for the love of a blue jay
My parents were there on April 7, 1977. A cold, snowy day at Exhibition Stadium when the Blue Jays played their very first game against the White Sox. And while I wouldn't even be born for another 11 months or so....something in that day must have embedded itself in my parents' DNA. That blue gene. That gene that made the Blue Jays an inseparable part of my life. A gene that despite droughts of fandom, has me repeatedly coming back to this team.
I remember feeling like a tiny ant the day my middle school choir sang the national anthem at a game in 1991. And it wasn't just any game - it was the day the Jays clinched the ALCS. I remember 1992 and lining up along Yonge Street for the World Series parade. I remember 1993 and running down to the corner by my house after Joe Carter's home run to celebrate with the neighbourhood. I remember being a kid having lunch at McDonald's and turning around to see Dave Stieb eating his lunch behind me. On HIS pitching day. I still read my kids the "If I were a Toronto Blue Jay" book my friend gave me in grade 7. My parents even had 'Ok, Blue Jays' on vinyl.
On that first day of the season every year, I increasingly feel that childhood love for my team growing stronger and stronger. My own kids are fans. Big fans. And in recent years we've traveled to see the team at spring training, as well as an epic road trip to Baltimore last summer.
Like many fans, I like what the team does to the city. To my family. To me. It gives us (hopefully) seven months of collective joy, sorrow, butterflies and outrage. But we're in it together -- good or bad.
And so, it all begins again today. The promise of everything, unsullied by any record. And regardless of the path the season takes, I'll be there through it all. If you know what I'm talking about....you'll be there with me too.