jamie campbell toronto

Toronto sportscasters are calling fans to cheer them up during COVID-19 crisis

As sports fans try to cope in a world without any games to look forward to, some of the industry's top broadcasters from Toronto are paying it back to the community to keep people's spirits high during an uncertain time.

Jamie Campbell, who hosts Toronto Blue Jays coverage for Sportsnet, started it all with a social media post offering to give a personal phone call to any fans who are feeling isolated and alone during this unprecedented time — particularly the elderly.

"If your parents/grandparents are #BlueJays fans and you think their spirits would be raised by a phone call, send me a direct message with their name, number and best time to call," the broadcaster said on Twitter last week.

The tweet garnered more than 5,300 likes and 675 retweets (and counting), as well as a whole whack of responses from the public.

Many called the gesture kind, cool and thoughtful, and a few replied thanking Campbell for already making a call to their family members.

"You are a real gentleman," a B.C.resident tweeted back that same day. "Your phone call lifted my dad’s spirits, [and gave] him a 'good news' story he’ll share with others. Grandpa Bill isn’t on Twitter but asked me to again share his sincere thanks."

One user even asked Campbell to call her brother "and chirp him for being a Yankees fan," offering to send along a phone number. The host replied in good fun, asking her to "go for it."

Eric Smith, who has covered the Toronto Raptors and other sports teams for decades on networks like the FAN 590 and Sporstnet, also got on board with the idea, commending Campbell's deed and offering to do the same.

"To me.....what@SNETCampbell initiated last week for #BlueJays fans was beyond impressive & extremely inspiring. Thus, after speaking with Jamie on Tuesday, I'm honored to follow his lead & help carry this cause into the #RAPTORS / #NBA side of the sports world too," Smith tweeted on Wednesday.

"If you're a frontline worker in healthcare or somebody working in essential services & you'd like to talk about the #Raptors for a few minutes, I'm here for you," he continued in a thread. 

"Or...if you or a loved one could simply use a little pick-me-up during these tough times, I'm here for you too."

Though a phone call is simple and doesn't take much time, it certainly can mean the world to a major fan, and it's nice to see really any acts of kindness during this very dark and trying time (especially when most celebrities are just sitting in their mansions and performing bad karaoke).

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