BMO Field during MLS Cup Final.

The Final Through Fans' Eyes

So a guy and his girlfriend, a guy and his son and a guy and his family go to the MLS final on a relatively balmy November night.

They sit in section 224 and they take in a great game, won 2-1 by the Colorado Rapids.

Take 11 players per side, that’s 22 stories.  Plop yourself down in section 224, row 2, seat 17 and you are surrounded by thousands of them.

Marvell Wynne and Conor Casey’s galling existence as worthy Toronto FC players who got away stand out as compelling stories.

But just as worthy are the tales of the people financing the endeavour.

Like Avraan Savvides, who is enjoying the game with his girlfriend Josie Cicciarella. She works in a dental office. Somewhere there is a woman who works in dentistry who doesn’t have a dazzling smile, but Josie stays true to form.

They’ve been going together for about six months and love means going places you wouldn’t ordinarily go. Avraan is a Toronto FC season seat holder. He is also down to one arm. His other is in a sling under a heavy jacket. He hurt it a decade ago playing soccer in Greece.

It is a sign of a man’s resignation to age that his old sports injuries are belatedly the subject of conversation between the graying athlete and his surgeon.

“She knows nothing about soccer,” he says. “Not even the size of the ball.”

All this rolls off Josie who one day may tire of the heckling but not anytime soon. “We’re pulling for opposite teams,” Savvides says.

“The making up is better.”

Right in front of them sit John Camara and his son, Jonathan.

Young John is 12. Soccer is his game. The only hockey he plays is on the street.

Father and son speak in clipped shorthand. Their gaze never leaves the field.

“He stepped on the line.”

“That should be a yellow card.”

“Think so?”

John sells cleaning supplies and with family and work and John’s schools and soccer at Bryst Academy. Sports is a conduit between father and son.

“On the drive home from games, that’s when we talk about things,” he says.  “If we win it’s about what we did right. If we lose, it’s what we could do better.”

“What are you really talking about?” he is asked.

“Life experiences,” he says.

Up on the rail, Dan Rife of Aurora is sitting with his wife and two kids.

Sports is what Dan does.  His dad Bob was an outdoor writer at the Globe for 35 years.

Dan has been a Toronto FC season ticket holder since Day 1. He bought his seats with the intention of sharing the games with his father, just the way John and John are doing a few seats to west.

But 11 years ago a stroke took away the use of one half of Bob’s body. As much as his son would love to have him beside him, it’s the one ticket he cannot buy.

“I know that he’s watching on television right now,” said Dan. “He’s never been to a game. It would just be too much for him with the intensity and all the cheering and noise.”

“He’s in my heart, though.”

And so as the game swirls on, the stories unfold in the stands.

In a world in which community is now defined as something you find on the internet, there are countless Town Halls for those brought together by this exceptional game. One of them was convened Sunday night. Amidst the spectacle, the only interplay that really matters, the one between men and women, fathers and sons and every other perambulation, played out under the lights.