The TV is all about the Raptors today. Basketball fever has well and truly taken hold of Toronto, and likely Canada. Tonight the Raptor have a chance at the championship.
I am not a huge basketball fan, but I have enjoyed the ride like many other bandwagon jumpers. I haven’t watched many of the games–often tuning in late to see how it ends, but I have enjoyed what I have seen.
It has also been nice to see how basketball fandom is represented in Toronto. It has a wider, more demographically diverse appeal than hockey. It also seems to bring out a louder crowd.
Much of the non game discussion has centred around these things. Of course, it has also created a cry for a second Canadian NBA team. Since we already had one and lost it, I don’t know if and when market conditions will favour us getting another one. Also, when they analyze the TV ratings south of the border, where the lucrative TV contracts come from, we might not fare so well. However, if it helps grow the game north of the border, that is a good thing.
When the team started, I was living in Japan. I came home at Christmas and snagged a T-shirt (which I still have) featuring a cute dinosaur figure. I have to say the evolution of the clawed basketball and the incredible “We the North” slogan has been incredible. I don’t know if there is a better slogan anywhere.
For all the fans who were there at the beginning, this popularity might make them a bit upset, but they should enjoy it and not worry. After all, growing the fan-base was always the intention. Getting a winner on the court was always the intention. Getting more and more people involved was always the intention.