Before 'The Bloody Big Deal' and prior to what may still prove to be its 2.0 version with the signings of Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco, a group of what very well may be the most devoted of supporter groups in the history of Major League Soccer were preparing to follow their beloved Toronto FC into the unknown. A small but devoted group of just under 100 members (which to be honest feels more like 2000 during matches), the Inebriatti were formed amid what seems to be a sort of divide between the previously prominent TFC groups such as the Red Patch Boys, U-Sector and others.
While RPB (Red Patch Boys), the biggest Toronto FC group are considered (to quote a recent article in the Toronto Star) a family-friendly bunch, The Inebriatti don't think of themselves as 'entertainment for the masses'. They don't wake up on game-day mornings with the thought of turning BMO Field into a spectacle for soccer moms, but rather create an atmosphere in which the visitors could feel a real discomfort of being away from home and provide The Reds with the opposite, a home venue in which they feel supported every step of the way.
FootyFair spent a night with the loud group at An Sibín Pub, an Irish establishment in the eastern part of the city to watch the club's away season opener against the Vancouver Whitecaps. "An Sibín" which in Irish means something to the tune of "an illegal, illicit drinking establishment and/or shady bar" is not Inebriatti's home because of the appealing meaning of its name, but rather because one of the establishment's owners Scott is himself a member of the group. The night itself, as we mentioned on our twitter machine the following morning, was "explosive".
No Pyro, No Party
The group has adopted the motto "No Pyro, No Party", a concept that speaks for itself. Similar to most well-established groups in places such as Greece, Poland, Russia and Italy among others, The Inebriatti don't usually show up without a pyrotechnic display in mind; finding every opportunity to turn their party into what may seem as the deepest parts of hell for the observer not familiar with the culture.
That night at An Sibín was very telling of the group. Even after Toronto went 1-0 down early in the match, the chanting in the (what FootyFair's Iain Jones described as) 'Packed to the rafters for TFC' venue went silent if only for a few seconds before the songs could again be heard outside of the pub.
No Shirt, No Service?
When The Reds tied the match and eventually took the lead the night turned into what is usually only seen inside the stadium, and even then, rarely in North America. With arms around each others' shoulders the group jumped side to side, all to the rhythm of the chants, and when TFC put the nail in Vancouver's coffin with their third goal with little time left on the clock, members of the group spent little time throwing the shirts off their backs to the tables, basking in the glory of an away victory for their beloved club.
What's different about this group compared to the many others in Toronto and across the league in general, is that these guys don't give a second thought to where they can and where they cannot support their club. You don't see members looking around to see if anyone's staring at them, wondering whether it's OK to sing. The Inebriatti don't care about perception, they care about their city and Toronto FC. For members of this group participation isn't suggested it's expected, and if losing your voice on a weekly basis (whether the team plays at home or away) is not your cup of tea, you would most likely not associate yourself with this passionate bunch.
But if you think the night ended there, you'd be very wrong. "No Pyro, No Party" is not a slogan, it's a way of life for members of The Inebriatti. This group is not a fan-club, they are a fanatical edge of support in the city of Toronto, one that the entire league will likely be very familiar with over time. Spilling onto the streets there was just one more way in which the enjoyment of a win could conclude; a fire show. With their flares in their hands and the 'Inebriatti' banner in front of them, the ultras of Toronto made sure that if you previously didn't know what was going on, you would at least want to find out. Marking their club's victory in the only fashion they know how!
For the latest on what the members are up to, you can follow the group on Twitter @
and if you're passionate about Toronto FC you can always join them on away match-days at An Sibín Pub