No, I'm not talking about the 2-1 victory at Real Salt Lake last night, the first road win in franchise history. True TFC fans know all about that game and have already discussed it to death.
But if you're one of those fans who reads every word of every story in every paper about TFC, then you may have noticed another significant first in today's Star.
I'm in Edmonton all week, reporting on team Canada as they play the first round of the FIFA U-20 World Cup, and I wrote a story for today's paper about Tosaint Ricketts, an Edmonton kid who just might start tonight against Austria.
Nana explained in great detail what makes Ricketts -- nicknamed "Tos" -- a unique player. He hit me with a stream of soccerish terms that I didn't fully understand and that I'm not going to inflict on you here, but after hearing Nana talk about Tos's size, strength, speed and ability to finish, I wrote the following:
That, folks, is a milestone. That single sentence marks the first time I -- or any other member of the mainstream media I can think of -- referenced Toronto FC players to illustrate another player's skill.
Why's it a big deal?
Think about it this way: for me to write that line means I think most of the people reading the story know not only who Dichio and Cunningham are, but how they play. If I'd compared Ricketts to the Toronto Lynx' forward tandem, the folks at the Lynx would turn backflips, but readers would still have been clueless about the kid's tools -- unless they were one of those 350 or so faithful souls who make the pilgrimmage to Centennial Stadium for the Lynx' home games.
So the reference means folks are paying attention to TFC. And it means that, despite how some soccer fans swear there's a conspiracy among the mainstream media to ignore soccer 'till it disappears, some of us are aware that a growing number of people are following the team.
In short, it means TFC has arrived. It means TFC isn't just a novelty, but an important part of Toronto's sports scene. It means that as far local sports media are concerned, TFC matters.
At least until hockey season starts....
-- Morgan Campbell