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Rosie DiManno: Toronto Raptors fans grow giddy, jittery in Jurassic Park

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Fandom ain’t for wussies.

Greater the devotion, deeper the bajiggity, defined by the Urban Dictionary as “loudly nervous and anxious.”

Fan: From the Latin fanaticus – “insanely but divinely inspired.”

And these Toronto Raptors have so passionately inspired a city, a country, both the sports universe and the sports averse. Because there comes a point where distinctions are blurred and even the chronically indifferent get swept along in the swell of crazy emotion, smitten. Toot-toot.

After the Game 7 clunk of the Maple Leafs – hockey always and forever the pre-eminent religion ’round these parts – and with the Blue Jays going through their rebuild pains, this city yearns for a slab of sports pride, a bit of the boast. So it’s mainlined Raptors reverence, whether as vintage fan or parvenu.

On the dizzying precipice of a Game 6 that could send the Raptors to a first-ever NBA final, devotees descended by the thousands, a good-natured queue – even in the downpour, which would have cleansed the great unwashed down to their toes – that stretched up Bay Street, then hung a left on Front. The lucky (or well-heeled) had ducats, the unfortunate – but maybe even more besotted – had only the possibility of making the entry cut at an expanded Jurassic Park.

Sam Clark was the first in line, arriving at 11:30 a.m., with his service dog, Mr. Pickles, a sweet grey pittie.

“I’ve never been here before, never done anything like this before,” admitted Clark, a 33-year-old accountant who’s suffered with PTSD since a bad car crash three years ago, hence the service dog allowed into the plaza abreast of........

© Toronto Star