Fredericton — The Toronto Raptors, Canada’s only competitive NBA team, are set to play game five of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight, potentially clinching the win for the franchise.
The fact that this is the closest a Canadian team has ever gotten to winning the NBA finals is cause for great celebration among sports fans around the country.
At least…it was.
“Absolutely. The first two games were exciting as hell,” said David Welch, the organizer behind the live streams of each game outside the Fredericton Barracks. “A Canadian team finally making the finals…it was a big deal. Only thing is, I didn’t think we’d still be playing. I thought the Warriors would crush them in four games straight, and we’d be through with this whole thing.”
Welch, like many Canadians, was initially caught up in the national enthusiasm — an enthusiasm that has quickly waned, however, as the team has continued to do exceedingly well throughout the finals.
“I mean, shit, we’re closer to Boston than we are Toronto, geographically speaking,” he added. “The Celtics make the playoffs all the time, and we don’t say boo.”
As Welch explained, for most living in the Maritimes, Toronto may be in Canada, but it is decidedly not Canada. Consequently, many are getting tired of showing support for the Ontario capital, which they have become so accustomed to hating.
“My son went to college in Toronto,” said single mother Mathilde Haynes. “Now he’s a stuck-up little prick. Fuck that place.”
Still, despite the apathy towards the team’s continued success, fans nevertheless dutifully shuffle into the park hours early, spitefully donning red and black jerseys, resentfully listening to “Hotline Bling” and bitterly chewing on stale popcorn while the match is projected on the dirty screen before them.
“Man, I really hope this is the game where things turn around and they start losing,” Welch told The Manatee.
But wouldn’t it be even better if the Raptors won tonight, if for no other reason than it would mean the finals would be over?
“Oh, god no,” he said, surprised by the question. “Then the rest of Canada will never hear the end of it.”