Thursday, January 22, 2009

It sure is a great time to be a Toronto-area sports fan. The Leafs suck, the Raptors suck, and the Jays are very likely to suck. The rest of the country could care less, of course, because for most Canadians, Toronto is apparently the enemy, or at least a symbol of all the things that are wrong with the world. Toronto commands so much media attention in Canada that it's hardly surprising that most people outside Ontario uses the city's name as a curse word.

To their credit, some media outlets like The Score try hard to focus on other Canadian cities, which is easy when the Flames and Canadiens and Oilers and Canucks don't suck. (Sorry, Ottawa) But, really, Toronto gets a bad rap, and part of it has to do with the fans. You see, Toronto fans have a reputation for being sullen, uninterested, and devoted bandwagon-hoppers. If a team is winning, hey, it's a party, everybody! If a team is sucking, hey, what else is on TV? It's puzzling to me how this has happened. I hear stories from older fans about how great and excited fans used to be, even for the CFL. I suspect it has something to do with the cost of going to a sporting event these days, which is probably a little more expensive than attending a game in Calgary or Edmonton. The real fans, the ones who live and die for their team, also tend to come from less-affluent backgrounds. Rooting for a sports team is one way to dodge the depressive nature of their financial situation, but they're also prevented from attending games in person, which is really the only way to truly enjoy sports. I love the HD TV, but it's not as good as actually being there.

I've been a Leafs fan for twenty years, but I've only actually attended one game (at the old Gardens, too, which was cool). I've followed the Raptors since they came into existence, and I've only attended one game (in the nosebleeds with a partially blocked view). I've been to a lot of Jays games because baseball is my favorite sport, but I've never had 200 level seats, or decent seats behind the dugouts or home plate. I simply can't afford what it would cost to see a Leafs game, or a Raptors game, or a Jays game where I'm close to the action. I see a lot of empty seats at these games, though, prime seats that true fans would kill to occupy. I know the Leafs could care less - they make money without even trying. But maybe the Raptors and Jays might someday consider making it a little easier for the true fans to afford a great pair of seats, if only once a season. Hey, guys, we're in a recession. Help us out, would ya?


Post a Comment

<< Home