They started, but they failed. They waited, but they failed again. They kept coming, but they kept losing. They made changes, but they lost still. They broke it down and built it up right, and this time they got close; stumbling only at the end. But finally…at long last, on Saturday evening, Toronto FC finally won it all. They had won the Supporters Shield the year before, so that was old hat, and the Canadian Championship, but they even won that when they were useless. The MLS Cup though, that was the one they wanted. They are the fans. And they are Toronto FC.
Last weekend Lewis Hamilton became Formula One World Champion for a forth time. And in doing so became the first man since James Hunt in 1976 to win the title while a lap down. An obscure record indeed in a season of great records set by the Mercedes driver. Included in those records was Hamilton breaking the all-time marker for pole positions. He also moved into second place all-time in race wins. And in winning the fourth title he became the most successful British driver ever. In 2017 Hamilton has ended any lingering debate about his status as one of the greatest drivers ever.
Last night the Houston Astros won their first ever World Series, after 52 years of trying. A long time, to be sure, but nothing on the Cubs when they ended a 108 year drought on a rain night on the banks of Lake Erie one year ago today. Here is a look back to something I wrote in the days that followed that memorable and historic victory…
Funny how it goes like that. Six tense, back and forth games, hanging in the balance with debate about whether this is the best World Series of all time, and then a damp squid to settle it. Not that the Houston Astros will mind; not that it took anything away from the series as a whole. Fifty-Seven years of existence and finally a World Series to show for it for Houston. Twelve years after their appearance as a National League team when they lost to the Chicago White Sox. Five years after they switched to the American League. Three years after a Sports Illustrated article predicted it.
A new season of Stranger Things dropped onto Nexflix on Friday. I had been waiting about nine months for its arrival. The best cycling TV show/movie since ET, in my book. (I mean, if Die Hard is a Christmas movie…) But we’re four days since launch, and I have still yet to sit down and watch a single episode. What is up with that? So much for binging on it all weekend and waking up on Monday annoyed that I hadn’t paced myself and now faced a whole year before I can see a new one. That’s the thing with Netflix dumping entire seasons for streaming. It would be like watching the entire NHL season over a week, then having to wait another twelve months before seeing another game.
The following is a diary I am keeping of Liverpool’s progress throughout the 2017-18 season. I started it under the crazy belief that they might kick on this season, from challenging for a top four place to challenging for the title. I thought it might be nice to document my thoughts on that progress as well as their return to the Champions League. Would I write about a league win? At a push. How about a League or FA cup win? They must be due. Hope and reality rarely intersect and so it is proving to be once more. Still, stick with it I must try, so for better or worse…or much worse, here are my musings on Liverpool throughout the 2017-18 season…
When Liverpool won the FA Cup final in May 1992, I was ten years old. I can remember thinking that in breaking, what I considered, a long two-year drought without a trophy, that the good times were back. That they had turned a corner and that the silverware would flow once more. I was naive then and the hard realities of supporting a team had yet to bite. But over the next twenty-five years, with a few exceptions, it would bite, and bite often. I am still waiting to see the club win another league title, and I am still naive. But what sports fan isn’t to some degree?