Not sporty? No problem — Raptors games have something for everyone
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 interestingideas.com 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.thestar.com/news/gta/arti 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!