Home Sports Raptors an excuse for Montreal to say “Go T.O.”

Raptors an excuse for Montreal to say “Go T.O.”

by Archives November 4, 2008

The mood feels different, Montreal. I feel it amongst my friends, and also a large percentage of the fine people in this city. There’s a sense of entitlement , enthusiasm – as if this area has been waiting on something for a while, and it seems achievable now.
For those of you who our passionate about your homes sports teams, you know how good it feels when your team becomes a true contender. Yes, it is finally fair to say, the Toronto Raptors, Canada’s team, are contenders this season for the NBA championship. Montrealers are gleaming these days.
OK, that was sarcastic and I guess somewhat facetious, but it’s hard being a Toronto sports fan living in Montreal. I get so much grief about the Leafs. I’m so hated . . . or should I say my teams are so hated? No, it’s definitely me people get angry at when I bring up how proud I am of my city’s sport franchises. I just want to fight back a little from time to time.
I’ll never forget last year, when screen writer and avid Montreal sports fan, Lionel Chetwynd, came to give a speech at the film school I attended and addressed a question pertaining to Toronto as place to look for work. It went something like this.
“Toronto? Toronto is the most stuck up city in Canada! Take the Maple Leafs for example. They haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967, yet the people in that city act as if the franchise is God’s team. They stink. They barely ever even make it past the second round. I hate Toronto.”
Upon hearing this I put up my hand, told him I took offence to that, and kindly inquired about how the Expos were doing.” He glared at me very sternly . . . he despised me. I don’t know what I had said.
Yes, we gloat, and are annoying, and constantly unrealistic, but Toronto is just such a great example of a Canadian city that is home to very profitable sports franchises, which actually stay in the city and get a decent amount of global coverage. That’s exciting, no?
So I’m encouraging all Montrealers to root for the Raptors with me this season. I know I can’t ask for a vote of confidence for the Leafs, but give me this. If you don’t know already, they picked up six-time all star Jermaine O’Neal over the offseason, and pairing him alongside Chris Bosh, with Jose Calderon running the point makes three potential all-stars on a team that is already very deep with the likes of Andrea Bargnani, Jason Kapono, and others off the bench. For those of you who follow, I think we can a agree this team is good. Really good.
As I write this, they have already gotten off to a 3-0 start, and many sports writers have labeled them contenders. Imagine Canada’s team bringing home the the ultimate prize.
Say it with me now Montreal. “Let’s go Toronto . . . let’s go Toronto.”
Besides, you guys don’t even have an NBA team.

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