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Superfans and Playing PROLINE with OLG

The word “fan” is just a shortened version of “fanatic,” which, as we all know, means someone who is so interested in or fascinated with something they’re often driven to express their devotion in creative ways – making it a perfect term for enthusiastic sports lovers!

Stadiums around the world are filled with people who paint their bodies the colours of their favourite teams, scream themselves hoarse, and essentially plan their lives around their squads’ game schedules.

Such superfandom is alive and well here in Ontario. Here are three examples of fans who really, really love their teams, along with a fun way that you, too, can feel a part of your favourite sports community… without necessarily making it the basis of your identity.

Raptors Royalty

Players and coaches come and go for the Toronto Raptors, but there’s one name that’s been with the city’s NBA team since the beginning: Nav.

The Mississauga-based businessman attended every single Raptors home game in Toronto since the team was founded in 1995 for more than a quarter century… that is, until his streak came to an unavoidable end in 2021 due to quarantine rules.

Nav is the very definition of a superfan, known almost as well to locals as many of the team’s biggest stars, with news outlets using him as a go-to interview to get a sense of how fans feel about the Raptors’ performance and prospects. His dedication to the team he loves is peerless.

Toronto FC’s True Colour

When Major League Soccer greenlit a team for Toronto in 2005, local soccer enthusiasts immediately began working on forming a fan-run club dubbed The Red Patch Boys (named after a famous Canadian infantry division from the Second World War) that flies the team’s scarlet flag through thick and thin.

The club’s first meeting took place in 2006, and it has been a major presence alongside the team ever since, offering memberships, putting on rally events, and hosting online forums dedicated to team discussions. They even have a “bunker banner” that hangs in the stadium during home games that’s become an iconic symbol of team pride.

The Red Patch Boys are a great example of fans working on their own to play an important role creating spirit within a team’s community.

The Maple Leafs Mega-Collector

Sports fandom doesn’t require a constant presence at games.

Take Kurtis, AKA the Leafs Collector. He lives in Radcliffe, AB – some 3,000 kilometres from Toronto – but has become known as one of the Maple Leafs’ all-time greatest fans thanks to his enormous collection of team memorabilia, which includes jerseys, pucks, helmets, cards, statuettes, and more, all displayed in his basement in meticulously maintained showcases that have the vibe of a sports museum exhibit.

Kurtis’ devotion was recognized by the team he loves in early 2022. He was invited to attend a home game during a time when only players’ families and friends were allowed into the Scotiabank Arena due to COVID quarantine restrictions. He even got to have a drink with the vice-president of Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment in a private box.

They Can Be Them, You Can Do You

Superfans are a vital part of many fan communities, but it’s also okay to simply be enthusiastic about watching games. A fun way to add to the thrill on game day is through PROLINE+, which gives you a way to have a little something riding on your team’s victories, helping keep games exciting until the final play.

PlaySmart’s How to Play page provides a quick and simple overview of how different PROLINE+ games work so that you understand the rules and your chances of winning. Think of it as Sports Betting 101, an easy way for you to get up to speed on how sports betting works.

For example, in Pools Online, you won’t necessarily win if you pick several or even most of the winning teams on a given card. You have to pick more than anyone else who plays. That’s no easy feat. And if you know that going in, you’re more likely to make responsible wagers, keeping games fun rather than nerve-wracking.

Responsible betting can enhance the excitement of watching games with your fellow fans. Just remember the goal is to have fun (and, if you get lucky, maybe earn some bragging rights among friends).