“Let’s Go Blue Jays! Clap, clap, clap-clap-clap!”
A confession: my love affair with the Blue Jays has been brief, to date. I’ll be the first to admit, while I know all the rules of the sport, I haven’t been a baseball fan through the years. I’ve been to a handful of Blue Jays games at the Skydome in years past, when the team was mediocre and the crowds even more so. I found the games long and dull, and wished I could be watching hockey instead.
And yet now I find myself jumping on the bandwagon happily into a love affair with the Jays. A late summer-to-fall fling, as it were. I’m even checking to on the scores while I’m picking up my children from daycare, or waiting for their extra-curricular activity to finish. Two years ago I would be hard-pressed to name more than two players. Now, I recognize the names in entire lineup and if pressed, might even be able to put them in their batting order.
I am happy to give my heart over because of the energy and collective excitement through the whole city is taking over. It’s so exciting and fun to see so many people in the city and other parts of the country rally behind something positive, and so why wouldn’t I want to join in on that? This could be a seminal sports moment in Toronto; I want to participate in and experience it whatever the result, not just read about it in the news.
Even more so, I want and hope for this to be a good news story for those of my friends and family who *are* actually long-time Blue Jays baseball fans. Baseball fans with unrequited playoff dreams.
There are those, like my husband, who were committed fans in their youth. They loved and played the game in the park and imagined recreating the highlight plays from the world championship Jays from the ’92 and ’93. However, twenty-two years of being stood up at the playoff date have made them cynical and bitter, to defend against the pain in their hearts. This is further compounded by the collective playoff futility of all the Toronto’s professional sports teams.
Through August and September as the Blue Jays were having an incredible run, you could see the cynicism and bitterness start to melt away, and they were excited again for the game. Each game.
Then there are my dear friends who are the hard-core fans. They watch the Jays games, listen to the sports talk, and they follow what’s happening with the other teams in the league. They have never wavered in their love of the Blue Jays. They open their hearts at the start of every season with the optimism of making the playoffs by October. And for twenty-two years, they’ve had their heart broken each season. But they brush it off and then look forward to spring training next year. They are those few brave souls amongst us who love deeply and freely and continualy, without reservations, even when they get hurt time and time again.
Well, this year, I sure am crossing my fingers that their love will finally be reciprocated and the Blue Jays win the World Series.
But first they have to win Game 5 tomorrow against Texas. Let’s Go Blue Jays! #ComeTogether