[-Toronto-] Went to the Raptors
[-Toronto-] Went to the Raptors first home Playoff Game today. Raps played well and won. Fans were raucous, but nowhere near as crazy as 'merican fans. I really appreciate the passion and appreciation of The Game (be it basketball, baseball, hockey, etc) that I've seen in places like Boston, New York, Chicago, etc.
I remember watching Toronto play the Knicks on Christmas day 2001--my first time as Madison Square Garden. The place was electric everytime Vince Carter got the ball because they were dying to see this guy do something that very few others could do. This anticpation stems from the roots basketball has as a spectator sport on the streets of NYC. The electricity just isn't there in any Canadian venue I have watched a game at, with two exceptions: the Leafs in Toronto, and the Canadian Olympic Hockey Team in Salt Lake City, which had so many Canadians that it might as well have been north of the 49th parallel.
This came to me today when watching the halftime show featuring three streetballers from Nike's "Freestyle" commercial. There was a buzz in the arena because the stuff these guys were doing was sick, but it was nothing like the buzz about Carter at MSG on Christmas. I can only imagine how exciting watching good ball at Rucker Park or West 4th on a hot summer night would be.