Fall is an interesting time of the year for sports. Many seasons — such as the major European Soccer Leagues, the NFL, and the NBA — are kicking off or are already underway while others — such as the WNBA, MLB, MLS, and the CFL — are nearing their end or the playoffs. Thus, if you’re looking to get into sports, it’s the perfect time to join a fanbase and experience the highs and lows of team sports.
If you’re looking for the easy way out, and just want a team to talk about at the water cooler without pulling your hair out at excruciating losses or player trades, a Toronto team might not be the most appealing option, given the city’s rocky past. You can, however, mitigate your heartbreak and support one of the 6ix’s more successful teams.
The Toronto Raptors
As of late, the Raptors are a team with a lot of upsides. Making the playoffs perennially and having loads of fun stars like Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, and Fred VanVleet who make it easy for Torontonians to latch their hopes onto the Raptors. It wasn’t always this way, though. I would be remiss to not mention the grim times when this team placed their hopes on the likes of pasta commercial icon Andrea Bargnani, with a supporting cast of Linas Kleiza, Rudy Gay, and young DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valančiūnas. Those days are gone now and you can comfortably rest your hopes on Spicy P and company.
The Toronto Blue Jays
Listen, I get baseball can be hard to watch for the average viewer. But have you ever been to a Jays game just for the vibes? Grabbing a loonie hot dog and a cold drink, sitting with a great view of a crisp green field watching Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Jays launch hits into the stands is an ideal way to spend a night — especially if you’re a U of T student who’s sick of spending the day staring at notes for a class that you’re probably going to Credit/No Credit anyways. Plus, the Jays have looked solid these past few years, finishing with a positive record since the 2020 season. Although this season has yet to finish, it would take a catastrophe for the Jays to fall under .500 this year.
The beautiful game of soccer has enveloped Toronto in the past decade. The era of Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore has come and gone, and now, Toronto FC have brought in three new Italians — former Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne, Domenico Criscito, and Federico Bernardeschi. The hype was so real this season that OVO even launched a capsule collection to mark the new era of Toronto soccer. While it’s too early to count success, there’s no doubt the future is bright for soccer in the 6ix.
The Toronto Maple Leafs
We love saving the best for last, don’t we, folks? While fans perennially claim that this is “their season,” the Leafs have somehow found new ways to hilariously collapse in the playoffs year after year. From bringing in solid players to changing coaches, nothing seems to work. The Leafs last lifted the Stanley Cup in 1967 — 55 years ago. At this point, it looks like it could be another 55 before the Leafs get a sniff of it again.
But there is something appealing about sticking through thick and thin with a franchise. It gives you higher highs, and lower lows. You can’t get that feeling anywhere else, which is why, if you have the stomach to take it, you should find space in your heart for the Leafs.