Toronto Raptors Are Now More Popular Than The Montreal Canadiens In Quebec
They're even more popular than the Maple Leafs.
Some of you are going to read this title and be struck with a wave of furious anger. Others will silently nod their heads as if they've known this all along. Habs fans, before you take out the pitchforks and march down the 401 to Toronto, let me break it down.
The Montreal Canadiens are the pulse of the city's sporting world - there's no doubt about that. Despite a season full of success and hope for the future, however, Habs fans are hungry for a championship.
It's been a full 26 years since Montreal has seen a Stanley Cup parade. A whole generation of fans (myself included) has seen the Habs make terrible trades, have terrible teams, bad management decisions, poor drafting, and a whole slew of chaos that's made us bitter. So, it's understandable that sports fans in Montreal are looking elsewhere.
And if the Google graph below is any indication, the Raptors are officially more popular than the Habs right now in Quebec.
Enter the Raptors.
The most unlikely success story in the NBA is on a historic run that sees them only one win away from winning the NBA Championship. If the Raptors win tonight,. That's huge.
Unprecedented historic run aside, the Raptors have been one of the decade's most successful NBA teams. Since 2013, the Raptors have appeared in every NBA Playoff. In 2016, they reached the Eastern Conference Final. It seemed the Championship was out of reach but they've finally made it.
All this in mind, we did a quick Google Trends search and a stunning truth was revealed.
The Toronto Raptors are now more popular than the Montreal Canadiens in Quebec.
While this seems as unlikely as, the stats never lie.
As of today, the Toronto Raptors are as popular as the Montreal Canadiens were at the end of March when the hockey season ended. This is unprecedented.
Even last year, when the Raptors went on a decent playoff run and the Canadiens were coming off one of their worst seasons ever, Raptors mania never hit Montreal like it has today.
The only question that remains is whether or not this will sustain past the summer. With the NHL Draft and Free Agent Frenzy coming up, it's unlikely, especially in Montreal where the Habs are a 12-month-a-year event.
There's a lot to say in the Raptor's credit. They've captured Canada's imagination and much like Montreal, the rest of Canada has also been starving for a champion.
The closest we got was when Vancouver made it to the Cup Final. And that Blue Jays playoff run in 2016. The Raptors have a huge opportunity to make history.
No pressure, boys.
Game 5 of the NBA Finals tips off tonight at 9 PM!