Last year, while in Canada, I had the chance to see a baseball game. It was Canada Day and the Rogers Centre was bubbling with patriotism; a sea of red Blue Jays fans baying apologetically for the blood of the four Tigers fans who'd showed up. Never in my life have I felt both more and less Canadian.

I've always considered baseball to be a wee bit boring - like cricket, but with stranger clothes. Nothing seems to happen; men throw balls, men miss balls, men wait, men run short distances. My North American friends tell me this is not the point: the point is to be there and drink beer. And they're right. Unlike watching a game on TV, being in front of the real thing is deliriously exciting. Even buying a huge, floppy slice of pizza to eat with the beer is kind of a thrill. Which is when we missed the Blue Jays hit one, or two home runs in succession. I can't remember. In any case we missed what we were there for, the action, but in another way we didn't. We were there, being Canadian, doing Canadian things as the cheers of the crowd surged through the stadium exits and rumbled over our heads. The Blue Jays beat the Tigers 8-2, the Globe and Mail called it a rout, and Canada went home happy.


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