High-needs Toronto should chill on championships

Toronto Raptors’ point guard Kyle Lowry is one of the reasons Toronto fans  remain optimistic for the future.  Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters Toronto Raptors’ point guard Kyle Lowry is one of the reasons Toronto fans remain optimistic for the future. Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters
Mario Belan

Mario Belan
OpEd Editor

Why does this city need a win so badly?

The Leafs, Raptors, and Jays have been underachieving for as long as I can remember. The Leafs haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1967. The Blue Jays haven’t won a World Series since 1993 — also the last time they made the playoffs — and the Raptors have never won a championship. Three sports teams and they haven’t won a major title in a long time.

Yes, to be fair, the Argos captured the Grey Cup two years ago and the Rock is tied with Philadelphia as the winningest team in the National Lacrosse League. But the CFL and NLL don’t matter nearly as much as the big three to most people.

Is this frustrating? Yes. Do we wish this city could cheer us up with a title? Yes. But when you stop and think about it, do we really need a championship? Okay, I’d love to witness the Leafs hoisting the Lord Stanley as much as the next fan, but why is it that important?

This city is so demanding. They want wins and championships right away. Sure, I’ve cursed the names each Toronto team for what they’re doing, why they aren’t winning. But then years pass and you realize you have zero control over the teams. You aren’t drafting players or making moves in free agency. That’s up to management. This is why I curse the Leafs especially because they make all these bad moves and I can’t do anything about it.

The public has voiced its opinions firmly as well. From boos in games, tossing of jerseys and social media rants, the fans have been extremely critical. Why though? They feel they have given their hearts to the teams, and their money, but yet there is no result. As fans we should relax and let the teams do the thinking; since it is out of our control, we should be cheering them on and not throwing our jerseys away.

I can think of many things that are more important than any Toronto team getting a title. Yes, the people want a win, but this is out of our control. Are you making decisions for the team? Unlikely.

Also, think of the media frenzy surrounding each of Toronto’s sports teams.

The city is so desperate and the media reflects that. Players in other markets can see it and it’s definitely not attractive. That’s probably a huge factor for players in free agency. No player wants to be that guy brought to the team that has to lead it to the playoffs and beyond.

Imagine if LeBron James went to the Raptors this offseason. The media would write articles saying, “Is LeBron the final piece?” “Can LeBron bring Toronto a Championship?” This would be seen everywhere.

This is why I think players have a hard time coming here. Add to this the fans that want a win now. This isn’t a good combination.

It’s not that important to win now. These things take time. The Leafs haven’t figured it out because they still make questionable calls. The Raptors have found a winning formula with their youth and great coaching. The Blue Jays have been making moves the past couple of years to better the team. So there is optimism for Toronto fans and in two sports, there’s a decent chance championship dreams will soon come true. We just have to wait it out.

When one has no power over a team the best thing to do is cheer them on and be supportive. Also, if you’re a Leaf fan consider taking up hobbies such as reading, video games, and exercise because we will have to wait a while.