Remember when Alvin WIlliams hit the biggest shot in Raptors history during the first and only playoff series victory against the New York Knicks?
I barely do. I sure as hell remember the Vince Carter miss in Game 7 against the 76ers, Jose Calderon's errant pass that failed to reach Chris Bosh during Game 6 of the 2007 playoffs against the New Jersey Nets, and Paul Pierce rejecting the heck out of Kyle Lowry during Game 7 of the 2014 NBA playoffs.
Remember the last time the Blue Jays were in the playoffs, and Joe Carter hit arguably the biggest homerun in MLB history at the then-Sky Dome?
I wouldn't, if it wasn't for a team and an ownership group that (probably rightly) doesn't want us to forget about that moment any time soon. I had just turned two, so baseball wasn't exactly a priority in my life then - I was too busy talking to the hunnies in the sand box (yeah, right).
Remember when the Leafs won... anything?
With all due respect to the Toronto Rock and Toronto Argonauts, this city has been starving for a winner. You want to know the reason why a bunch of teenagers and young adults not unlike myself packed Jurassic Park to the brim the Raptors' last two playoff runs, runs that only lasted ONE playoff series each? Because my generation of Torontonians has yet to experience a modicum of success cheering for our favourite sports teams.
The worst part is us fans keep supporting these teams and lining the pockets of their owners. When was the last time the Maple Leafs didn't sell out the ACC for a regular season game? When was the last time the Raptors were in the bottom half of NBA league attendance? THEY WERE TOP TEN WHEN THEY WERE BARELY WINNING 25 GAMES/YEAR!
Even the Jays, for all of their attendance woes, still average 500 000 viewers per game on television.
The fans have done their parts. The real reason for the ineptitude is ownership's shortsightedness and inability to recognize the evolution of the sports these teams play.
How were John Ferguson Jr, Rob Babcock, and JP Richardi allowed to operate their clubs for so many years?
How did the Maple Leags put up with Brian Burke's ridiculous insistence on truculence (which got the Maple Leafs a defenceman whose game is decent but whose paycheque really hampers their cap situation for the next several years)?
How does Rogers allow the Blue Jays to spend money and prospects hijacking the Marlins and Mets, and handcuff them for the remainder of Alex Anthopoulos' tenure as GM (which, make no mistake, will be over should the Jays miss the playoffs for the 22nd consecutive season)?
How do the Raptors, one of the richest franchises in the NBA, NOT have a D-League affiliate?
It is difficult to comprehend one city's ineptitude when cities like Chicago, with the Blackhawks, the Bulls, the Whitesox of 2005, have banners upon banners in their arenas. Or, when cities like San Fransisco keep churning out champions in baseball, and may have another one in the NBA with Steph Curry and the Golden State warriors. Or, when our city is consistently pitted against the envy of all sports cities, Boston, whose NFL team is annoyingly spectacular, whose Redsox keep crushing and retooling, whose Boston Celtics initiated the Big Three era and have a championship for their troubles, and whose Bruins are the bane of a Maple Leaf fan's existence.
Being a Toronto fan is hard. At least, with Brendan Shanahan and his troupes, with Masai Ujiri and his henchmen, and with (hopefully) Alex Antholopoulos and his lietenants, our Toronto sports teams are in decent hands.
And if they aren't, at least we have the Rock and the Argos.