Greetings and salutations from Berlin. I’ve been here for a few days and am now just sitting down to get some stuff up on the site. Sorry for the delay, it’s just been a tad busy.
Anyways. Great article in yesterdays Wall Street Journal on Toronto, the hot attraction to Athletes. Here are some highlights:
“Toronto is a road trip just about every pro athlete looks forward to. Some say the city has a cool, international vibe that increasingly stands out. Some like the plentitude of cheap concert tickets—a boon for athletes with big posses—or the convenience of the must-be-19 drinking law. (Rookie guard DeMar DeRozan of the Raptors, who is 20, was ordering chocolate milk at dinner before his teammates told him the good news).”
Party town USA, I mean Canada! Yes, it is funny to be out on the town some late evenings to do nothing more than people watch. A good friend ran into Isiah Thomas one night, just BEFORE he found out his fate in a NY courtroom and, let’s just say that Isiah was being Isiah.
“Athletes get a warm welcome at the city’s relatively libertine gentlemen’s clubs which, according to a spokeswoman for the Toronto Convention and Visitors Bureau, tend to “clear out the champagne room” for visiting athletes. And it helps that the tentacles of the tabloids and gossip Web sites rarely extend this far into the frozen north. “People like to come here to party,” says Raptors power forward Chris Bosh.”
Damn! We got libertine gentleman’s clubs?????????? How nice that our CVB is telling the press that the champagne rooms are cleared out for athletes too…. 🙂
“Since the Buffalo Bills began playing annual games at Toronto’s Rogers Centre (formerly SkyDome) in 2008, an increasing number of NFL players have started passing through “the 416,” which is the city’s area code. Baseball players, who’ve been coming here since 1977 to play the Blue Jays, have good memories.”
Wait, wait wait… you mean the athletes aren’t hanging in the 647 or passing through the 905?????
“Jarrett Jack, a Raptors guard, says the “mix of people” in Toronto is far more interesting than he sees in most NBA towns. “One girl told me she’s from Hungary and Chile—I’m like, how does that happen?” says Mr. Jack. “You kind of go outside the box here.”
See, now I think Jarret Jack’s got it all wrong. I think she said she was hungry for some chili!
“At the center of much of the city’s athlete nightlife is an event planner and promoter named Mona Halem, a former employee of the Air Canada Centre, which is home to the Raptors. Ms. Halem has become “notorious” throughout the sports world, says Raptors forward Antoine Wright, for assembling attractive party guests to fete nearly every franchise that comes to town.
Last week, around midnight, not long after they’d checked into their hotel, several members of the New York Knicks put on expensive sweaters and hailed cabs to Tattoo Rock Parlour, a club in the city’s “Queen West” neighborhood.
Knicks rookie Toney Douglas, who was descending the hotel elevator in a sparkling diamond necklace and a puffy vest, said he never goes out before games and isn’t a fan of cold weather, but had heard from friends that Toronto, “party-wise,” was one city worth making an exception for. “It’s something different – it’s another country,” he said.”
OK, now raise your hand if your wondering if Ms. Halem is familiar with one Tiger Woods?
“Darren Sanders, the director of security for the Baltimore Ravens—a team that hasn’t even played in Toronto—says his team was told recently about the growing popularity of Toronto among athletes, and about her role in making it so. “She is definitely on the radar,” he says.”
Now that’s funny. Can you imagine that the Baltimore Ravens who never come here have a Toronto party girl on their “radar”????? Paging Mr. Woods, anyone???? Mr. Tiger Woods….
Sorry I don’t have the link to the article, reader Neil sent it to me via email, if you want to read the rest, and it’s pretty damn funny, it’s entitled “Why Pro Athletes Love Toronto Chic, Discreet and Increasingly Party-Filled, Canada’s Sports Hub Permits Jocks to Cut Loose”