Toronto Sports

Greatest. Weekend. Ever.

on May 2016 | in Sports | by Dario Passarelli | @PapaDart | with 2 Comments

For sports fans in the GTA, this could very well have been the greatest weekend in the history of this city. For a city that is all too familiar with how it feels to lose at everything; it finally felt good to win at everything. I can’t recall there ever being a weekend like this. Four different sports teams in this city will wake up from this weekend with a smile on their face. Some were happy with what happened, others were ecstatic and one franchise just breathed a very big sigh of relief. So let’s take a look at what made the Raptors, the Leafs, the Jays and the FC’s weekend, so great.

The Curse has been lifted

The Raptors beat the Pacers 89-84 Sunday night in Game 7 of their first round matchup. The Raptors had a double digit lead in the 4th and as per usual, had to make fans suffer a heart attack as they let the Pacers get within 3. But the curse did lift after DeMar DeRozan calmly hit 2 free-throws with 6.5 seconds left to ice the game. So after back-to-back playoff disappointments and quite possibly this being the third, it felt so good to see the Raptor fans enjoy this moment.

They have been loyal followers these last couple of years and have earned the right to taste victory for the first time. Speaking of firsts, it was the first time since 2001 that the Raps will advance to the second round. First time ever (1/6) that Toronto has won a seven-game series. Finally, it was the first time ever (1/3) that the Raptors have won a game 7. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with all those firsts, but what’s more important now is second. That is, this is their second chance to win a second-round series versus the Miami Heat.

The Curse has also been lifted

If you follow the NHL and in particular the Toronto Maple Leafs for a certain amount of time, you realize that an area of the franchise is sorely lacking. If you said goaltending, you would be right. If you said talent and skill, you would be right too. In fact if you said a number of ‘important’ things I am sure they will also be true. But the one that I want to focus on is luck.

After finishing last during the regular season one assumes they will have the #1 draft pick or at worse #2, as the lottery winner could knock them down a position. So you can see the typical luck that Maple Leaf’s fans have when they find out that the lottery format has changed. The year the Leafs finish last, they change the rules and now Toronto can fall as far back as 4th. So again it is with utter surprise that we witnessed the Leafs have good luck for the first time in a while winning the lottery to have First Pick overall at the 2016 NHL Draft. Even though the Toronto Maple Leafs had the best chance at winning, it was still only a 20% chance. But win it they did and with it comes the highly touted American, Auston Matthews. He can develop quickly into being that first-line centre this team has needed since Mats Sundin. He can be a franchise player and change the Leaf’s fortune for the next decade.

Technically this curse was already lifted

The Toronto Blue Jays won a series at Tropicana Field against the Tampa Bay Rays. Not the biggest reason to call this weekend a great success but considering how hard it is for them to win there, any win should be celebrated. It didn’t hurt either that Marcus Stroman had a personal best 9 strikeouts in 8 innings of work to earn his 4th victory of the season. Maybe that was a birthday present to himself as he celebrated his 25th birthday this weekend too. Troy Tulowitzki broke out of an 0-16 slump by hitting a 3 run home run in the top of the ninth to seal it.

To top it off, after the game was over Jose Bautista and Stroman did their impersonation of the Flash as they made it back to Toronto and the ACC to watch the second half of the Toronto Raptor game.

Truthfully, this has nothing to do with any curse

Finally, TorontoFC were on the road in Portland and lost to last year’s MLS Cup winners. It took Diego Valeri’s free kick masterpiece in the 74th minute to seal TFC’s fate. The Reds had plenty of opportunities to tie the game except one hit the cross bar and goalkeeper Jake Gleeson made a number of fantastic saves to preserve the win. TFC lost 2-1, how could that be positive?

Well you see, this ends TorontoFC’s eight-game on the road while BMO field continues to under go renovations. As mentioned in previous articles, the Reds were hoping to get eight points on this road trip. With their 3-3-2 record, the lads earned themselves 11 points, surpassing their expectations and currently sit 3rd in the East. They should have a massive crowd response at their first home game of the season this coming weekend.

So take a moment, you fans from the 6ix, and enjoy this. High five the person next to you, come up with your own celebratory handshake, even fist pump your dog if you have too. These weekends don’t come by very often, if at all, so celebrate it, cherish it. Enjoy the ride!

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2 Responses to Greatest. Weekend. Ever.

  1. Alex says:

    I thought TFC played one of their better games this season. They just ran into a hot goal keeper. It could of easily ended 6-2 for TFC.

  2. Dario says:

    I have to agree. They more than held their own against last year’s Champions and deserved a much better fate. Great to see them getting better and better, On a separate note, although the referee did not cost TFC the game, I felt he made so many bad calls against both teams. This isn’t the first time either. MLS really needs to address it as it takes away from the beauty of the game.

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