Between Chris Bosh and Tom Selleck knocking Toronto this summer, it seems like the cool thing to do these days is to put the boots to Hogtown.
Despite the best attempts to try and sway public opinion otherwise by a scrappy Blue Jays' squad, paired with a pleasantly surprising Argos team; it has been a tough season for the T-dot.
(**Note to Blue Jays owners and management: it's been a long time since this many people rocked a Jays cap proudly around the 416. You've got the fan base inspired, so don't screw this rebuild up!)
Then along comes Matt Bonner. Yes, the over-achieving Raptor castoff who went on to find a home - and a good one at that - in San Antonio. Bonner married a good Canadian girl and has made Toronto his summer home. And here's the kicker - he gives back to the city!
Bonner recently lent his name and time to help raise money for a local Boys and Girls club by spinning some tunes and helping people have a good time for a great cause.
There's something 'different' - someone who cares, gives back...and is proud to call Toronto home. He is now a permanent resident and was hopeful to play for the Canada's squad at this year's FIBA World Championship, until the Canadian Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration denied his request for a sped-up approval a few weeks ago. Talk about short sighted.
This is the same federal government that has invested millions and millions of dollars promoting sport through the Olympics and yet when an athlete comes along who could help develop a key national program like Canada Basketball, and provide inspiration to thousands of young athletes across the country, they suddenly go in a different direction.
Oh I know people will be critical of the idea of showing favouritism because Bonner is a pro athlete, but this isn't something that would've cost anything. In fact, it was done for bobsledder, Lascelles Brown, prior to the 2006 Olympics and look at the great story it provided for all. Wouldn't it be nice if the national hoops team was a successful one rather than everyone railing the program for its dismal showing last week?
Bonner has shown his commitment to Toronto and this country. It's too bad that we haven't shown the same.