Posts Tagged ‘Monkey Business’

RAPOGANDA, n. (rap-ah-gan-dah) Media created with the purpose of fuelling optimism with regard to the future of the Toronto Raptors basketball club. Often involves the framing of mediocre players as all-stars, the assertion that the Raptors will make the playoffs very soon, and the unfounded claim that most NBA players are just dying to play in Toronto. Usually results in inflated expectations, which in turn leads to panic, fan disillusionment, and an infinite cycle of rebuilding. 

Things I like about the video above:

  1. It looks like it was filmed in an FBI interrogation room. I almost expect Agent Smith to appear over Leo’s shoulder and say, “I assume you’ll be renewing your season tickets, won’t you, Misssster Rautinsssss….”
  2. I had no idea that Terrence Ross “intrigues the hell” out of Jack Armstrong. I’m also not sure what he means, but Ross might want to play it safe and restraining-order-the-hell out of Armstrong.
  3. There’s the token mention of Bargnani as a key member of the team at 1:54. Probably added into the script once they realized nobody would trade for him.
  4. There’s just the tiniest hint of desperation when they talk about this team being “attractive to free agents”. It’s as if they’re trying to wish it into reality by saying it over and over again. Or maybe they’re just scared because Bryan Colangelo is standing just outside the frame with a shotgun.

Life can be lonely when you ride the bench all season. But Mickael Pietrus finally found a way to get some screen time, and to prove that while his game may not be what it used to be, his moves are as fabulous as ever:



There was no hideous loss to the Wizards last night.
We did not have a mere 32 points at halftime.
This was a moral victory.
These are not the droids you’re looking for.
Crazed fan Devin Hicks is tackled by security. Meanwhile, Aaron Gray (background) wonders how this guy is getting more time on the court than he is. (Photo:

Crazed fan Devin Hicks is tackled by security. Meanwhile, Aaron Gray (background) wonders how this guy is getting more time on the court than he is. (Photo:

In recent Raptor games, incidents away from play have been just as interesting as the games themselves. A few days ago there was Matt Devlin’s bizarre encounter with rapper Wale.

And then last night, an unexpected, overweight, 15-minutes-of-famer appeared briefly on the hardwood at the ACC. But enough about Young MC’s halftime performance.

It was during the fourth quarter of a hard-fought, scrappy game that Devin Hicks burst onto the court during a time-out. But this wasn’t just some spur of the moment, alcohol-fuelled impulse. This was a pilgrimmage. This was a carefully-planned fulfillment of a bucket-list dream. Hicks spent several hours pre-Tweeting about how he was getting all excited about his upcoming exploits. His homemade t-shirt had “Let’s Go Raps” scrawled on the front, and “Bucket List” on the back.

Hicks apparently spent the night in jail, no doubt paid a hefty fine, and according to his Twitter feed, has been banned from the ACC for a year. His first tweet after leaving jail was hashtagged “#illbeback”, which leaves me wondering what Mr. Hicks has planned for an encore when he’s allowed back to the ACC in a year’s time.

Well, Mr. Hicks, if you’re out there, here are some tips for your next unscheduled appearance:

  • Outsource the t-shirt making.  Seriously. If you had been looking forward to your court invasion for weeks, you need to come with something better than sharpie on a white undershirt.
  • Learn some dance moves. Once you reached mid-court, I was excited to see what you had in store for us. Cartwheels? Harlem shake? Moonwalk? Maybe a bit of nudity? But no; you just ran around a bit, looking excited to be there, but a bit confused as to what to do. We get that every night with Aaron Gray. Give us something original!
  • Make a sign. If you’ve got 18,000 eyes looking your way, give them a message. Nobody past the front row could read your shirt. How about a sign? Maybe with some kind of inflammatory Colangelo-related catchphrase on it.
  • Play to the crowd. Give them some physical comedy. Maybe the ol’ slip on a banana peel. Or a one-knee proposal to a security guard. Or mime Terrence Ross’ winning dunk. Every great prank has a punchline, and you need to find yours.

Devin Hicks’ Twitter profile proclaims, “Live Fast, Die A Legend”. We can only speculate about this legend’s next act. (Photo:

At this point, Leo Rautins decided it was time to pretend he didn’t know Matt Devlin. (Photo: @jeskeets)

Tonight’s game against the Wizards was one of those games you’re glad you didn’t pay to see.

