Toronto Star Ignoring TFC
I like newspapers. I read at least one or two pretty much every day. Whether its the Toronto Sun for its strong sports section, or the Globe & Mail for its strong national news focus or the Toronto Star, that tries its best to cover all things Toronto in a broadsheet, I find myself reading these three papers at least three or four times per week. And I subscribe to the Star on the weekends. I like to think of myself as a committed newspaper consumer.
But after this weekend past I am seriously thinking about dumping the Toronto Star once and for all.
As I usually do on Saturday morning I am up early to watch the Premiership and Bundesliga games on TV. Part of that tradition is having a cup of java and my Saturday newspaper for breakfast. I picked up the Star Sports section first and started to browse the eight pages of content they had on offer. And once looking through the entire eight pages I realized that there was not a single solitary word about Toronto FC or its upcoming game in Columbus later that evening.
Instead there is a front page story about the Toronto Marlies and coach Dallas Eakins. Inside the front cover was about a full page of content on the Toronto Argos who were also playing on Saturday afternoon. Included in the wall to wall coverage of all things Argonauts was a piece documenting what some of the more famous retired Argo Quarterbacks are doing with their post football careers. The Star goes on later to document how hard it is for multi millionaire Winnipeg Jets players to buy or rent accommodations in their new city that are “high end’ enough. The Blue Jays and the US Open get some coverage as well. And finally Cathal Kelly, not exactly the most universally popular scribe with Toronto FC supporters, writes an interesting column on the recent scandal in English soccer that saw Garry Cook, the CEO of Manchester City, resign over a somewhat insensitive email and a subsequent cover up.
Overall not a bad sports section, assuming of course that NOT A SINGLE SOLITARY WORD ABOUT TORONTO FC makes a satisfactory sports section to you.
Sunday morning I picked up the paper off the stoop and started perusing it again, anxious to read what the Star might have written about what was probably the best Toronto feel good sports story of the day, if not the week. TFC had finally beaten Columbus, in Columbus no less! The club had finally secured a road win. And Julian de Guzman, long a controversial figure, played arguably one of his best games in TFC colours. Lots of angles to write about that might have made for some interesting copy. They also could have taken the opportunity to tee up the return of the CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday in Mexico City. And with the Argos losing again I thought for sure there would be something interesting to read about TFC and the Trillium Cup.
Alas, all I got were four paragraphs from the Associated Press on the bottom corner of page five which as briefly as they could recounted the match and TFC’s victory. The Argonauts again dominated the section with a colour pic taking up about a third of the front cover. There was another half page story about the current Argo Quarterback situation. The NFL and the Jays got a lot of column inches, as did a number of reports from Toronto Maple Leaf rookie training camp. There was even a nice write up, with colour photo included, of the North American Yachting Championships held here in Toronto.
Now I get that soccer in this city is not the biggest game in town. I get that many people that call themselves fans of the beautiful game may not even care a single bit about Toronto FC or MLS. I also get that in a challenging economy editorial decisions are often economic decisions instead. Resources are scarce and trying to run the largest newsroom in the city of Toronto and try and make a profit at the same time is not exactly an easy proposition for the Editors of the Toronto Star.
I also get that the Star would choose to not send a reporter on the road to Columbus. I don’t like it but I get it.
But come on. Where was the Star on Friday of last week? Could they not send one scribe to BMO Field to interview players or the coaches ahead of the Columbus trip? I have been to those Friday morning practices and TFC (particularly Mike Masaro, the clubs press liasion) usually bend over backwards to help journalists get the access and the information they are looking for.
Yes I get that choices have to be made and that sometimes the choices are tough at a major newspaper like the Toronto Star. Yet to virtually completely ignore a major sports property in this city that per home game often out draws the Jays or Argonauts for example and to pass up the chance to perhaps give its readers some insight from one of the more entertaining and truly interesting Toronto FC games in recent memory (arguably one of the most interesting since the Cruz Azul home win last season I would submit) to me feels like a huge disservice to the club and to its fans. The Star can do much much better.
I work cheap. Real cheap. And to the Editors of the Star, if you ever need a cub reporter that will at least write more than four paragraphs post game after TFC road games and who will work literally for peanuts, drop me a line.