How To Identify A Toronto Sports Fan

Hey Argos Empire!

Toronto is a complicated, congested sports market.  With pro football, hockey, lacrosse, baseball, basketball, and soccer happening inside the Greater Toronto Area, it can be difficult to figure out who that stranger on the street is supporting.  Well, fear not, gentle reader, for I will now explain how to identify which Toronto sports fan didn’t bother to ask if the seat next to you was taken on the GO.

For an effective breakdown of the Toronto sports fan, we’ll be looking at five categories:
Where to find them – Simply put, where you will find this fan
Apparel – What they are wearing
Odds of owning season tickets – The pinnacle of fandom.  Do they go to the home games?
Defensive level – A measurement of how passionately they defend any and all that would speak foul of their beloved franchise
Favourite line – The one thing you’ll hear from the mouth of this team’s fans

Okay, everyone got that?  Let’s go!

The Toronto Maple Leafs Fan

Where to find them:
Belly-to-the-bar at your favourite watering hole, completely overreacting to the last Leafs game (If they won, they’re looking for a good spot on Bay St. for their lawn chair.  If they lost, they’re demanding the entire team be traded for draft picks).  If it’s the playoffs, they’ll be swarming Maple Leaf Square.

The Toronto Maple Leaf fan will be garbed in blue & white, often wearing the jersey of a long-retired player.
Odds of owning season tickets:
1/40,000, as most of the Leafs season seats are filled by these guys.  I had a buddy once told to keep it down in the platinums because one of the suits couldn’t hear his phone.
Defensive level:
1/10 vs. any other Toronto sports fan (“There’s…”Other” sports?), 8/10 vs. other hockey fans.
Favourite line:
“As long as (Kadri, Bernier, Reimer, Bozak, Riley, Phaneuf, etc) plays up to his (potential, contract, ice time, faith Carlyle has in him, how high I drafted him in the pool), then start planning the parade, bitches!”

The Toronto Blue Jays Fan

Where to find them:  In the summer, you’ll find ’em at the local slo-pitch league, reliving their glory days, or on the golf course.  In the winter, they’re either in Florida watching Spring Training, or bitching that they’re not in Florida watching Spring Training.
  The Blue Jays fan is the chameleon of the Toronto sports landscape.  From tank tops to hoodies, solids to tye dye, the Blue Jays fan refuses to stick to one style.  Because of the wild colour variations of Major League Baseball apparel (I blame Fred Durst) you can’t just look for something blue.  You’ve gotta look for the Blue Jay logo.
Odds of owning season tickets:
  1/10,000, but they, “Know a guy who as a pair.  Never uses ’em, so lemme know if you’re interested.”
Defensive level:
  2/10.  As a rule, Blue Jays fans are a pretty laid back bunch.  10/10 if you carve their fantasy league team, tho.
Favourite line:
  “How much for a beer???  Good thing I got a good buzz on the bus ride up & got my best friend here” *pats jacket pocket with flask

The Toronto FC Fan

Where to find them:  At a neighbourhood pub (Pub, not bar), letting their import draught from a brewery you’ve never heard of, “breathe”, while bitching about how much coverage hockey gets in this country.
  Red.  All red.  Always red.  With a scarf that was never intended to keep the wearer warm.
Odds of owning season tickets:
  1/10, and if they don’t have ’em, they’re on the waiting list.  Crazy rabid fan base.
Defensive level:
  10/10.  Did I mention the crazy rabid fan base?  They’ll carve their own team & owners, but don’t you DARE say a thing about it!  Same for the game itself.  If you refer to it as anything other than, “The beautiful game” or, “footy” be prepared to be sworn at for the next 10-15 minutes, quite possibly in a language you don’t understand.
Favourite line:
  …I dunno, probably some chant that every soccer fan knows that makes no sense outside the fan base.

The Toronto Raptors Fan

Where to find them:  The extremes of Toronto sports fans, Raptors fans can be found at your local gym, getting work in prior to the next pick-up game, or lined up at your local Pizza Pizza, ticket stub in hand.
Apparel:  Of course, basketball jerseys are popular, but you know you’ve got a Raptors fan by their flat peak, fullback, hat with size sticker still attached.
Odds of owning season tickets:  1/20,000.  A skeptical bunch, they’ll keep buying when the team’s winning, but are hesitant to make a season-long commitment.
Defensive level:  2/10.  Actually, they’re usually the first to say something negative about the GM, coach, or players.  Drake’s defensive level:  As the team’s “Global Ambassador,” you can expect him to defend the team at every turn.  10/10.
Favourite line:  “No, we’re not leaving ’til they hit 100 points.”

The Toronto Rock Fan

Where to find them:  Forget fans, a Rock starter probably teaches your kid.
Apparel:  The Rock fan embraces the hoody like no other Toronto fan.  If they’ve got a hood, they love lacrosse.
Odds of owning season tickets: 1/20. Similar to FC, the Rock fan is diehard.  Feverishly defending his team whenever anyone says the ACC has never housed a winner.
Defensive level:  5/10.  Rock fans are loyal to their team, but if you wanna piss one off, tell ’em they’re not watching a pro sport.  You’ll be jersey’d & bloodied before you can say, “Inukshuk.”
Favourite line:  “You know, John Tavares’ uncle is one of the greatest lacrosse players to ever step on the floor.  And Shanahan?  Can’t hold a candle to his brother Brian for dominating a game.”

The Toronto Argonauts Fan

Where to find them:  You’ll find the Argos fan milling about Front St., or lined up outside Shoeless Joe’s, trying to get into the official post-game party since they didn’t leave the game early.
Apparel:  North America’s oldest pro sports team has worn a plethora of jerseys over the years, and almost every one will be represented in the crowd during home games.  A fair number of retired player’s jerseys will be present, but with some current ones as well.  One thing’s for sure, be ready for an awful lot of Double Blue.
Odds of owning season tickets:  1/25.  Affordable, great weather under the dome, and one heckofan exciting game.  This number should be higher.
Defensive level:  5/10.  The Argos fan can get testy when someone mocks the CFL, but if you can find a higher calibre of Canadian football anywhere on the planet, you let me know.  20/10 when dealing with a ti-cat fan.  Man, they’re arseholes…
Favourite line:  “…No, you’re missing the point.  Having no fair catch adds an offensive element that make the game so much more exciting.”

There’s one fan’s opinion.  What’s yours?

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