The Plus Minus: A Hockey guy watches the Raptors from afar.

I’m not a person who sits on the fence. Nor am I person who can just change beliefs, patterns, biases or let an elephant in the room remain silent. Is it a flaw? Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t.

In my personal life (happily married), I am well adjusted and patient as best as a I can be. No complaints there, I hope. In sports however, I’m a monster. As I’ve stated numerous times in speech and in ink; “Sports is the only column in life where tribal thought is and should be tolerated”. Okay, where am I going with this?


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The Raptors are potentially repeating a feeling that the Blue Jays gave us in the early nineties. A win. Not only a win, but a win in a sport outside of our comfort and dominant zone i.e. Hockey. A win against our neighbours to the south in one of “their” sports. An opportunity most Canadians salivate at, and I have enjoyed almost zero of it.

I’m not a party pooper, I’m happy for the friends of mine who are genuine Raptor fans. I am just not interested in basketball. I used to play it at recess and even on a school team but it was always just a way to be active while I couldn’t play hockey. I have trouble making it through a basketball game as a viewer. The smug attitudes of many a player and that horrific side show on the sidelines is a major deterrent for me. However, I’m missing out and I know it. I’m trying.

I ask myself why? And I found out. First, I go back to “smug attitude” in the previous paragraph. There are many hockey players with crappy attitudes too (not nearly as much but some) however they have to pay for that physically. Hockey has somewhat of a Marshall law in the game which I love. Basketball has zero physical factor making it frustrating to see a guy puff his chest and act tough when he’s never had his face smashed in – but that’s a shallow reason to ignore such a big moment for Toronto. I guess I’m shallow.

Secondly, I have seen some posts in various forms articles, etc. stating such things as “Canada’s new number one sport” or along this line. And it enrages me. This is why people across Canada absolutely hate Toronto. We have ONE basketball team in our country, ONE. To suggest that a month or two of potential glory somehow nullifies a century and a half of hockey is as ignorant, insulting and stupid as it gets. People point out Canada’s Stanley Cup drought. I point out the numerous champions at all levels team Canada has given us. I was in Vancouver for Crosby’s golden goal and no basket will ever compete with that. Our game on our soil played by our players. Look at the Raptors roster, any Canadians on there? No. Take a look at the Stanley Cup finals Boston has a pile of Canadians and St. Louis might as well be team Canada, just like every year in the NHL. Canadians have taken that for granted.

With that said, I hope the Raptors do win. After looking at myself deeply for not being into this, I realized that I’m as guilty as those saying such ignorant things as stated above. There is no rift or need for any between fans of long starved franchises in completely different sports. I’m going to try and watch, I will. I just need some sort of Drake mute button.