Every now and then, I start to feel a little bad about appearing to dislike Canada.
I really don't dislike the place at all. I've spent a lot of time there, on business, on vacations, on short jaunts to see shows in Toronto and I even fell madly in love there once, many years ago.
So from time to time my guilt gets the better of me and I swear that I'm going to lay off our pale skinned frozen brothers and find only positive things to say about them and their fine, fine nation.
And then I run across something like this:
"The Canadian Champions League"?
This is such an exclusive league that EVERY SINGLE TEAM IN CANADA above the U12 level is automatically entered and it still only amounts to three teams.
The problem you see, is that you have to have a "league" before you can have a "Champion" of it who then gets to play other league champions in what is called a "Champions League". This would have seemed obvious and self-explanatory, but apparently not so.
Now as well all know, Toronto FC is a member of "MLS, North America's Top Professional Soccer League".
As such, in order to get into the "Champions" league they should logically have to win the "Championship" of the league that they are in, ie. MLS.
But all of a sudden they're NOT in "MLS, North America's Top Professional Soccer League". Oh no. NOW they're in a different league. The "Canadian Champions League"
And in this Special Olympics version of a league, it's not necessary to win anything to get in. For example, in 2007 the Montreal Impact finished third in their league, USL-1. That might not seem like a "Championship" to you, but it's a lot closer than Vancouver (seventh) or Toronto (dead last in MLS).
Yet suddenly these teams are all "Champions" competing in their own "Champions League" for the right to go on and play other "Champions".
In other words, Canada is a member of a "League" - MLS - when it suits them and when it's inconvenient they've never heard of the thing.
Now of course everyone knew that they were holding this charade of a round robin deal to pick one of three teams, none of whom have won a League Championship, that they will then pretend is the Champion of a non-existent league so they can justify competing with other teams who, you know, had to actually earn their spots by winning something.
But to add insult to injury by proclaiming this the "Canadian Champions League" instead of "Pathetic Process for Getting Sub .500 Teams into the Champions League Because They're 'Special' " is - well, it's enough to make a guy break his pledge to not mention Canadiana.
It's not my fault. They made me do it.