Posts Tagged ‘Free Pizza’

In Spain, every team is named “Real”, and each game begins with the ceremonial “eating of the ball”, as demonstrated here by Jose Calderon.

Here are three things I liked about tonight’s pre-season game against Real Madrid:

  1. Real Madrid’s uniform includes a fluorescent green stripe, which is pretty sharp.
  2. The video that was supposed to play as they introduced the Raptors’ starting lineup was missing the sound, which made for an odd 20 seconds of awkward silence.
  3. The Raptors’ announcer, Herbie Kuhn, was going all authentic when pronouncing the visiting players’ names, so that names like “Rudy Fernandez” became “arrrrrrRudy Fffffernandeth”.

And hey…free pizza on day 1! Things are looking up…


Dear Mr. Van Gundy,

I can understand your view that Raptor fans shouldn’t have been so excited about getting a slice of pizza at the end of Monday’s game against your Orlando Magic. From an objective standpoint, it’s pretty silly that we might get so excited over a measly slice of cheese or pepperoni pizza. Objectively, it’s silly that we would cheer more loudly for Ed Davis’ otherwise meaningless basket than for any other moment during the game.

But I would like to try something for a second. A little thought experiment. Just take a deep breath…clear your mind…and imagine…that you are a Raptor fan. Okay, if you haven’t already let out a shriek, slammed your laptop shut, and run to the nearest corner to curl up and rock back and forth in a shivering ball, stay with me for a moment.

Imagine that you are a Raptor fan.

Imagine that instead of heading into April gearing up for a playoff run, you head back into the “rebuilding process”, an experience similar to building a sand castle too close to the waves that will inevitably erase everything you’ve done.

Imagine knowing that any talented player having a breakout year on your team probably has one foot out the door already.

Imagine that after a tough home game, instead of stepping out into the mild Orlando evening, you step out into wet snow blowing in from Lake Ontario, mixed perfectly with diesel fumes from the Gardiner Expressway and the stench of another loss.

Imagine that your draft history includes Rafael Araujo.

Imagine that instead of having a front row seat at the Dwight Howard Show every night, you get to watch Aaron Gray handle the ball like he’s wearing oven mitts.

You see what I’m saying: we don’t have much to cheer about here in the world of Toronto basketball. Or, for that matter, Toronto sports in general. So yes, we cheered when Ed Davis got us a free slice of pizza. We cheered because our team rarely gives us anything other than headaches, heartache, and a deep sense of existential doubt about one’s very life.

I hope you can understand where we’re coming from, and that in future you’ll be a bit more sensitive to our plight. Have a safe trip back to Orlando, and say hello to all the Canadians who go down there every year to boost the local economy, and to escape the bleak landscape that is winter sports in Toronto.


Holy Craptors

Let the record show: I have no complaints about the way the Raptors played tonight.


They played defense. They rebounded well. They blocked shots. They scored in the paint. Amir Johnson was a beast, and Calderon piled up the assists. And for the first time this season, Raptors fans in attendance got to take advantage of the “you get free pizza if the Raptors score 100 points or more” deal. Hallelujah.

So instead of criticizing the Raptors, I’d like to tell you about the two morons who sat behind me.

I think there might have been a “World’s Biggest Douchebag” competition somewhere, and the prize for the winner and runner-up was to sit behind me at the Air Canada Centre and make stupid comments all night. Seriously, I’ve never heard people with so little knowledge of basketball speak with such conviction about the game. Here’s a sampling of some of what I heard tonight:

When Linas Kleiza comes into the game: “Hey, is that Bar-ga-nanny? I thought he was injured.”

When a Wizards player gets called for travelling: “C’mon, ref! That’s a flagrant!”

When Calderon misses a three: “Oh, that could have been the dagger.” Note: we were already up by 22 at this point.

Then, in the third quarter, when they were evidently bored with the game, team two-chebag (as I started to call them in my head) started to play GM, dreaming up some awesome trades that they think the Raptors’ management should try to make.

“I’d bundle Bargnani, Davis, and Cole-der-ann together for Chris Paul.” Yeah, I’m sure the Clippers would be cool with that too.

“Kevin Durant would be a good fit.” Yes. MVP’s tend to fit on just about any team.

But the crowning moment had to be at halftime, when the guy next to me, there with his son, handed one of the morons behind us an iPhone, asking him to take a picture for him. After struggling to figure out how to hold the iPhone without his finger over the lens, he finally managed to hold it still for long enough to take a photo…but he pressed the “menu” button, thus switching the phone out of camera mode.

“Sorry dude, it’s not working. It just goes back to this screen.” Congratulations. On a device with ONE BUTTON, you have managed to press the wrong button.

Why is it that people who know the least tend to talk the loudest? Oh well, at least it was entertaining. And hey, I get to type these words: THE RAPTORS WON.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some free pizza to attend to.