Ottawa: Canada's worst sports town?
Disclaimer: I am not writing this from Toronto.
I live and work in Ottawa. I do my grocery shopping at Farm Boy, I listen to Lowell Green on the radio, I get frustrated that there is no exit for Bank St. off the Queensway and just like you, I'm wondering when the O-Train will arrive in Barrhaven.
Okay, now that I've firmly established myself as a true resident of Ottawa, I would like to pose a question to you.
Do we live in the worst sports city in the country?
Let's review the facts:
We currently have no CFL football team and we have a built-in excuse of perpetually poor ownership.
We will lose our Triple-A baseball team next summer because most bridal shows have better attendance.
Our NHL team, which has been the most exciting for the past few seasons, has the lowest season ticket base of any Canadian team.
Now before you start throwing your Beaver Tails in my general direction, please read further.
There are thousands of great sports fans in Ottawa. I am not trying to offend those loyal ticket buyers in the city. In terms of die-hard fans, Ottawa certainly has a good core of them. If you are one of those fans, please don't take this personally.
What I'm wondering is: Why are there so few of you out there? Isn't this supposed to be Canada's fourth-largest city?
I can't help but wonder what the situation will be here in a few years when the Senators are no longer an elite team in the NHL. If they have the lowest season ticket base
amongst Canadian teams when they have the most entertaining team, what is going to happen when things take a turn for the worse?
Why in the name of Frank Finnigan are we so finicky?
At times, this city appears too conservative to fully invest the emotion that is needed to fully become a great sports city. Maybe it's because we're a government town and everyone is just used to sitting on the fence on political issues that the same mentality has simply trickled into our sporting tastes as well.
I really wanted say this a few months ago, when the Senators knocked out the Lightning in Game 5 of the first round of the playoffs in April. The atmosphere in Scotiabank Place was eerily silent that night.
Had any other city been on the verge of knocking out an opponent in the Stanley Cup playoffs, they would have been wild and on the edge of their seats. In Ottawa, it was as though everyone in attendance would receive a complimentary root canal if the Senators were victorious.
What gives? Is it just me, or do I live in the worst sports city in Canada?