Basketball & Booing

My Raptors are terrible right now and it breaks my heart. They are down two of their most important players and are out of the playoffs at the moment. They often look lost, leaderless, and apathetic. Should they not make the playoffs, this will be a very disappointing season.

But I will be back next season and I will be at the games, cheering.

I understand that people are going to boo, going to jeer, when they don’t think the team is playing well enough. Toronto fans are notorious for jumping at the first opportunity rain a shower of boos on their teams, the Leafs getting the worst of it. We live in a city that lives and dies by its team success or lack thereof. We have four dedicated sports channels, plus the specialty channels for those who want them. We’re the only Canadian city to have major league baseball, basketball, hockey and soccer teams. We are also one of the more fickle towns in professional sports, assuming a “What have you done for me lately?” mentality. We have little to no tolerance for failure, expecting only the best and god help you if you don’t play the way WE think you should.

And this brings me back to booing the home team. Am I disappointed in the Raptors season? Do I want to see improvement? Do I want them to bring home a title? Of course. Do I expect perfection, game in and game out? No. Do I believe in kicking the team when it’s down? Absolutely not. Players know when they’re having a bad game, or stretch of games. They know the fans paid their hard-earned money to see them play and that if they want to fill the arena with happily chanting fans, they’re going to have to leave it all on the floor. They’re going to have to play hard, win or lose. They’re going to have to, you know, play defense. I am not the coach and I chose to be there. Any team can win on any night and sometimes your team loses to an inferior team. That’s sports, folks.

You don’t like how your team is playing? Don’t show up to the next game. Don’t watch it on tv and don’t buy the merch.

But I love basketball, and I love my home team and I will save my loud, angry booing for the visiting team. (And Vince Carter, but that’s another post for another day.)

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~ by foodNURD on April 12, 2010.

5 Responses to “Basketball & Booing”

  1. I agree with you on several different points you’ve made. I’m not a Torontonian who will go to games and boo. But I understand the inclination to. At least this city’s fans still show up. One only has to look at other North American cities with pro teams and if they don’t perform(and even if they do in some cases) the “fans” are disguised as seats. I think we really have to worry when sold out games or alot less than capacity are met not with boos but indifference.

  2. I completely understand the inclination, but what’s the point in going if you’re not going to be supportive? Why stay til the end to boo your team when you are more than capable of leaving at any time? (Granted, we are not Philly. Those fans are BRUTAL.) I think what makes me the craziest, is that I would bet folding money those boo-ers will show up at playoff games, screaming their heads off. Pick a side and stay on it.

  3. This reminds me of a Simpsons gag (what doesn’t?)

    Announcer: And now, Avis Rent-A-Car is proud to present the second best band in America. Will you welcome Garfunkel, Messina, Oates, and Lisa singing their number two hit, “Born to Runner-up”. [Audience boos]

    Lisa: Why would they come to our concert just to boo us?

    Why indeed, Lisa… why indeed.

  4. I don’t think anyone actually WANTS to boo the home team. They go to the game, hoping to win, or at least see a competitive game. However, when the home team stinks up the court/ice/field, they have to expect to be booed. It’s part of professional sports.

    Very few people will boo their favorite team because they lose. They will boo if they believe that their team is halfassing it. Teams expect cheers from their fans when they’re playing well, and boos when they’re not. It’s not about supporting or not supporting your team. It’s about letting them know you expect better from them. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

  5. […] discovered, the fans. Raptors’ fans WILL boo the home team (my thoughts on which can be found here) when they feel the player(s) is not living up to potential. Well, after signing a $53 million […]

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