ecently, Rogers Sportsnet aired a major sporting event in Toronto. The reaction lit up the Internet. Live-tweeting. Breathless podcasts. For a few glorious days, championship fever gripped the Tdot.
Any fan base worth its salt loves nostalgia, making Rogers's decision to re-air the 1992 World Series a great call under any circumstances. On Sunday, Rogers doubled down by showing Game 1 of the '93 World Series, and will air the other five games over the next five weeks. Still, watching Jimmy Key, Kelly Gruber, and Tom Henke jump into a dog pile — or, spoiler alert, Paul Molitor, Dave Stewart, & Co. mobbing Joe Carter a year later — takes on a different tone than seeing the '98 Yankees or even the '03 Marlins celebrate. The '92 Jays made history by celebrating the first World Series in Canadian baseball history, then the '93 club became the first team to repeat since the dynastic '70s made back-to-backs commonplace. But rewatching that mulleted, Braves-whacking bunch, then Joe Carter's finest moment, Jays fans can't help but feel more than nostalgia. Because for Jays fans, and Toronto sports fans in general, the past 20 years have been a nuclear wasteland.1
The year of the Jays' second straight World Series also marked the first season of a stretch that brought 10 playoff appearances and four conference finals in 12 years for the Maple Leafs, but those seasons usually ended in heartbreak … which is still better than seven years and counting without a return trip to the postseason for one of the NHL's biggest-banking franchises. The Raptors made their debut two years after "Touch 'em all, Joe!" … and have been awful most years since then, with a couple of brief, mild spurts of success mixed with 12 losing seasons. But the Jays have been the worst of the bunch … only the sad-sack Royals and Pirates have gone longer than the 20 years since the Jays' last playoff berth.