Now here's an oddity that probably fits as a working metaphor for Canada. The Canadian Football League has been suffering for years, experimenting with just about any exotic substance that crossed its path, including the invitation of a few American football teams. When I was a kid, the CFL ruled because it was Canadian, goddammit: as Canadian as I or the kid next door.
In other words, it wasn't American. We invited American talent across the border, but the game was resolutely (and, some would say, comically) Canadian. Three downs, wider field and all that.
So here we were today, watching a playoff game between Toronto and Winnipeg. The latter city is as Canadian as one could hope for, and has the sharpened teeth to prove it. They made mincemeat out of the Toronto Argonauts. So far as sporting competitions are concerned, this was as it should be.
Unfortunately, insofar as the league is concerned, this win amounted to a small suicide. Had Toronto won, the league may have been granted a few more years' existence. As it stands, Toronto the Beautiful seems intent on getting an NFL franchise and waltzing away entirely from the CFL. I haven't yet posted my complete and unexpurgated thoughts on Toronto sports fans, and frankly am not likely to. These chuckleheads have more money than they know what to do with, and so invite all sorts of sporting trouble to their city and the country they live in. Witness their NBA team, the Raptors. Or take another gander (if you dare) at the Leafs. Then step on the other side of the fence and take a close look at the Blue Jays -- a much better team than this city deserves. Of course the city's sports fans, as if to prove the maxim, stay away from Jays' games in droves even when the team plays better than any fan has a right to expect.
I first lived in Toronto in the fall of 1983, when the Argonauts won the Grey Cup. Cars were overturned, store windows smashed. It's now 24 years later, and if the Argonauts won they'd receive a modest parade in front of Castle Loma. Toronto deserves the Leafs, and any other franchise it wants to pit against George W. Bush's USA, instead of Canada. This crazy city can't compete within its own nation, yet it wants to go up against the world?
Take my city. Please.