Santa has barely started tuning up his sleigh, and already the Toronto Raptors’ playoff hopes are gone for another year. In a season that started with plenty of optimism, with terms like “accelerated rebuild” being tossed around, the wheels seem to have come off surprisingly fast. The defence has disappeared, we’re challenging Washington for dead last, and fans and analysts are struggling to determine exactly where we go from here. A number of solutions have been floated, but none seem to satisfy.
Fire Dwane Casey? Give Colangelo the boot? Trade Bargnani?
Nah…none of those things will have a lasting effect. I say we go for a total re-brand. If the New Orleans Hornets can seriously consider a name like the Pelicans, surely we can at least entertain the idea of finding a new identity. It’s been suggested before, and hey…it’s not like the team could get any worse.
So without further ado, here are some humble suggestions for MLSE’s consideration:
Option 1: The Toronto Beavers
A hard-working animal that doesn’t get the credit it deserves. This name was in the running back when the NBA expanded to Toronto, and it’s worth a second look.
Benefits: Beavers are cuter than Raptors, and less extinct. Fans would be known as “Dam-nation”. Lots of opportunity for crass jokes.
Option 2: The Toronto Tankhouse
Let’s take corporate sponsorship to the next level. For those who don’t know, Tankhouse is an ale brewed locally by the Mill Street brewing company. It’s delicious.
Benefits: Alliteration in team names is always catchy. Mill Street’s business would go through the roof, which would be great news for a small local business. Plus, we could give the ACC the appropriate nickname “the house that tank built”.
Option 3: The Fightin’ Isaac
In honour of the 200th anniversary of Canada’s beat-down of the USA in the war of 1812, how about a nod to Major-General Isaac Brock, also known as “the hero of Upper Canada”?
Benefits: The fact that Brock died in action would send a powerful message about the kind of effort our team needs to give on the court every night. Plus, the mascot would get to wear a nifty jacket.
Option 4: The Toronto Raccoons
This might be the best option of them all. They’re cute, they’re local, and with a bit of skilled photoshopping, we wouldn’t even need a new logo.
Benefits: Might be the perfect symbol of a team that survives off the garbage of others. Like our basketball team, they don’t get a lot of respect. But anyone who’s gotten too close knows that you don’t mess with a raccoon. Our players could learn something from the craftiness and industriousness of this under-appreciated species.
Got any other ideas? My mind is as open as a player Jose Calderon’s supposed to be guarding. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave your suggestions in the comments.