Who the north?
I have never really cared about the Toronto Raptors. I certainly don’t consider them my team.
As someone who lives on the other side of the (very large) country, I feel like I have very little in common with Toronto. We share some common things I guess, like a currency, and uhhh, I guess we have the same Prime Minister. Most good Canadians probably also have a disdain for Doug Ford.
I have also never bought a bag of milk, or seen one in a store, so shut up about it already America.
The Raptors may be the only NBA team in Canada, but for someone 3000 kilometres away why should that be enough to make them the team I cheer for?
I get a similar sort of frustration when the Canadian media expects me to cheer for Vancouver, or Montreal in the NHL playoffs just because they are the last Canadian team left. No, ew, why would I do that? I didn’t like them last week, why would I pretend to like them now? Just because we all pay taxes to the queen?
The queen is a whole other thing, and I won’t get into that today.
If the criteria for choosing a team to follow is geographic, there are closer teams to Calgary. Portland might be the closest NBA city to me, and they’re pretty good. The Nuggets, The Jazz, both closer.
Geography is also a strange thing to factor in when you don’t live in the same city as a team, no matter who you cheer for, it has little impact economically for your city. If I buy a Celtics or a Nets jersey, that money is just going into some vast hole to some random billionaire. Not even a local billionaire.
Should I pick a team based on it having the best player or players? Well, the Raptors did finish first in the East last season and did acquire Kawhi Leonard this summer, who if you don’t follow the sport is easily a top five player in the league when healthy, some might even make the argument that he’s top three. Kawhi has one year left on his contract though, and many expect him to leave for California next summer. What then?
And there are better teams, Golden State has won three of the last four championships. They have 4 or 5 hall of fame calibre players starting for them next year, depending on what happens with Boogie Cousins. Oh yeah, they also have a guy called Boogie on their team. BOOGIE.
The GOAT LeBron James plays in LA, so why not cheer for the Lakers instead? Is LA closer to me than Toronto?
”We the north” is a misleading slogan, I think Minnesota is further north than Toronto, Portland too. They might be the actual north.
Maybe it’s the want of a national identity, something to connect us to people that I don’t think I have anything in common with, maybe it’s the same thing that drives people to go to Tim Hortons in the morning to have some mediocre coffee and I guess kinda decent donuts.
Maybe I’m not sentimental enough to be a Raptors fan.