The thing they always say about Watergate is that it wasn’t the crime that destroyed so many careers but the cover up.
I mean, the crime didn’t help obviously, but the sense of wrongdoing was exacerbated by an unwillingness to accept fault and that unwillingness cemented the notion of guilt deep into the mind of the general public.
And after that there was no way back to respectability for the main actors involved.
Obviously nobody would argue the way the Vancouver Whitecaps played those two games against the Seattle Sounders was an actual “crime” (although if a political party ran with that as one of the main policy agendas I could be tempted to look at their overall platform with a forgiving eye) but what’s made those games an itch that just can’t be scratched is that everybody within the organization, from the coach on up, seems intent on insisting that it really wasn’t too bad.
Almost from the moment the final whistle sounded the official line has been that Vancouver did very well to be where they were and were actually (if you squint a bit, tilt your head to one side and then press your fingers against your temples really hard) quite close to getting a result.
We all saw the games.
They were nowhere near getting a result (although I guess a loss is a result of sorts?)
So one can only asssume that this constant insistence on how splendidly it all went is due to one of two things.
Either it’s an attempt to soft soap those in the local media who don’t really take an interest in the Whitecaps while at the same time supposedly pulling the wool over the eyes of the more casual fans in the hope they can be persuaded that all is well.
Or it’s because the people at the club who really matter, from the coach on up, genuinely believe those performances were acceptable.
If it’s the former then they are fooling nobody who matters to the success of the team and are simply adding to the vague cloud of mistrust that occasionally puffs up from their Gastown offices like an inept mockery of the nearby tourist attraction.
If it’s the latter then heaven help us all because there’s nowhere to go next year but along the same bland and featureless plateau of tolerable competence and intolerable timidity.
The Vancouver Whitecaps were genuinely awful against Seattle and the fact that nobody of note within the organization is willing or able to speak that seemingly unspeakable truth will taint the vision and cloud the minds of supporters for so much longer than ever needed to be the case.