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  • Inside The Box: Resolutions For 2012


    <i>On the first Wednesday of each month, columnist Wendy Jo, adds a feminine touch to AFTN, as she takes a look at the Whitecaps and MLS.</i>


    Ah yes, 2012, the New Year. Not just a time to lie to ourselves and promise to eat better, hit the gym and reverse the self-inflicted damage done while over-indulging in Holiday "cheer", the New Year is an opportunity to start fresh, make goals and visualize the future.

    It wouldn't surprise anyone who knows me to learn that I'm a disaster when it comes to resolutions, or that I love to tell other people what they should do, so in honour of "starting fresh", and giving my opinion whether it's wanted or not, I've composed a few 2012 Resolutions for Whitecaps fans, players and the club as a whole.


    Before I get down to business, I've been enjoying the quotes that Michael has been posting lately, and since this is the "girl’s point of view", I thought it fitting to include a quote from an, uh, "actress" who grew up not far from me:

    <i>"With low expectations, it’s very easy to surprise people." – Pamela Anderson</i>

    With that in mind, let's start with a New Year's Resolution for the men on the pitch…

    <b>Resolve to Win on the Road</b>

    Last week, AFTN published <a href="http://www.canadiansoccernews.com/content.php?2634-A-Whitecaps-2012-Wishlist" target="_blank"><b><i>A Whitecaps 2012 Wishlist</i></b></a>, from various fans, players and media. Whilst I was thinking about my own Top 3 wishes, I completely forgot that we still haven’t had a win on the road! So, I know it’s not the most impressive resolution, but I think it’s one of the most painful to acknowledge (and probably why I mentally blocked it!): the entire inaugural season passed without a single win outside of Vancouver.

    I wanted to give a much more clever resolution to the team, but honestly Whitecaps, you must resolve to win at least ONE game on the road this season. If you also wanted to deliver a Cup or two, I’m sure no one would complain – but baby steps, baby steps.

    Speaking of away games, for good measure I also want to toss in a resolution for the league…

    <b>Resolve to Create A Balanced Schedule in 2013</b>

    Despite the delivery of an incredibly detailed report, and our best social media efforts to have the MLS Commissioner #askbrett, it appears the balanced schedule will remain "impossible" this year. So, I’d love to see the MLS resolve to give this a little more thought before becoming just another division dominant league.

    To be on the safe side, I’d advise the truly dedicated Whitecaps fans to resolve to start looking for vacation homes in Seattle and Portland… we’ll be spending a lot of time there from the looks of things.

    As for the not-so-dedicated fans, this next resolution is definitely for you…

    <b>Resolve to Seek Treatment for Stasiphobia</b>

    Yes, it’s a thing. Believe it or not, there is an actual fear of standing called “Stasiphobia” and it appears to be fairly widespread among Whitecaps fans. It’s not all encompassing, as I can clearly see the raucous good time taking place each game in the Southside, but for the people in my section, I’m very concerned. Therefore, before the 2012 season opener against L’Impact, I think all Vancouver-based fans should resolve to visit a doctor and have themselves checked.

    Although, not everyone in the stadium needs to be on their feet – in fact, some of them get paid fairly well to keep their posterior firmly planted on the pine, so for this I have a special resolution in mind…

    <b>Resolve to Close Lucrative Sponsorship Deal with La-Z-Boy</b>

    I know what you’re thinking, "There’s a sponsorship deal in the works with La-Z-Boy?!" Well, one of the great things Paul Barber did before he resigned was bring in some major sponsors and with them, their major sponsorship dollars. One of the sponsorships that he didn’t get around to, but that should be explored by the club in 2012, is La-Z-Boy.

    Here’s how I envision the La-Z-Boy pitch to the Whitecaps:

    <i>"Imagine this, you’re paying a player $427,000 a year, but the 'Gambian Gamble' isn’t paying off. Instead of the superstar you were hoping for, your attacking midfielder spends more time collecting splinters than goals.

    That multi-year contract you signed means that clearly this is an ass you care about, so why not allow La-Z-Boy to show the world with a custom built, recliner bench?

    It’s a win-win-win: he can sideline in style, even more money can be dedicated to this under-performer, and the other teams in the MLS will be jealous as hell!"</i>

    Clearly that conversation never took place… but imagine what it would be like if it did?

    Although Mustapha Jarju is still on the roster at this point, it’s tough to say how long that will be the case since it’s been a veritable game of “musical roster” since Martin Rennie came on board – but isn’t that why he’s here? Aside from my obvious bias towards men with accents and people who share my Scottish ancestry, I think most agree that Rennie is a good thing for the club – he’s identifying the problems and, with any luck, he’s solving them. He’s bringing in some talented guys and some interesting choices, which brings me to my second resolution for the fans…

    <b>Resolve to Get to Know Your Team… Again</b>

    Most of the jerseys bought last season were for the heavy hitters – DeMerit, Hassli, Sanvezzo, etc – but with space left on the roster, eyes on the UK, and the MLS SuperDraft coming up next week, we’re going to be looking at plenty of new names and faces on the field come March 10th. The changes in the roster may not be enough to inspire you to wear their name across your back, but it certainly presents some challenges in the songs and cheers department.

    It’s safest to wait until closer to the season to begin working on this, since you never know what Rennie is going to do next, but the challenge is there to make the new guys feel welcome with their own custom cheers. I only hope we can come up with something a little more creative than a Sherlock Holmes reference for our newest midfielder, and to be perfectly honest, I’m not certain I can properly pronounce "Nguyen", let alone rhyme it with anything. Because of that, I’ll gladly leave the creation of cheers to those with far more skill (and spare time.)

    Throughout the past season I’ve been very impressed with the creativity put forth in some of the cheers I’ve heard, especially on the road, and it always surprises me to listen to groups of grown men who sing, cheer and chant with such gusto! With that in mind, I can’t forget one last, quick little resolution for the women of Vancouver…

    <b>Resolve to Attend Whitecaps Games!</b>

    I don’t assume there to be many women reading this column, but honestly ladies, if you haven’t attended a Whitecaps game before, you’re missing out! Tickets are inexpensive, the eye-candy is plentiful and there’s never a line at the ladies’ room! (At least two of those three reasons are valid arguments… which two, is up to you.)

    So please, women of Vancouver, resolve to attend at least one Whitecaps game in 2012. Bring your friends, bring your cheering voices, and bring your love of wine in plastic cups – you won’t be sorry.

    Whether it’s attending your first game, re-learning the roster, winning on the road, or scoring a date with Eric Hassli, we all have goals for 2012 that we should resolve to accomplish. In the meantime, I’ll get back to waiting impatiently for the schedule to be released so I can plan my vacation time, and counting down the days to the start of the season… is it March yet?

    <i>Do you have any of your own Whitecaps resolutions you’d like to share? Write them in the comments below or tweet @djwendo #WFCResolve</i>


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