Falling in love

Do you ever really know when you fall in love with a professional sports team? That exact moment when you stop casually watching a team and start to become emotionally invested in the outcome of their matches, when you find a way to watch or listen to their games when the odds are against you, or when you start crying if they lose the big games. In my life I have loved the Ottawa Rough Riders & RedBlacks, the Montreal Canadians, the Montreal Expos, and the Ottawa Senators just like that. For each team, I can’t tell you when it happened. Some, like the Rough Riders, I was born to love, as I started going to games as an infant. Others, like the Senators, grew slowly out of the convenience of being the only NHL team in town.

Woo has followed in my footsteps as a sports fan. He loves the teams that I love, just as much. He watches all the games with me, even if it means that he sneaks out of bed to catch a few more shifts or at-bats. His passion for these teams has evolved over time, so that I can’t tell you when he started to love any of them, either. Except for one team. He fell in love with the Toronto Blue Jays on July 12, 2015.

Our family was in Halifax that day. It was a hot day and we had spent most of it walking around downtown and the waterfront. All four of us were hungry and thirsty, looking for a little treat to carry us through the afternoon. The first pub we walked into was unwelcoming. They seemed less than impressed with the fact that we had the lils with us, and put conditions on how much we needed to order if we stayed. It was clearly not the place for us, so we moved on to a pub called the Halifax Ale House. The staff was friendly and fussed over the lils. They made us feel welcomed.

We passed the time watching the Jays game. It was a bit of a stinker, with the Jays losing 7-0 in the fifth. We’d been teaching the lils all the rules of baseball as we watched, so we told them we could watch one more inning before we moved on. The sixth was, in a word, unbelievable. The Jays scored 8 in an inning that featured lots of solid hits, a few breaks and zero home runs. It was long and wildly entertaining, and Woo watched intently, cheering loudly with every hit and run. We stayed til the end of the game. The Jays ultimately lost, but they won a little boy’s heart.

His love for all things Blue Jays has only grown since that day. Early this season we decided that we should go to a game together, and that game was this weekend. When we got to Toronto on Friday night, we decided that one game wasn’t enough, and bought tickets to Friday night’s game too. The Jays won one and lost one and we got to see many great plays, some great pitching, and a few monster home runs. It was a fabulous weekend of baseball and bonding with my guy. It just might have been the weekend that I fell in love with the Blue Jays.

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