When life gives you lemons you have two choices on what to do about it.
You can either make lemonade or you can try and find out just where all those lemons are coming from. I mean it obviously isn’t “life” right? That makes no sense.
Maybe it’s one of the neighbours? What about Mrs. Jefferson down the street? The one with the lemon tree in the garden? She seems to be the most likely culprit.
So while we notify the authorities about Mrs. Jefferson’s increasingly erratic behaviour let’s also take a look at what positives we can glean from this Vancouver Whitecaps season so far.
You have to go through the bad to really appreciate the good- This may be trite nonsense when applied to real life (“Yes I’m really happy my whole world is crashing down around me because at least I’ll really enjoy sunsets when this misery is over”) in the sporting sense it does actually work.
Seeing your team constantly mess things up may not be great at the time (although it can actually be quite funny in a macabre kind of way) but when/if a genuine goal scorer/defender/creative midfielder does arrive their value is so much more obvious.
What the Whitecaps are doing this year is re-laying the benchmark for seasons to come; it’s unpleasant but necessary work.
It’s tactically interesting- How much more fun is it to pick apart a team that is playing badly than one that is doing well?
There would be no debate about where Pedro Morales should be playing (or even if he should be playing) if Vancouver were racking up the wins. Nor would the numbers 4-2-3-1 induce a kind of hypnotically imposed sense of dread into so many people.
All good teams are alike but all bad teams are bad in their own way. So think of this as a “teachable moment” for all concerned when it comes to lineups, formations and team selection.
It’s psychologically interesting- It’s kind of fascinating to listen to post-game interviews where players and coaches remark that the latest defeat is somehow a test of character and will thus spur them on to dig deeper into their layers of resilience and team spirit.
They seem to have conveniently forgotten that the previous defeat did no such thing while ignoring the reality that the most recent loss was a consequence of how they are playing rather than an aberration.
“You can’t deal with a problem until you actually admit you have one” may be a fine example of cod-psychology but even a fish can be right some of the time.
The season isn’t actually dead- If the Whitecaps can somehow sneak a win in Columbus and then raise their game down in Seattle they would suddenly be back in the playoff picture again.
That obviously isn’t going to happen but it definitely hasn’t not happened yet so there is still hope.
Achievements can still be achieved- Win the final game of the season in Portland and avoid defeat in one of the two games against Seattle and the Cascadia Cup will be on it’s way back to the True North.
That may have been the lowest of the priorities for the team at the start of the year but silverware is silverware.
Or maybe it wasn’t the lowest of the priorities? Maybe that was actually the Champion’s League given how the starting eleven for that competition has been constituted?
But against all the odds the Whitecaps only need one more win (or maybe even just a tie) to qualify for the quarter-finals next season which would be a great way to start the 2017 campaign and would even offer the solace of a genuine achievement for Carl Robinson and his men.
So, you see, all is definitely not lost just yet.
And as we watch Mrs. Jefferson flee in bewilderment from the SWAT team that so swiftly descended into her garden (ironically crushing the very lemon tree with which she perpetuated her reign of terror) we can only hope that valuable lessons have been learned on all sides.