Posts Tagged ‘Season Preview’

Christmas in September!

Posted: September 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

People ask me many questions about what it’s like to be a Raptors season ticket holder.

Actually, they usually just ask me why I bother in the first place, but that question can easily be answered by going to the “why?” section of this blog.

There are many perks enjoyed by the season ticket holder…it’s a life of glamour and excitement that extends way beyond attending the games. And it all begins on that magical day when your season ticket package arrives at your door. (Or, more accurately, when you get a note from the delivery company saying you have 72 hours to haul ass down to the pick-up centre on the corner of Warehouse Lane and Nowhere Street before they send your package back to MLSE.)

So, for all those of you who aren’t fortunate enough to be in the inner circle, here’s what we lucky few get for our season-long support:

The box is huge, which just adds to the excitement…there could be ANYTHING in there!

You open the box of Raptor riches, revealing more booty than Donyell Marshall.

Digging past the coupons for discounts on douche-wear at RealSports Apparel, you find the gold: the spiral-bound book of tickets. This year’s book features a high-angle shot of DeMar DeRozan peeing on the Raptors’ logo at centre court.

Inside the front cover, there’s a note from DeMar himself. It tells a heartfelt story of coming up hard on the streets of Compton, and how lucky he feels to be in the NBA, playing alongside legends like Ed Davis and Aaron Gray.

This is my favourite part of the ticket book: tickets to see the Raptors in the NBA Finals, just in case they make it. Printing these tickets is the ultimate in insane optimism. It’s like cleaning your room and lighting scented candles just in case Megan Fox comes over and wants to make out.

And just when you thought it didn’t get more exciting than tickets to The-Finals-That-Will-Never- Happen, you see this fuzzy piece of awesomeness at the bottom of the box.

This last item was the part that made my day.  I just love that the kind folks at MLSE thought to send me a fleece blanket, adorned with a Raptors logo, and secured with its own Raptors seat belt. Think of the potential uses:

  • draping it across your shoulders at the game, allowing for simultaneous team pride and personal warmth
  • curling up underneath it with Megan Fox while watching the game on TV
  • using it for warmth when the Raptors offence goes cold
  • covering your face with it when Amir Johnson decides to take consecutive three-pointers

Ladies and gentlemen, the preseason is only a few sleeps (under a fleece blanket) away. Let’s do this.

Go Raps!

A new NBA season is almost upon us.

And in a tradition as charmingly Torontonian as bidding for (and losing) the Olympics, sports writers here are bursting with optimism at the prospect of a new campaign of Raptors basketball.

Well, maybe not bursting. But for the Raptor faithful, there are some good reasons to be hopeful this fall. Don’t laugh. It’s true.

Reason for optimism #1: Jonas is coming.

Skill? Check. Height? Check. Fashion sense? Hm…

In a headline straight outta 2006, the Raptors are hoping that a big man from Europe with loads of talent will have a positive effect on the team in the coming years. The anticipation around Valanca…Valcan……Valanaci…big V has grown all the larger since he missed what would have been his rookie season last year in Europe. The anticipation bubble will probably deflate quickly as he adjusts to the NBA game, but the consensus seems to be that this guy is (will be) good.

Reason for optimism #2: A legit point guard.

One of these guards was signed by the Raptors in the off-season. Can you guess which one?

Okay, so we didn’t manage to bribe Nash into playing here. But Kyle Lowry is solid, and after the parade of clowns we saw at PG last season, he might as well be Chris Paul. His perimeter defense, his scoring, his the-fact-that-he’s-not-Gary-Forbes-ness will all help.

Reason for optimism #3: We like Coach Casey.

Coach Casey, seen here giving a slow-clap after another ill-advised shot from Amir Johnson, was the main reason the Raptors won any games at all last year.

 A year of coaching the Raptors, and he hasn’t slit his wrists. That’s a plus. And let’s face it: he turned the team around last year. Well, maybe not all the way around, but he woke them up on defense and planted the seeds of success.

Reason for optimism #4: We’re not the worst franchise in North America.

“Remember”, Mom said, “there’s always someone who’s worse off than you.”

 A recent ESPN ranking of 122 sports teams on the continent places the Raptors at number 103, sandwiched firmly between the perennially mediocre Blue Jays (#79), and the belovedly horrible Maple Leafs (dead last at 122). It should be noted that the list does not include MLS, the continent’s soccer league, in which Toronto FC currently sits dead last.

In conclusion…?
Well, who’s to say what will happen over the next six months? The league is our oyster. This guy thinks the Raptors might make the playoffs this year. This guy puts them in the 7th seed.

Me? Well, I tend to stay conservative with my predictions. With that in mind, I’m forecasting the following:

  • The Raptors will finish 62-20, first place in the east. Bosh will be begging to come back, but Colangelo won’t return his phone calls.
  • Valanciunas will be the unanimous Rookie of the Year. He will pull down 18 rebounds per night and will be the toast of Toronto. He will get all the ladies, Bargnani will be jealous, and the two will come to fisticuffs in the middle of a game, prompting Bargnani’s trade to the Timberwolves.
  • Derozan will have a breakout season and put up 34.1 ppg through the all-star break, before a surprise marriage to a Kardashian and a subsequent messy divorce and downward spiral that will see him balloon to 270 pounds and disappear for a week-long bender in Niagara Falls.
  • Jose Calderon will win the dunk contest with a spectacular throw-down in which he does a backflip, followed by a barrel roll, followed by a mid-air high-five from Jerome Williams, who showed up because he thought he was still playing for the Raptors.

Go optimism! Go Raptors!