A mania seems to be sweeping the country and it’s got nothing to do with the current, prolonged federal election campaign.
No, we’re a long way from Harpermania, Trudeaumania or Mulcairmania at this juncture of the campaign but it seems a race of a different kind is capturing the imaginations of Canadians from Victoria to St. John’s and everywhere inbetween.
And that’s the pennant race.
Yes, apparently the Toronto Blue Jays are for real, after the trade deadline they are anyway, and after a recent 11-game winning streak they are regularly selling out the stadium and attracting millions of viewers on television as visions of 1992 and 1993 dance through Canadians’ heads.
According to Sportsnet (owned by Rogers, along with the stadium and the ball team so they should know a little about this kind of stuff), an average audience of 2.03 million viewers tuned into the Friday night game between our Blue Jays and the visiting New York Yankees in a duel for first place.
That’s the most in the channel’s history by the way, surpassing the NHL season opener between that other Toronto team and the Canadiens on Oct. 8, 2014 at 2.01 million viewers.
Although it reveals the network hasn’t boasted a lot of big sports events until recently, it also shows they have the hottest ticket in town these days and the numbers are likely to keep skyrocketing as the race heats up towards September.
It may stil be too early to talk about repeats of ‘92 and ‘93 World Series champions but it’s sure fun to cheer on the Jays and witness meaningful baseball this late in the season after a very long dry spell.
Go, Jays, go, and let’s hope Canadians are watching two races to the finish line this October.