People are caught up in the euphoria of the Toronto Blue Jays. I don’t begrudge people their interest in sports teams, nor their excitement about their city’s baseball team being in the play-offs. I am guilty, myself, of being obsessed sometimes with hockey.
What I cannot understand is that some people have to be watching every second of every game constantly. Last night, I was just happy to be in a quiet restaurant where T.V. screens weren’t broadcasting the game. There was classical music playing in the background and people at the scattered tables, both young and old, chose not to talk about the game.
I overheard one person somewhere in the city saying that the success of the Blue Jays is uniting not only people in Toronto but people of Canada, even those who have made their hatred of Toronto public. I am all for people celebrating and being excited. Too bad it’s over a sports event. Kind of seems artificial to me.
As I said, I can be a little too obsessed with hockey games. But I only watch them on television when I am at home alone and there are no other pressing matters I have to attend to. When the Toronto Maple Leafs were in the play-offs a few years ago, I remember being at a meeting for writers during one of their final games. At this meeting of astute, Canadian writers, one person stood up to announce the score of the hockey game which he had just viewed on his phone. My thought was: if the game is really that important to you over the views of fellow writers, then maybe you shouldn’t be here.
I know I sound a little bitter. I don’t get angry at people’s celebratory nature. Even though their beautiful baseball team consists of over-paid, sometimes spoiled players. Even though baseball players, like other sports figures, can get pouty and show unsportsmanlike conduct. Those fans who sometimes bitch about teachers, like myself, making too much money.
I just wish people in Toronto got excited by other things Canadian. Will the euphoria be evident if Sarah Polley wins an Oscar? How about if George Elliott Clarke wins the Pulitzer prize? Or if Charles Bierk, the artist, is asked to contribute one of his pieces of art to the U.N. building?
Or would they just shrug and turn to TSN? Where are our priorities?