Smoke Em If You Got Em
Here is a video a friend of mine sent me from the Toronto FC Academy match away to Hamilton Croatia last night. It is definitely worth a look. (Thanks Kevin!!)
For the fans that made the road trip to Hamilton to support the Academy lads I say well done. And for their sake these supporters are very lucky that they did not try that kind of thing at BMO Field. You see Toronto FC, unlike a number of other MLS clubs, does not believe that fans can be trusted to responsibly add to the fan experience by deploying smoke. If a fan tried to do this sort of thing at BMO the fan would be ejected, their season ticket would be revoked and they would likely be charged by Police.
Compare that to DC United where the club works with supporters groups to responsibly use smoke. Club and supporters have met to designate specific individuals to employ the smoke and they even provide buckets of sand so that the flares can be responsibly disposed of in a safe manner after they have been used. A friend of mine that is in a New York Red Bulls supporters group told me that the new Red Bull Arena in New Jersey has installed “boxes” of sand in front of their supporters sections that again are being responsibly used. In fact in New York the club even works with supporters to make sure that they use “approved” flares and smoke that have been signed off on by the local Fire Marshall!
Many fans of Toronto FC, yours truly included, feel that the fact that in many occasions the club has used smoke in their advertising is certainly disingenuous at best and dishonest at worst. It is time to grow up Toronto FC. For that matter Don Garber and MLS should step in and have all their clubs replicate the fan friendly and responsible policies of the Red Bulls and DC United. Fans can be responsible when using smoke and flares. Work with the supporters TFC to make this happen. It would be a great thing for everybody.