There are few things more emotionally touching in professional sports than when players of one team support those of another in the same city. In Toronto, this happens quite frequently — it’s true! — and it is never not a beautiful thing to see.
For example, here’s DeMarre Carroll from earlier last night:
In case you were living under a rock, yesterday evening the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball were engaged in a war of attrition (also known as the AL Wild Card Game, also known as Game 163) with the Baltimore Orioles. [cue booing sounds] It was a closely contested game in which the Jays took an early 1-0 lead thanks to a Jose Bautista homer in the bottom of the 2nd, only to give it right back after a two-run homer from Mark Trumbo in the 4th. [more booing]
The Jays would manage to tie it up on the fifth with some sweet hitting from Ezequiel Carrera (and nerve-racking running by Michael Saunders). But there it would rest for some time. With both teams forced [stifles laugh] to play their presumptive starters for a theoretical next game (Francisco Liriano for the Jays and [huge guffaw] Ubaldo Jimenez for the Orioles), the game marched on into the gotdamn 11th inning.
And then this happened:
Yes, that’s Edwin Encarnacion, national hero, drilling a 3-run homer into the second deck in left field to win the game and send the Blue Jays into the ALDS (where they’ll face — [checks paper, does double take] — the Texas Rangers. Hoo boy.).
Some Raptors players, not impervious to the joys of Toronto and the celebrations expressed within, jumped out on social media with some support for their brothers in blue.
New Raptor Jared Sullinger? He gets it. (And is now presumably a Blue Jays fan, having cast aside the colours of the Red Sox.)
Kyle Lowry? Short and sweet.
But my personal favourite is the reaction from Norman Powell, documenting as it does the gamut of emotions the whole city was run through over the course of the evening.
First, the tension.
This Blue Jays Game tho— norman powell (@npowell2404) October 5, 2016
Followed by, ah yes, that sweet, sweet release.
To quote noted Toronto philosopher and erstwhile local poet Aubrey Graham: what a time to be alive.