TFC's Bradley backs up his words with his actions, stays in a city he loves

TFC's Bradley backs up his words with his actions, stays in a city he loves

Happy Friday The 13th.

May a black cat cross your path just before you walk under a ladder and step on a crack in the sidewalk.

Have a nice day.

He didn’t quite come out and say “I am Toronto” because that’s a line already etched in the city’s sports lore but Michael Bradley may as well have yesterday at the buntoss/chinwag to announce his return to TFC.

And I am all here for that.

As you know, I have great admiration for the skipper,  for the way he just seems to stalk the ball and the midfield while playing the game and for the way he’s come to appreciate what this little neck of the world can offer an athlete away from the game.

As Neil Davidson’s predictably fine and thorough story said yesterday, Bradley offered up this:

“When you look at Toronto and you look at Canada, the diversity, the tolerance, how progressive the city and the country are … we’re proud to live here and we’re proud to call this city home.”

That’s pretty dang good, if you ask me; and a true representation of what we are, both in Toronto and the centre of the known universe out here in Hazelville.

Bradley’s willing to take a major financial bath to stay – he salary drops like a zillion per cent and I’m sure he could have made a lot more playing for some other team or in some other league – speaks to what I see from the distance as a man of great character. Athletes can be, and in many cases should be, mercenaries because careers are short and could end in the blink of any eye and getting yours while you can always makes sense to me. That’s not what Bradley did and maybe there weren’t a raft of other offers coming in but he still took a monstrous cut to stick around because it means something to him to be here, to have a chance to win here, to keep finishing what he basically started.

I’ve only done a handful of TFC events over the years, the one MLS Cup they lost here, a Canadian championship they won one summer night at BMO and a handful of regular season games and a few training sessions over the years.

But the one constant has been Bradley, whose level of intensity on the pitch is admirable and whose dogged pursuit of trophies is well documented.

I don’t know how good TFC might be the coming three years but I do know that one of the constants in the team’s consistent success of late has been Bradley.

And I’m glad he’s sticking around.

I have a tremendous amount of work to do on TEB today so I’m bailing on the Raptors and also bailing on tomorrow morning here because I’ll feel like I can’t write a coherent sentence  by then and will need to sleep in a bit.

So if you want to get into Sunday’s mailbag that will augment Three Pointers off the Nets game do it today by clicking on And the earlier today the better because I will appreciate the momentary diversion from doing my other work.

Raptors didn’t work yesterday so Dave did this and I did the usual Thursday Nothing But Net to get us through the day.

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I don’t know but I think the Argos firing their head coach and hiring his replacement without a single member of the front office standing up in front a podium to do one or the other seems a bit weird, no?

I don’t think it’s at all a surprise that they made a change, if the way they did it seems odd and I have no opinion of the guy who left or the guy who got the job but I hope it works out.

I also noticed that the Edmonton Eskimos hired Scott Milanovich as their new head coach and that’s pretty neat. There was one season where I did a ton of Argos game, maybe half a dozen on the road in great CFL cities like Regina and Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton and lesser cities like Vancouver and Montreal and Milanovich was the Argos head coach.

He suffered a gridiron neophyle like me very well, answered my inane questions honestly and without laughing at them and he struck me as a first-class kind of guy.

Hope he does well.

There is no doubt the NBA is what it is today because of the three decades of strong, successful, excellent leadership of David Stern, who is without the slightest of doubt the best leader of a North American pro sports league to come down the pike in, oh, a century or so?

Stern was tough and fair and wouldn’t put up with fools and he was demanding and dynamic and would yell a bit when he had to and always seemed to be right.

He’s in a big fight right now after emergency brain surgery yesterday and I know everyone remotely connected with the NBA is sending best wishes his way and hoping for a full and quick recovery.

I certainly am.


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