a soccer team plays here, the stadium will be rocking.  He foretasted well - as we've shown MLS - Toronto FC supporters are the best fans in the league!

Now, the two guaranteed games my dad and I go to are the home opener and the season closing games.  When the schedule comes out, a message is sent to him to make sure he doesn't have anything going on during those two days! It's a commitment that's we've keep going since I've been a season seat holder.

It's true what they say, the supporter groups, or the season seat holders that are around you become friends, and are like family.  Thanks to Toronto FC, and the passion we both have for the team and sport, a father-son relationship that was already strong to begin with, became stronger by yelling, screaming, singing and clapping for our Reds!

That is what Toronto FC means with me - not the wins or loses (although important), but getting to spend an afternoon or evening cheering for the Reds with my dad!

Can't wait to be in 116 this year, and my dad is looking forward to cheering on the Reds from our new home in the South stands!