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.

Trillium CupSunday 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.

 

 

6 comments

  1. The Star knows very few people in Toronto care about TFC home games and even less care about away games! and I’m a SSH to TFC but will not be next year.

  2. @guest

    Yet they think that more care about the problems the Winnipeg Jets players are having getting nice homes in Manitoba, a Yacht race in Toronto and which former Argonaut quarterbacks are now coaching high school teams south of the border?

    I could not disagree more with you here, all due respect.

  3. It is rather odd the lack of coverage. I can somewhat understand the Globe’s position of not having much coverage of the Saturday game, as they don’t publish again until Monday.

    But the Star has had no problem sending multiple reporters and even photographers to Tripoli in recent weeks. And yet they can’t even be arsed to have someone drive to Columbus and file a story?!?

    If there was another local broadsheet in this town, I’d consider dropping my subscription.

  4. I noticed the Lack of coverage right away. A while after the game I went to tsn.ca (who usually have articles up almost before the game’s over) to see what they had to say, but was disappointed to find that TFC was the only MLS game they didn’t have an article up for. in fact their poll is about Chicago fire! I went to CBC’s sports page and found the exact same thing. after a while TSN finally put up an article about TFC. When I clicked on it however, I found that it was a pathetically small match summary from the ASSOCIATED PRESS. then CBC put up the same thing.
    To date, the summary from the Associated Press is the only article that any of those three media sources have published.
    As it turns out, the only real article about the game was written by Fox News Canada (aka the Toronto Sun)
    It’s as if the Toronto Media doesn’t like it when our teams win, so they don’t report it. The Toronto Rock are the best team in the NLL, yet they get next to no coverage what so ever

    On one final note: It is clearly not -as Guest suggests- that people don’t care about TFC, because two weeks ago, the star had no problem writing their own article (a pretty big one as well) when TFC didn’t win:
    http://www.thestar.com/sports/soccer/mls/torontofc/article/1045986–toronto-fc-yet-again-concedes-late-and-drops-points
    So why is it so hard to write an article on TFC’s best performance of the year/ historic win?

  5. Oh wait, I found a “real” article on CBC’s website on the game! – well sort of. it’s actually just Nigel Reed writing a bunch of shit about how the win is too little too late, and how the 4-3-3 is still yet to be proven in MLS because there’s too little talent here for it to work, and how Torsten Frings’ talent gets wasted by his crappy teammates “Torsten Frings shows his class with almost every touch, yet his new teammates just as regularly waste his talent and vision” BULLSHIT. I got the impression from the article that He hasn’t watched a single game since the beginning of the season, and is writing articles based on his interpretation of the stats.
    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/blogs/nigelreed/2011/09/torontos-trillium-triumph-has-a-holow-ring.html

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