An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
HOW ABOUT THOSE RAPTORS?
Monday’s Raptors parade in Toronto, and the wall-to-wall, over-the-top media coverage and national swooning was enough to rival Canada Day celebrations.
In fact, you’d think this country has finally reclaimed its national game, the game we invented, after all, after all these years. You couldn’t find a TV channel yesterday morning that wasn’t playing live coverage of the welcome-home parade for the Toronto basketballers, and news hours have been competing to outdo each other in their adoration.
One fan seemed to sum it up best: “It’s a new Canada!”
Well, sorry, it’s terrific that a bunch of multi-million-dollar American athletes who play for a Canadian-based team won a sports trophy, but is it really worth all this rapturous glorification of a professional team that has mastered the art of dropping a large ball through a basket?
I admit I watched the last game, as is the case with most playoffs. I’ve always said basketball should be a 60-second game because the only part you need to watch is the last minute to see who wins.
Up until then, the score is basically tied. One team scores, then the other team dribbles the ball to the other end and scores. Then it begins all over again.
I think it’s fine for Canada to be having a good time because a team — even if it’s a team from Toronto — wins something. But all this stuff about national pride and that very clever “We the North” slogan dreamed up by the marketing geniuses is a bit much.
If our national pride is at such a low ebb that winning a professional basketball series is the most we’ve got to be excited about, we’d better do some deep introspection.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.