2009 has been a heart-wrenching, gut-punching rollercoaster ride for Toronto sports fans and we are only six weeks into the year.
Our Leafs are losing. Our Raptors are losing. Our Rock are losing. Our Blue Jays' management have said "not this year." And our greatest Argo, Pinball Clemons, is about to have his role as CEO change.
Both the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star reminded us of this a couple of weeks back with articles about our losing Toronto teams. As if we didn't know that already. The Globe fueled our aching hearts while the Star gave us a bit of hope.
Both stories received lots of online reader comments of course. The ones that stood out were the ones blaming Toronto fans for the slump. Saying it's our fault 'cause we shell out the bucks and still support our "failing" teams. "Other" cities would never let that happen.
Well to those comments and to those other cities I say bite me!
I love and am loyal to my Toronto teams, win or lose. I love watching them play from a stadium seat, from a barstool or from my couch. I love being the part of a crowd of die hard and regular fans. I love listening to my friends passionately discuss their sports heroes and villains.
I have at least one article of clothing for each Toronto team, and I will happily continue to wear my appropriate team colours at any event. I proudly display my Calderon bobblehead, my Rock championship banner and my TFC poster. I look forward to seeing Justin Pogge play with the Big Boys and receiving my Alex Rios bobblehead.
Toronto sports bosses and coaches have given us no false hopes or dead end promises. They constantly remind us that they are rebuilding. As hard as it is to hear, take comfort. The rebuilding will bring championships to our fair city in the near future. You just gotta believe.
This sports fan asks you to enjoy the drama of it all. Embrace the heartache, it makes the wins that much more joyous.
Most importantly (here's my field of dreams moment) always remember the sound of the blades on fresh ice, the crack of a bat, the sound of the backboard after a dunk, and the soccer battle calls. But, most importantly, remember the sound and feel of a stadium in unison singing the Canadian national anthem. After the age of 18, sporting events are pretty much the only time to get to sing this diddy.