But there were two bright spots: the Raptors made it out with a win, and announcer Matt Devlin made it out with his life.

Midway through the game, Raptors announcers Leo Rautins and Matt Devlin were obviously told to mention that Grammy-nominated rapper Wale was in attendance. Displaying exactly the knowledge of hip hop that you would expect, they spent the next several minutes commenting on how they didn’t know who he was because they were so old/he was just a “local rapper” who was not in the same league as Drake. Oh, and they joked about how they loved him in that Pixar movie.

Within minutes, Wale had discovered via Twitter that he was the butt of two dorky Canadian commentators’ jokes, and (surprise!) he was a bit annoyed by it. So, he made his way up to Matt and Leo to correct the situation. The screenshot above shows a portion of the conversation in which Wale is saying something along the lines of, “Pardon me, good sir, but I find your repartee impertinent and unnecessary. Kindly desist!”

Devlin was last seen cowering under a blanket in the back of the Raptors bus.

The “Toronto Sack”, modeled here, is an essential wardrobe piece for any Toronto sports fan. (Photo:

In 2010, the Globe dubbed Toronto a “city of losers”, citing its incredible ineptitude across the four major sports.

This week, in a follow-up story, they confirmed that…nothing has changed. Here’s the analysis of cities with teams in all four major North American sports, and their combined winning percentages:

1.San Francisco/Oakland .574

2.Dallas-Fort Worth .538

3. New York/New Jersey .537

4. Washington, D.C. .523

5. Detroit .489

6. Chicago .486

7. Boston .483

8. Miami .478

9. Denver .477

10. Philadelphia .469

11. Phoenix .448

12. Toronto .442

13. Minneapolis-St. Paul .419

Yeah, what’s up now, Minneapolis!

(It should be noted, however, that the numbers above don’t include MLSE’s other major loser, Toronto FC. Throwing in their win-loss record would probably plunge Toronto well below the Twin Cities.)

“But ref, my coach MADE me wear this!” (Photo:

Tonight being Canadian Forces Night at the ACC, we’re bound to see the Raptors in their beautiful camo uniforms. Intended to honour Canada’s brave men and women, they’re more likely to bring to mind vegetarian diarrhea than bravery. I could go on about how hideous the outfits are, but I’ve done that before. Instead, I’ll take the constructive criticism route, and suggest some other ways the team could pay tribute to Canada’s military.

Option 1: Night Vision
  • How it works: All fans and players are provided with night vision goggles. The game is played with the lights out.
  • The twist: If a player gets a technical foul, they must play 2 minutes without their goggles.
  • Drawbacks: Potential for injury is high.
  • Benefits: Potential for hilarity very high. Also, vision enhancement for the referees might encourage better refereeing than the Raptors have seen recently.


Option 2: Landmines
  • How it works: The court is randomly rigged at the start of each quarter with low-grade explosives. By low grade, I mean not enough to cause physical injury, just enough to scare the crap out of the player who steps on it.
  • The twist: One land mine is filled with pizza. If triggered, the fans get a facefull of what they so desperately cheer for every night.
  • Drawbacks: Could lead to lots of turnovers, which the Raptors can ill-afford.
  • Benefits: Aaron Gray would finally not be the only guy who looks scared while running down the court.


Option 3: Air Strike
  • How it works: At random moments, the ball opens up, dropping five smaller balls onto the court, which are in play for 24 seconds only. Score a basket with one of the smaller balls in those 24 seconds, and it’s worth 10 points.
  • The twist: Miss a shot with the smaller ball, and it explodes.
  • Drawbacks: Mechanically complex.
  • Benefits: With extra balls on the court, Alan Anderson might be able to break the 50-shot attempt mark.


Option 4: March Off!
  • How it works: If the score is tied at the end of regulation, overtime becomes a 5-minute drum corps competition.
  • The twist: The competition is judged by Paula Abdul.
  • Drawbacks: Practising routines would be time-consuming.
  • Benefits: Overtime isn’t the Raptors’ strong suit, so they’d be up for trying it.