I live in a village now.
Strange that it would take a global event to limit our lives to the local. To lower our horizons to two or three blocks.
But in days like this the coffee shop knows my order, the bar knows my beer, the store knows I don’t need a bag and ID is no longer required when collecting a parcel from the post office.
They know me and I know them.
But not really.
All we really know are the three dimensional avatars that drift in and out of each others lives from time to time.
But that’s enough to create a connection. A shared experience. A common thread.
So maybe the Whitecaps were on to something with their “It Takes a Village” marketing campaign? Maybe they were right to try and turn the the team into an emblem for belonging?
But then the world changed and a connection got severed.
How could it not?
We were all so busy burying our heads in own lives that we didn’t have the energy (physical/emotional) to spare for a team that barely even played in Vancouver.
That wasn’t their fault. But the necessary distance this year and the constant change of personnel over the last two has made it hard to to turn the majority of the team into those three dimensional avatars we need them to be.
Ali Adnan has been around long enough for us to know that he will argue with anybody while a game is ongoing and we know that Russell Teibert will listen to the coach’s instructions with all the sombre seriousness of a toddler trying to button up a raincoat.
But Bikel, Veselinovic and Owusu?
We barely know them outside of pixels on a screen and disheartening heat maps.
All the indications from the club are that there will be less turnover of the squad in preparation for next season and, while that may be a disputable decision from a footballing perspective, it’s almost essential in terms of a sense of kinship.
In an ideal world we love the players in our team, in a good world we root for them and in an acceptable world we hate them for the pain they cause.
It’s a cruel world in which we don’t even know who they are.