Welcome to New Jersey

Nice soccer team ya got there.

Be a shame if something happened to it. Like, God forbid, your playoff hopes go for an evening cruise on the Stugots with a couple of fat guys in see-through socks.

Or soaking wet young Senegalese guys

Toronto FC showed up at the Meadowlands last night pretty confident. After all, as their fans kept telling each other all week long, they were playing "the worst team in the league" and they were bringing along their shiny new DP and besides, they said, the league really really wanted them and their "great, great fans" in the playoffs.

Unfortunately, MLS is going to have to figure out how to hold playoffs without them after NYRB showed The Reds what a good old fashioned New Jersey whacking looks like. Then again, the league has been holding playoff games in places other than Toronto for 14 years now, so at least they've got plenty of practice.

As for the Bulls, they surely did take out one hell of a lot of frustration on the out-of-towners. Since most of those guys were still begging Mary Ellen Grabcrotch to meet them after school out back of the gym in 1996 when the MetroBulls litany of frustration in that stadium began, you really can't say that they took 14 years worth of it out on the hapless Reds last night.

But playing in absolutely abysmal weather conditions which seemed, somehow or other, entirely appropriate to the occasion, they sure did seem like they badly wanted to take at least seven months worth of it out on someone last night, and TFC were the tourists wearing plaid shirts, shorts and black socks who happened to show up.

Still, with all the festivities and ceremonies and hoopla and "remember when-ing" going on all week, who would have guessed that in the end it would be pride - something that's been in pretty short supply sometimes - that ended up being the story this morning.

You really can't say that they chased off all of the ugly old ghosts last night. MetroBulls have far, far too many of them hanging around that accursed building for that.

But they sure as hell did say goodbye to them in style.

Well done RedBulls. See you in Harrison.