I know that absolutely none of you will believe me when I say that this weird, gloomy, dark-cloud feeling I’m currently experiencing has zero to do with Boyd’s impending departure, but it doesn’t. That’s an event I’ve been preparing for since July. Whatever this is, I’m not entirely sure what’s triggered it so, at the suggestion of some writerly fool on the Twitters who is currently posting some truly awful musical youtube videos in attempt to cheer me, I’m going to take a shot at writing through it.
I was at the presser. I listened closely to what Coach Porter had to say, but I was sold on him long before he’d settled here. All the things I’ve been reading about him were confirmed by every word he said: he is straightforward, he is smart, he knows what he wants from his team and, of this I have no doubt whatsoever, he knows how to get it. He is driven, he is hungry.
This is a man who knows how to win. This is a man who will teach us how to win.
And if I hadn’t been sold on the idea of Coach Porter before that press conference, I absolutely was when he launched into the Boyd speech. Shocking, I know, but he was truthful and, again, straightforward. He didn’t pull punches, he laid it out very clearly and not just for Boyd, but for Darlington Nagbe as well: if you want to play here, you’re going to have to work for it.
I haven’t listened to the Canzano piece yet, or the Extratime Radio piece. I’ll get to those tomorrow. But, if folks on Twitter and the blogosphere are to believed, his words there were much of the same. Work hard, win more.
And yet, storm clouds.
I’ve had a couple people ask my opinion of Porter and I’ve related the above to each, but some are not as willing to accept him at face value as I am. I know what I saw, but I’m willing to let others form their own opinions.
What was the Boyd speech about, exactly? Personally, I don’t think it was entirely about Boyd. Yes, the big man needs to get his butt in gear if he wants it to leave the bench, but he knows that. While a fair number of our guys have been spending time lounging, playing Xbox or whatever it is they do, he’s been at Murray Park training with Kenny Miller and Rangers.
And some of you have pointed to Porter’s words about Boyd and said,”Motivation.” For what? Boyd knows he’ll need to be in top form if he has any hope of impressing Porter. He’s said it. This isn’t about motivation. This isn’t putting Boyd on notice.
This is putting everyone on notice. Everyone. From Boyd to Nagbe, from the veterans to the new guys who aren’t even in the Rose City yet.
This is putting Gavin on notice. And this might be the source of at least a few of these storm clouds I see gathering. But take it all with a grain of salt. I’ve most certainly been wrong before and I anticipate that I will be wrong again sometime in the future.
I know others have a different assessment of what happened there, but from where I was sitting, Gavin was not prepared for Porter to talk about Boyd. I wonder what his thoughts are about Porter continuing to talk about Boyd.
I’ve even had more than one person suggest to me that this is all part of some master plan, that Gavin’s still pulling the strings. I don’t buy it. But I wonder how long Gavin will be content to take second chair.
If I had to form my own conspiracy theory about the whole thing, I’d go back to Gavin’s statements following Seattle away, that the importance of the Cascadia Cup had been “lost in translation.” At the time, I thought he was placing blame on the players and not on the decision to play that combination of losiness. Yes, lose-i-ness.
And if I was in a very dark place, darker even than the one I currently inhabit under these storm clouds, I might think that, in light of the revelation that he and Caleb have been working in tandem on any and all decisions made since August, the ginger wasn’t diverting blame from himself to the players but was, instead, taking his first swing at Porter.
But, honestly, I’m not that crazy.
So, 750 words and a conspiracy theory later, I’m still unsure of the real source of my gloomy, stormy, raised-eyebrow, wondering-of-there’s-a-bomb-shelter-in-my-backyard feeling.
Crazy girl is crazy.
I’m told that it’s unhealthy to look back in longing to better times. Or times I thought were better. Whatever. I miss the anticipation I’ve felt the last couple years. I miss the hopefulness, though I see it in so many people around me. I’m just…I’m not there and I can’t quite figure out why.