Home MLS Toronto FC Results are in: 60 per cent say TFC shouldn’t change name, colours

Results are in: 60 per cent say TFC shouldn’t change name, colours


Last week, The 11 asked its readers: Does Toronto FC need more than personnel changes?

New Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president Tim Leiweke has promised radical changes; from trying to get Maple Leafs fans to look to the future rather than the team’s distant past, to finding a way to make the basketball Raptors appeal to a national audience. There’s suggestion the Raptors might get a name change. So, we wondered if Canadian soccer followers also felt it was time to do something more radical to TFC; that, after almost seven years of MLS futility, if it was time to change the team’s name or possibly even the colours.

Or, did TFC’s history — from the mass seat-cushion toss that followed Danny Dichio scoring the first-ever goal in team history, to four Voyageurs’ Cups — mean enough to keep the Reds the Reds?

We asked the question: Tim Leiweke has promised overhauls of TFC and the Raptors. Should he consider a name change for TFC?

We have now wrapped up the voting.

We received 163 votes, a fair sample. And 60 per cent of you voted “no way,” that the name and colours were untouchable. That’s a solid but not not overwhelming split.

Of the 40 per cent that believed the name should be changed, the majority wanted to see the old Blizzard name and colours revived. You felt that Toronto soccer in MLS should honour the old NASL traditions as the Vancouver Whitecaps, Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders do with their names — or the New York Cosmos, Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Tampa Bay Rowdies of the new NASL do as well.

Now, Southern Ontario keeps getting mentioned as a market for which the NASL has plans, so you have to wonder if the Blizzard name might get resurrected, but not in MLS. Mind you, that might take a while, as Calgary and possibly Winnipeg look like they are ahead in line in terms of NASL expansion.

Here are the should-TFC-change-its name vote result:
No way: 60 per cent
Blizzard! Blizzard: 20 per cent?
Start over, new name, new colours: 13 per cent
Keep the colours, change the name: 7 per cent

You can put the Blizzard and “start over” crowd together, as they both would support a new brand. Together, they made up 33 per cent of the total. So a full one-third of those polls think that everything about TFC needs to be changed.

What was interesting is that the splits were set very early on into the poll — about 20 votes into the process — and then stayed constant as more people clicked on their selections. There weren’t any real surges in votes for one of the particular options. That’s a sign that, even though our sample was relatively small, it would likely be an accurate reflection of our readership.

But, this where a disclaimer is needed. This isn’t a Toronto-based site. It’s a national site. So there could be votes in there from soccer supporters who were never really emotionally invested in Toronto FC in the first place; indeed, there could be votes from those who actually dislike or downright loathe the club.

And we had some comments left on the poll. Here is a sampling of what you thought: The readers get the last words…

“They should have been either Toronto Blizzard FC or Toronto Metropolitan FC (“Metros”) from the start. One connects with an NASL and CSL pedigree, the other connects with the 1976 North American champions.” – Seathanaich

“TFC already is a club with history. A crappy history but still. Plus the name rocks.” — Footy

“+1 to almost everything footy said… I’d even argue that the crappiness of the history is over-stated — there have been more good moments than ever get catalogued…” — KenFromToronto

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  1. Mike

    July 23, 2013 at 12:29 am

    Wanting to honour the memory of a Blizzard team that played briefly and unsuccessfully in the old defunct NASL is admirable, if you’re from the era (which I am). TFC today is miles ahead of that time and let’s honour today’s fans with a successful go in the MLS. If TO wants to put a Blizzard team in the new NASL (alongside the Cosmos & Rowdies etc. ) c’mon down to div 2. 🙂

  2. footy

    July 22, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    What the hell does the Blizzard say then? Is that so inspiring? A Blizzard kills people and their dwellings and it’s very non-specific to Toronto (as are, for instance, the Raptors). And the NY Mets in Ontario, really?

    If you don’t have a better idea TFC is simple but strong (now if only their performances were).

    • Seathanaich

      July 22, 2013 at 11:53 pm

      No, the Toronto Metros, not the NY Mets. Try to follow along, even without pictures. Since you’re probably a teenager, look up “North American Soccer League” on the internet and find out about the soccer history of the city and the continent. Check out “Canadian Soccer League” while you’re at it, though unfortunately Wikipedia is pretty thin on info there. When you’re done looking up “Toronto Blizzard”, look up “Eusebio”, who played for the 1976 Toronto Metros – a player with more skill and fame then everyone who has played for Toronto FC combined. Then compare the connection Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver have with their soccer history to the complete lack of same at Tee Eff Cee.

      A Blizzard is an overwhelming force, something that blinds and numbs people into submission. That’s not bad, as North American names go. It amazes me that you need fairly widely-used words defined for you, but . . . at least you agree that “Raptors” is a pretty stupid name for a Toronto sports team (naming a sports team after a recent movie was nearly as lame in the Raptors case as it was in the Mighty Ducks case). Toronto is at least known to suffer the odd blizzard.

      I do have a better idea – two of them, Blizzard and Toronto Metropolitans, and they’re certainly not my ideas, they are part of Toronto’s soccer history. If you don’t like them that’s your opinion, but they’re both superior to Tee Yawn Eff Cee.

  3. cwell

    July 22, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Too late for the poll, but would have voted keep the name and the colours. (Also, I prefer the colours as on earlier versions of the kit.)

    I agree with KenfromToronto that there “have been more good moments than ever get catalogued…” And from what I saw Saturday v NYRB, there are going to be more very soon.

  4. Seathanaich

    July 22, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Toronto FC is an uninspiring name. The intent was to be understated, like “Liverpool FC”, that sort of thing. The problem is that “Tee Eff Cee” is what they have become, and that’s very bland.

    This club had the chance to connect with Toronto soccer history in one of two ways. Most obviously, they could have been the re-birth of Toronto Blizzard FC. That club had, by NASL standards, a good run, and did contest the Soccer Bowl. Tapping into history is a large part of the success in MLS of the Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland teams. The only reason I can see for NOT reclaiming the Blizzard name is the desire of Torontonians to not perpetuate the “it snows here all the time” stereotype; but there is no doubt that the Blizzard name has cache, is unique, and is a strong name.

    They could have connected with the 1976 NASL champions by naming themselves Toronto Metropolitan FC, which would be a powerful name with a good nickname built in (“Metros”). To me this would have been the best move if the owners were determined not to be Blizzard Mark II.

    FWIW, I think that a lot more MLS clubs than Toronto need a logo and/or name and/or uniform overhaul. Thanks for doing this poll!

  5. Mike

    July 22, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I’m glad to see the majority voted to keep “as is”. Watched TO play NY on the weekend and they really have an ideal setup. Hoping we can emulate that here in Edmonton.

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