"We Are A City Of Losers" – And Raptors Changed That

Toronto native and Raptors reporter Brandon Gonez explained what Monday's parade meant to the city – and all of Canada

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
June 18, 2019 - 9:56 am
Marc Gasol Raptors Parade

USA Today Images


Roughly 1.5 million people packed the streets of Toronto on Monday, as the city – and the entire country of Canada – celebrated the Raptors’ first NBA title in franchise history.

“Yesterday was a day this city has never experienced,” CP 24 Toronto reporter Brandon Gonez said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “This was the first championship for this team in franchise history. It’s been 24 years in the making, and seeing where this team has come from – from that first season to this season – is just remarkable.”

Gonez, who was born and raised in Toronto, offered insight into the psyche of Toronto sports fans.

“We are – and I say this very humbly – a city of losers,” he said. “Our teams do not win. The Toronto Maple Leafs, one of the oldest teams in all of sports, haven’t won a Stanley Cup in 52 years. The last time we had a really big international championship was the Blue Jays, when they won the championship back in 1993. So there have been generations of people who have never witnessed what a championship looks like, what it feels like, what it tastes like – and the Raptors broke that streak. They brought pride to a city.

The Maple Leafs have won 13 Stanley Cups, but their last title came in 1967.

“What the Raptors have done in 52 weeks is what the Leafs have tried to do in 52 years,” Gonez said. “It brought the city together – and not just the city of Toronto, but the province of Ontario and even the entire country of Canada. We had watch parties from coast to coast to coast. It was unbelievable.”

Click below to listen to Gonez’s interview in its entirety.