I am a fair-weather sports fan. I admit it. I'm one of those people who cares about the Blue Jays and the Montreal Canadiens, but only when they're already in the playoffs. When Olympic hockey rolls around, I pretty much only watch the medal games. In the background. While I'm painting my nails.
Sports and I have never gotten along well. We're like baking soda and vinegar. Determined to explode and result in tears (mine) and frustration (my teammates). In high school we did some sort of athletic test where we had to count how many times out of twenty we could volley a ball above a certain line on the wall of the gymnasium. My score: 0.
But I have to say that after yesterday's incredible, shocking, and unforgettable Blue Jay's game, I'm starting to understand what everybody loves about sports, and why they all keep following their favourite team whether or not they make it to the playoffs.
I knew yesterday's game was going to be crucial; it would determine if the Jays get eliminated from the post-season, and since it's been over twenty years since any local sports team has done this well, even I was starting to pay attention. I thought I would take my laptop down to the local sports bar and work on my book with the game in the background. This way I would get out of my housebound writer's bubble and still get some work done. I figured I would just look up from my work for the important plays and write through all the boring standing around and irrelevant miscellaneous sports-ing.
I was wrong.
Sports are awesome.
There's something magical about sitting in a room full of strangers and sharing the same emotions as every single one of them. We cheered together, we clapped our hands and shouted at the screen together. We all jumped to our feet in unison during that now famous seventh inning. Sports have the power to connect people. We made friends with the people sitting next to us and when we poured out of the bar we cheered and laughed with all our fellow fans out in the street.
I've always credited the arts with having the ultimate power to unite and connect people. But I think I underestimated the power that a great game has to do the same.
It makes perfect sense that our trending hashtag for these baseball playoffs is #ComeTogether. Whether you're a die-hard sports fan or someone like me, this is a great chance to come together as a city, get behind our team, and befriend some fellow fans who might start off as strangers. After all, there's nothing that unites a group of people like shared heartbreak and joy.