Not sporty? No prob­lem — Rap­tors games have some­thing for every­one

Cape Breton Post - - WEEKEND -

As I write this, the Su­per Bowl is a day or two away (and will have passed by time of pub­lish­ing) and the Olympics got un­der­way Fri­day. Th­ese two ma­jor sport­ing events and the buzz sur­round­ing them con­tinue to re­mind me that in the Wide World of Sports (re­mem­ber that show?) I will al­ways be sit­ting on the side­lines.

I can get away with not be­ing a sports fan a bit eas­ier be­cause I’m a woman and gen­der stereo­typ­ing (in this one case) is on my side. I think it would be tough to be a man who doesn’t like sports. An anony­mous blog­ger on the in­ter­ web­site says, “I ad­mit it. I don't carry my weight in the com­pany of men. I don't dis­cuss sports.” And he goes on to say, “Con­fined spa­ces such as el­e­va­tors, where ath­let­ics con­ver­sa­tion can't be es­caped, make me panic.” I feel for this guy, swim­ming alone in a sea of wily sports en­thu­si­asts.

De­spite not be­ing a sports fan, I de­cided to take up my sis­ter-in-law’s of­fer of free tick­ets to a Toronto Rap­tor’s game. Lisa and her hus­band have sea­son tick­ets, each has their favourite and least-favourite play­ers, and fol­low the team’s ups and downs re­li­giously. Of course I said yes to the game; I wanted to see them fire T-shirts into the crowd with those T-shirt can­nons. Plus, it would be an op­por­tu­nity to en­joy a beer and catch up with Lisa. Sign me up.

In­ci­den­tally, beer is not an ac­cept­able food/drink ac­cord­ing to my nu­tri­tion­ist. Oopsy.

Time for full dis­clo­sure. I did play some bas­ket­ball in high school. Since I’m not the most ath­letic per­son, I bounced around from sport to sport. I spent a lot of time avoid­ing show­ing up for prac­tice at Macdon­ald High. Be­ing 5’1” and a dis­mal player, no one wrung their hands over my “wasted” tal­ent. I silently slipped out of their ranks and back into an area where I felt most comfortable — be­ing a book nerd who played a lit­tle bad­minton on the side.

Any­way, soon as I en­tered the Air Canada Cen­tre, I knew I would en­joy my­self. The crowd buzzed with ex­cite­ment, or they were drink­ing too many MGDs. Ei­ther way, it upped the fun fac­tor.

The night I at­tended, the Rap­tors played the In­di­ana Pac­ers. About a minute into the game, Hedo Turkoglu re­ceived an el­bow to the eye and was quickly ush­ered off the court. Lisa hissed and booed about this, as she’s not a fan of Turkoglo, who had been in­volved in an in­ci­dent a month prior at a Toronto club: http://www.thes­ cle/751089--turk­ish-delete-rap­tor-in­cell­phone-spat. I hadn’t counted on such good gos­sip and drama so early in the game! It also seemed like ev­ery 10 min­utes they stopped the game for some sort of per­for­mance. I par­tic­u­larly en­joyed the group of lit­tle kids who sim­ply nailed their hiphop dance rou­tine — so sweet! And then there was the Rap­tors mas­cot, who kept chomp­ing down on the se­cu­rity guards’ heads while they barely flinched. I got a real kick out of that. In the end the Rap­tors won the game, and I felt like a bit more a sports fan.

Es­pe­cially when those sports in­volve beer, T-shirt can­nons and break-danc­ing chil­dren. Now THAT’S en­ter­tain­ment!

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