The lack of civility in the stands can be troubling
I really, really, really don’t get some sports fans.
We were in Ivor Wynne Stadium on Saturday – a couple of Dads and a couple of Super Sons – and, let me tell you, in some respects it was like nothing I’ve experienced in quite some time.
Look, I’m fine with over-the-top support of the home team, or any team, even if I don’t have the level of passion that many do.
I understand Argos-Ticats and the rivalry; I get that it’s a team representing a city, with bragging rights or something on the line.
That’s cool, it’s part of being a fan, I guess and to each their own.
But what I saw was a level of aggression, a bit of stupidity, people itching for confrontation rather than a good game or a big play and it was, in some ways, troubling.
Tell me why a kid in his 20s – sober, by the way – would greet every significant play for the home team but standing up, looking directly at a group of supporters a row down and a few seats away and swearing at them? Like, I mean letting them have it with both barrels. Entirely to provoke them, it’s not like they knew each other anything. This was unnecessary provocation and it quite easily could have escalated.
Of course, it didn’t because, finally, someone challenged the loudmouth and momentarily shut him up and for a long time, it was a far more enjoyable evening.
That doesn’t even touch on the impact of beers and liquors to increase the level of testosterone. It doesn’t touch on the guy who shed his shirt for some reason known only him and whatever secret sauce was in the plastic cup he was drinking from.
We understand the influence of booze to make someone feel bold, to take away inhibitions, to somehow make it okay in a muddled mind to challenge others rather than just have fun. That’s going to happen, it detracts from the night but isolated incidents are inevitably going to happen.
Whatever happened to simply cheering? Loudly, at appropriate times, with the odd boo for a bad call or something like that?
What happened to civilized behaviour where you interact with the people you’re with and those around you as some kind of brothers-in-arms, not as friends, exactly, but as like-minded sports fans?
Used to be fun to go to a game, and I’m sure in many instances it still is. But with idiots who try to make it personal, rather than a shared experience, I can’t imagine it’s nearly as much as it once was.
So most of yesterday was spent figuring out what the hullabaloo would be like if the Raptors got rid of a guy who mattered.
People need to relax.
James Johnson is a fifth-year player about to be on his third team who doesn’t quite seem to “get it” often enough.
I have nothing against him personally, he was always cordial and willing to chat and a nice enough guy. But, folks, if you’re worried that the team you cheer for can’t absorb the loss of James Johnson, the issues go waaaaaaaaaaay beyond James Johnson.
What else with the Raptors?
They played a summer league game last night, I’m told. They’ve got a buntoss meet-and-greet with the new guys here today. That’s about it.
So it’s about 30 C outside when I walked Super Dog about 6 a.m., thick with humidity, it’s supposed to get to 36 C, feel like about 44 C and I’m a tad fed up.
Luckily, I’m hearing from One Of The All-time Greats that it’s 15 C, cold wind, rain lashing the windows in London and I’m thinking, “bring it on.”
End of rant.
Yeah, kind of figures with the way things have been going all season that Jose Bautista would screw up his wrist on a swing.
Not a hit by pitch or a dive after a line drive or a slide at some base.
Man, that sucks. Here’s the best team player in Toronto, biggest star any of the teams have, he’s helped carry a team devastated by injuries to pitchers to at least some level of competitiveness for the post-season and then, this.
In case you missed it – and I can’t imagine how you did – today’s the day the Knicks have to match an offer for Jeremy Lin or let him go for nothing.
Big decision, financially and otherwise, and no real indication which way they’ll go.
I’ll say this again about Lin, whose story you have to be more than familiar with now: He is an intriguing player who was a far better story and marketing piece last season. He may turn out to be very good, he may turn out to be quite average, I don’t for a second think a 25-game stretch is a bit enough sample size to say definitively either way.
But if I’m the Knicks, I match. I don’t worry about the third year because you’ve got two years to figure it out and that’s eons. And I don’t want to hear a whisper about the contract being “untradeable” because none are. If we’ve learned nothing over the past few years, it’s that anyone can be dealt no matter what they’re being paid. That’s can’t be an issue; I think it has to come down to whether New York thinks he’s going to be really good, or a bit above average.
The “poison pill” aspect of the deal and why it’s so bad probably hasn’t been explained here well enough and I’m sorry for that.
If a player joins a new team after signing an offer sheet, the cap hit is the average of the three seasons regardless of the annual salary – which is why, for instance – the Landry Fields deal here is about $6.3 million a season over three seasons.
But if the player’s original team matches, the cap hit is under terms of the deal; that is, if the Knicks would have matched on Fields, they would have been dinged about $5 million in the first two years and somewhere near $9 million in the third, when a far more punitive tax system will be in place under terms of the new CBA.
Same thing with Lin, it averages out if he lands in Houston, it’s a burdensome third year tax-wise if he stays in New York.