Vancouver Zeitgeist
Reflections on Vancouver, British Columbia and other topics, related or not


Happy America Day, Toronto!

Your basketball team bonds you closer
to the country you love

July 1, 2019

Toronto worships American sports heroes

Raptors exuberance presaged Toronto’s happiest-ever First of July.

Maybe it’s a moot question since a Maple Leafs Stanley Cup victory seems unlikely anytime before Armageddon. But would hockey’s greatest honour for this once hockey-mad city have inspired such massive public rejoicing as the Raptors celebration? After all, hockey’s just a Canadian sport. Basketball, probably even more than baseball which isn’t limited to a certain type of predominantly American freak physique, has to be the quintessential U.S. sport. That explains the fervour of this always America-mad city for its almost entirely American team winning an American competition in an American sport.

And as for baseball, Toronto went gaga over the Blue Jays in the mid-80s, when the team finally gained credibility in its American league. The inane giddiness of Toronto fans showed no interest in the finer points of the game but delirious exultation in the American affiliation.

Possibly unsure which country was involved, the world watched hundreds of thousands of Raptors fans squeezing into downtown to spend several hours worshiping their American heroes. Several shootings and stabbings enhanced the American ambience, especially since most or all the violence involved black violence, strongly associated with, but thanks to the Caribbean diaspora no longer distinct to, the good old U.S. of A. Emceeing the event was a moron with an American ghetto accent, although he might well have been a “Canadian” moron with an American ghetto accent.

More than anything else, this was a celebration of Americanism, to some an inexpressibly wonderful feeling of being part of The Most Awesomest Country in the World. But a contributing factor probably helped build those huge crowds, estimated by one apparent expert in such matters as up to 600,000.

Although only “Canada’s” largest city could produce such numbers, proportionate outbreaks of otherwise inexplicable enthusiasm have happened elsewhere. When Tim Hortons opened its first Yellowknife location the company set a record for the most cups of coffee sold in one day.

There just isn’t much to do in some places.

Related: Canadians once again embrace
the Americans’ preoccupation with their president
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