How Each Toronto Paper Covered the Raptors Playoff Win
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How Each Toronto Paper Covered the Raptors Playoff Win

Above the fold, above the rim.

In Front Page Challenge, Torontoist analyzes the best and worst of Toronto’s major dailies.

This week’s Front Page Challenge finds the Toronto Raptors on the cover of four out of Toronto’s five daily papers, proof that playoff fever is sweeping the city. But which paper captures the magic best? And which paper shamefully ignores our triumphs?

Find out below!

globe april 19
The Globe and Mail

The Globe may be Canada’s National Newspaper™ with a daily eye towards sober, serious coverage of current events, but that doesn’t mean they can’t kick back sometimes and celebrate significant sporting victories along with the rest of the nation and a refreshing glass of room temperature water. This morning they recognize the Raptors “rising to the occasion” with their playoff victory over the Pacers, which ties the first round playoff series 1-1. See, the Globe can be fun too! The top news story this morning is a call for the Federal Government to pick up the tab to compensate residential-school survivors after a miscommunication by a federal lawyer allowed the Catholic Church to escape their compensation obligations in the wake of the successful class-action settlement for damages. In other news, the Health Minister is working on a plan to address the spiralling abuse of opioids in the country, and Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion takes “full responsibility” for quietly pushing forward with the controversial arms deal with Saudi Arabia (he had the option to decline to sign export permits for the weaponry which would have negated the deal). What does “full responsibility” mean in terms of consequences? That’s a great question, though not answered in any detail today.

post april 19
National Post

This morning on the front page of “World’s Best-Designed Newspaper,” the main image captures the grief in Ecuador as the death toll rises from this weekend’s devastating earthquake. But hot takes are the order of the day this morning, with Colby Cosh’s defense of the use of Monosodium Glutamate as a flavour enhancer in Chinese restaurants, which “white people” claim causes headaches.” Andrew Coyne continues his recent series of critiques of the government’s bill C-14, legislation allowing for doctor-assisted suicide, envisioning a world where teenagers who are suicidally depressed will go visit their doctor who will put them to death or risk being imprisoned for denying the request, which sounds like a deleted scene from a dystopian science fiction movie like Soylent Green or Children of Men (this scene would probably have been removed from the movie for being too heavy-handed). Also in disappointing news for Stanley Kubrick conspiracy theorists, a Radio-Canada ombudsman has confirmed the network was correct to refer to man walking on the moon in 1969 as “fact” and not staged (a viewer had complained about this on-air assertion). In terms of civic pride, however, the Post‘s lack of recognition of the Raptors victory is duly noted.

star april 19
Toronto Star

The Star pays tribute to the Raptors right at the top of the paper this morning, but their investigative unit is also on its game. They provide the revelation that the Attorney-General has not read the SIU’s report clearing the officer who shot Andrew Loku of responsibility and won’t be talking about it after she does get around to reading it. A second bombshell concerns the province’s overworked, under-resourced hospitals that are trying to outsource cancer patient transplants to American care centres at a cost of over $100 million (U.S.) to our health-care system. Also this morning, one of the accusers in the Ghomeshi trial has identified herself to the Star. But notably buried in the fine print on page one is what should really be the main story of the day, “Depps Of Despair,” concerning Mortdecai actor Johnny Depp and his wife Amber Heard recording a strange video apologizing to Australia for their quarantine-violating dog-smuggling caper last year.

metro april 19
Metro Toronto

This morning’s Metro features the Raptors on the front page as they continue in their quest to get wiped out by the winningest team in the history of the NBA (the Golden State Warriors) in the Finals. The main story this morning concerns the City’s expected request of promised federal infrastructure money to expand Toronto’s cycling trails. But let’s talk about the elephant in the room on today’s front page: “Puppy Stolen At Gunpoint.” What kind of monster would do such a thing? Interestingly this puppy on the cover was not the one stolen at gunpoint, which remains unlocated, but a second puppy located at the thief’s residence.

Toronto Sun

sun april 19

The Sun predictably donates the most front-page space of any of the city’s papers to the Raps evening the series with the Pacers, and therefore sending a “Game 2 Message.” The headline “Big V” has a double meaning, referring not only to the all-important victory but also to the nickname of the star of the game Jonas Valanciunas. The Sun promises “7 Raps Pages Inside” (in perhaps a poignant reference to their front page coverage of the late former mayor of Toronto and longtime Raptors booster, Rob Ford). Speaking of Ford’s legacy, longtime RoFo chronicler Joe “Night Scrawler” Warmington makes a pilgrimage to Buffalo to breathlessly report on a rally held by Ford’s true populist successor (on an even grander scale), Donald Trump on the eve of today’s vote in the New York state GOP primary. Though Warmington misses his chance for a one-on-one with the future President of the United States of America, he does draw parallels with Ford’s spellbinding gift of directly connecting with the concerns with the common man (“Call it Trump Nation”) and found his candour similarly refreshing—”It was a fascinating spectacle to see live—especially in today’s politically-correct world where it’s difficult to say anything.”

This week’s winner: In the history of this column, it has been surprising that the venerable Globe and Mail has never been declared the winner. But today’s front page indicates a willingness of Canada’s National Newspaper™ to be judged by this column’s standards. They acknowledge the hopes and dreams of the people of Toronto by paying tribute to the Raptors, who are after all “Canada’s NBA team,” and it’s enough of a goodwill gesture to put a point for the Globe on our standings board, in the spirit of overall fairness and yes, team spirit.

Newspaper Number of Wins
Toronto Star 7
Toronto Sun 7
Metro 6
National Post 3
Globe and Mail 1

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