As we approach the Raptors game 5 in Toronto, at the disrespectful time of 6pm, many in the US of A fail to see the angst building in the blood of Toronto Sports fans.
We all remember game 5 of the 2015 ALDS in Toronto (which also started at a disrespectful time of 4pm on a Thursday) with the Blue Jays vs the Rangers. I was there, in the 500 level where the beer cans came from. Let me tell you WHY it went down, which is something the clueless American broadcasters have no inclination about. After we saw a run score on a bizarre play, that not even the umps or broadcasters had any idea of the ruling, the fans got rowdy. Then after we saw the replay on the jumbotron, we couldn’t imagine it being called a run. As the replay review got longer and longer, the mood in the stands was boiling to a point of bursting.
Some lines I vividly remember hearing in my section, did not necessarily reflect the game, but Toronto sports fans in general.
Of course there was “We better not lose the series of this f—–g play”
But there was also many saying, “Toronto Teams always gets screwed!”….”The refs always f— the Raptors and now the Jays”…”American leagues hate Canadian teams”… and one that particularly stuck, “players always f— us, now the leagues” (referring to players who don’t want to play here because it’s Canada or are too stupid to overlook stereotypes.)
It was more about how WE as Toronto sports fans vs Everybody, feel as a collective. As it’s us vs the World. That is why when they called the Rangers player safe, everyone lost it. Funny how on TV they only showed a few beer cans on the field. It was WAAAY worse than that. As soon as the umpire signaled “safe” there was a barrage of cans from every angle, raining down on the field. Picture the final seen in 300 when Gerrard Butler gets annihilated by a Skyfall of arrows, that’s how it looked to me. And it was EVERYONE, not one, not a few, but everyone at once; showing that everyone felt the same – angry at the leagues, the powers, the executives that run the leagues and it was our time to show how we really felt about them. That field represented all those people and the beer cans represented us s——g on them.
Now going back to today’s game. Again, we have been disrespected twice in this series with sh—y game times, now this time it’s on a weekday, which forces people to take time off work to attend the game, but also many fans won’t be home until the 2nd half to watch. The NBA, along with MLB who scheduled four Blue Jays playoff games during regular work hours, are basically saying, we don’t give a s–t about your fanbase. Whatever their reasoning’s may be-ratings, viewership or whatever it is, it’s saying ‘Toronto fans aren’t important as our numbers.’
So when an umpire makes a call (albeit right) but totally unknown to most fans, or when the ref will call DeMarre Carroll for ticky-tack fouls on Paul George, you’ll know what Toronto fans feel. It’s not about that call, it’s about the sport atmosphere in Toronto, it’s us vs the world, Canada vs the States. This is why we get rowdy, this is why we get loud, this is why we get vulgar, this is why we throw beer cans and this is why #WeTheNorth.