Toronto in Desperate Need of a Playoff Win

Pretty good article from a self-described CFL critic

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Toronto in desperate need of a playoff win

A playoff win for this city is long overdue

TORONTO - One thousand, six hundred and sixty six days ago, the now-retired T.J. Ford had a monster first half, scoring 19 points and leading the Toronto Raptors to a playoff victory over the Orlando Magic.

Who knew on April 24, 2008 — more than four and a half years ago, when the Raptors won their only game of a rather forgettable playoff round — that Toronto’s big-ticket teams, the Leafs, Argos, Raptors and Blue Jays, would wait this long between playoff wins in this city?

And so Sunday comes in this city of sporting dismay, a rare home playoff game, a legitimate chance for victory, and I wonder: Why not, in this time of lockout and Blue Jays’ confusion, embrace the Argos?

If only for one afternoon of opportunity.

Why not pack the place, fill up the Rogers Centre, and grasp on to something, rather than nothing? Why not make it fun for one football afternoon, the way it used to be fun? Why not, even if you’re not an Argos fan, if you wouldn’t know Ricky Ray from Rob Ray, look at something potentially good happening on the Toronto sports scene and realize “it’s about time.?

It isn’t about time. It’s overtime for those of us who have been kicked and dragged and frustrated by the way the Toronto teams have played and how little success we have known.

It has been four-and-a-half years between home playoff wins in this city. And that happened to be a game that ended up not mattering, not factoring, which has kind of been the Raptors history: This is Season 18 for them in the NBA. Their next best-of-seven playoff series win will be their first. Ever.

It is 1,666 days since the T.J. Ford night of nights — sadly Hedo Turkuglo offered up 26 points for Orlando that game — but that’s nothing when compared to the last home playoff win for either the Leafs or the Blue Jays.

The date to remember for the Leafs is April 30, 2004. This is Hockey Hall of Fame weekend in Toronto and Mats Sundin is among the the inductees. The Leafs win over Philadelphia at the Air Canada Centre — a 3-1 victory — was Sundin’s last playoff win in Toronto. He scored two goals that night, Darcy Tucker had the other and Ed Belfour was strong in goal.

Eight-and-a-half years ago the Leafs tied the Flyers at two games apiece in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. They haven’t won a playoff game since that evening. And this is how long ago it was in terms of careers: Only four players from that team -—Tomas Kaberle, Nik Antropov, Matt Stajan and Alexei Ponikarovsky — remain active playing the game. Sundin is going on to the Hall of Fame. Four of his teammates Joe Nieuwednyk, Brian Leetch, Ron Francis and Belfour were inducted in earlier years.

That playoff win came 3,110 days ago — ancient history really.

The Argos, in fairness, need a hand this weekend. It’s easy to sell Grey Cup tickets when you have a year in advance and a 100th anniversary to push. It’s not so easy to sell playoff tickets at home when you have little advance warning and don’t know your opponent until the last minute.

The Argos would have preferred, economically, to play Hamilton because the Tiger-Cats bring audience with them. They wouldn’t have minded, for business reasons, playing Saskatchewan, because there are Roughriders fans everywhere. Now they get the worst possible matchup for ticket sales: There may be subplots like the firing of Eric Tillman and Ray playing quarterback in Toronto, but that doesn’t put people in the stands.

I know this must sound funny, coming from me, career CFL critic, hoping for better in this market. But I feel we’ve all been trampled on long enough. You can only lose so long before it eats away at your love of sports. And live events, even in these days of HD televisions, are still live events.

So why not enjoy a playoff game at home? It has been 6,584 days since the Joe Carter home run, 18 years and 14 days and not a baseball playoff game of any kind at the place they used to call SkyDome. For the Argos, their last home playoff win came when Michael Bishop emerged off the bench, relieving Damon Allen at quarterback, and they came from behind to beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 31-27. That was almost six years ago to the day.

Some cities count championships. It has come to this in Toronto. I’m counting individual post-season wins in the city. There is a game Sunday here. This is a chance. That adds up to one.

So why not take part? Why not take up the challenge, Toronto? Why not decide to pack the place on Sunday?

not too worried, I am confident that'll they will defeat the Eskimos..

Odd to hear a Go Argos Go chant from a CFL critic reporter, I also hope T.O wins this one, lets hope they can get a good crowd to cheer the Argos on. I will admit I do find it strange with only a luke warm talented Raptors team to follow in that city at the moment, more sports fans wouldn't march into Rogers Centre to cheer on the Argos.

As a Toronto sports fan in exile, I like it. It's a tough city to be a fan, given the constant suck and heaps of abuse from the rest of the country due to it.

So hey, we finally have a team that's a contender. If I was in the province, I'd be at the game! :thup:

Hasn't Simmons heard, that the reason no one goes to Argo games at the Skydump is because there's sooooo much else to do in Toronto ?... This is rich coming from this guy, because the other teams are crap or not playing, now is the time to attend a CFL game. Or maybe , just maybe, his buddy Tillman set him up with some prime box seats. I hear Rusty has that kind of pull with the Argos!

Well, Kind of !!

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That sould be no surprize and with you record of prognostication of Edmonton games, an Eskimos win is all but assured. :cowboy:

For this article only, Simmons is nothing more then a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Paranoid much? But you're also the guy, IIRC, that thinks Stephen Brunt hates the CFL, so it doesn't surprise me that you would have a negative view about any TO writer who wrote about the Argos.

This hack calls himself a Toronto sports reporter yet dismisses the Toronto Rock? I guess a team who consistently averages over 10 000 fans is not a "big-ticket" team. May not seem like much but it's 3rd best in the league and they're consistently one of the top draws unlike the Jays (23rd) or Raptors (19th). And what has the Rock done since the "last" playoff win? Just amassed a 6-2 playoff record including 1 league title, back-to-back championship game appearances and 4 home playoff games.
Why the Argos themselves won a playoff game just 2 years ago.....but that was in Hamilton and in Steve Simmons world that's nothing to celebrate because the victory was on the road not at home. The Argos first home playoff game since 2007, an NHL lockout that is getting closer to a second cancelled season in 7 years, the CHL Subway Series featuring many of the players we'll see at this years WJC in December and this is all he can come up with for a story?

Steve Simmons is as clueless as ever.

And your point is what?
Just telling it like it is, we have many way too many anti CFL media types in this city.
And for you to suggest otherwise or come down on me is well negative on you or maybe you don't care?

That's funny :lol: and probably true too :smiley:

If he mentions the Toronto Rock Championships, then there is no need for him to be writing an idiotic article like this because it just proves him wrong.

Betcha he'll know everything about the NLL and the Toronto Rock by the end of their season while the NHL is locked out.