The fans have earned respect

on April 2016 | in Sports | by Dario Passarelli | @PapaDart | with No Comments

I have chirped about sports fans from Toronto many times because they feel they are ‘disrespected’ by everyone including our big brothers to the south. For the most part I hold to that sentiment except in situations like this past weekend in Indiana, where I can’t help but sympathize.


Apparently before a first round playoff game, Indiana security personnel did not allow Toronto fans to bring any noticeable signs into the arena. Someone is joking right? I am sure some Raptor fan probably had a sign that had (as Spock would say) a “colourful metaphor” on it. So they had to ban it and now typical Torontonians feel they are being disrespected yet again. Seriously, how silly is that?

Wait! What??

There was nothing gratuitous about that sign, in fact it was just a simple ‘We the North’ sign. This can’t possibly be a Toronto thing right, there has to be a very reasonable, very sound explanation for all this. After all we are in the 21st century. The arena staff was questioned and the explanation they provided was that the signs obstruct other people’s view and therefore cannot be brought into the arena.

Well… that sounds reasonable. We are Canadian and the last thing we want to do is intentionally obstruct someone from seeing a basketball game. You know, it does make sense. Some of those banners for both the Raptors and the Pacers can get pretty big.

Now hold on a minute! There was no yellow paraphernalia on that table was there? Could they only be confiscating Toronto Raptor banners and signs? There really is a conspiracy here! I wish I was making this stuff up but even I am not that creative! In the most simplistic of terms, here is what our brethren to the south are saying. Polite, gentle, always apologetic Canadians (the general term for all Raptor fans) are being restrained because they are now too brash and too loud when they cheer in other people’s cities. When did this change? How did this change? Well it started just a couple of years ago at what the suits at MLSE call Maple Leaf Square, and what the people from the streets of Toronto call, Jurassic Park.

It appears therefore that the world fears the Raptor fans bark. To quiet them down, they decide to remove Toronto banners so that the Indiana Pacer fan base does not get embarrassed. That seems a little like an act of cowardice does it not?

I think it does, but honestly who can blame them. Raptor fans have earned a reputation. They don’t just go to other team’s arenas, they take them over. There was the Clippers game last year. There was Detroit. There was Cleveland. With this past Thursday, there is now Indiana.

Whether you consider them passionate or rabid really depends on your home address. All I can say is that as a Torontonian, it makes me so proud to see support like this. I know I chirped you in the past (and with reason I believe) but I have to stand up and applaud each and every one of you now. Those that have visited other arenas and held up signs, waved Canadian flags, painted your face or chanted ‘Let’s go Raptors!’ at the top of your lungs.

You truly can be the Greatest Fans in the World!

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