Football doesn’t really break your heart.
It might feel as though it does from time to time but really it’s just breaking your heart in for the real tragedies we all have to deal with.
And that’s just one of the rush of emotions that make attending an actual live sporting event a cathartic experience no matter what the outcome.
Anger, elation, frustration, injustice and unbridled joy are just a few to provide the kind of emotional purge the self-help industry would pay billions to harvest if they could only bottle it.
So no matter how we feel about the structure of the squad, the tactics of the coach or the quality of the designated players, going to the game is always good (even when it feels bad).
Fortunately there’s more to look forward to than just psychological purification at the hands of the Vancouver Whitecaps this year.
There’s the new players for a start.
It’s always fun to try to get the measure of the new guy. And it’s even more fun watching those perceptions change as the season unfolds.
Last year Sheannon Williams seemed like a player we would all take to our hearts before it all went wrong. Fredy Montero began with the suspicious stench of the air of a rival before making it pretty clear we needed him much more than he needed us and Brek Shea arrived as a “character” only to reveal that he didn’t really have much of that particular attribute at all.
It’s our own personal soap opera!
And this year’s player to watch seems certain to be Kei Kamara.
The club is already pushing Kamara in almost all of their online promotions and he does seem to be a genuinely likeable guy but (Spoiler alert!) his history is littered with disputes and it’s unlikely he will change his stripes this late in his career.
The Whitecaps and Carl Robinson have been eager to point out that this is one of the attributes they most like about their new striker as it will challenge the other players if they are underperforming.
But it will also challenge Robinson himself.
His time in Vancouver has been marked by his propensity to defend his players in post game interviews no matter what the realities of the situation, so having the “leader in the locker room” directly contradict that point of view will prove interesting.
We’ve seen glimpses of this before with David Ousted and other senior players but Kamara is much more of an “out there” personality who will eat up media time far more than his predecessors.
It’s often seemed that Robinson’s desire to support his players at all costs has meant he struggles to deal with dissent and dissatisfaction within the squad so the first Kamara missive from the embedded discontents could prove both fascinating and pivotal.
Elsewhere Anthony Blondell has the potential to either set the league on fire or flame out in unfamiliar surroundings and Efrain Juarez could add a little attacking intent to the centre of the pitch.
Throw formation experiments, sophomore slumps, World Cup jitters and hangovers into the mix too.
Let’s get this crazy messed up show on the road as soon as possible!