I’ve never actually lived in Toronto. Closest I’ve lived would be Barrie, which for those of you who haven’t been up that way is about an hour north. Beyond that, I’ve spent the last 5 or 6 years either in or around Ottawa and the valley. But still, I can’t help but keep on following Toronto’s sports teams. Well, some of them, anyway. And every year, I notice a lot of the same trends–even among sports teams in Toronto I don’t actually follow.
The Leafs, God help them, haven’t won a Stanley cup since around the same time my mother was born. They haven’t seen a playoff round since 2003-2004. The Bluejays haven’t won a world series, or been to the playoffs, since I was 10. The Raptors have made the playoffs a grand total of… twice? Maybe three times? And they haven’t really done a whole lot with that. And the Argos–well, let’s just not talk about the Argos. Now, granted I only follow two of the four teams listed, but let’s have a look at all four of them anyway. They post losing seasons. In some cases, downright depressing seasons. I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy when the Bluejays ended their 2009 season on a very pathetic whimper. And they still fill the seats. If this were Ottawa, or New York, or–yes, even the money-bleeding Phoenix Coyotes, the majority of the arena would be empty. So what makes Toronto fans so different?
I can only speculate at this point, but speculate I will. To put it rather plainly, we love to lose. We don’t go there expecting a W. We buy that baseball ticket, or rush home to watch that hockey game on TV, because the Bluejays play a 3-game set with the Yankees. Or because the Leafs and Canadians are on Hockey Night in Canada. And we enjoy every damn minute of it. We even love to boo the bad guys.
So yes, sure, bring on the Hockey Night in Canada. Bring on the toronto versus Ottawa. Bring on the Bluejays versus Yankees. Because at the end of the day, the score’s probably going to wind up coming up as something like 7 6 after a shootout. And let me tell you, if we have to lose, losing can’t get much more exciting than a game like that. We love to lose. You’re damn right.