I rarely buy tickets to sporting events. I buy the odd Blue Jays ticket, but usually when I'm at a live sporting event it's because someone offered me free tix. So when I bought four tickets to last night's Raptors game, it was because the price was right and there was someone special I wanted to see.
The tickets were $15 each, $60 for the four of us. You're tucked away in the Sprite Zone, but I don't mind that one bit. In fact, it's better. The kids are entertained during breaks in the action, Michelle actually won a tee-shirt that James wore throughout the game, and the crowd is young, enthusiastic and sincerely happy to be in the building. If you're taking kids to see the Raptors, I highly recommend the Sprite Zone. It's the best bang for your Toronto sports scene buck.
The atmosphere itself is completely different than that of a Leafs game. The music is hip-hop and R&B, with Kanye instead of Nickelback. The crowd is much younger, less comatose and much less white. My wife, who I've never caught watching the Raptors on television, loves going to Raptor games at the ACC. My daughter keeps her eyes focused on the dinosaur mascot and James was blown away by the whole experience. Raptor games are fun, even when you lose by 13.
And of course, I was there to see Captain Canada, the greatest basketball player this nation has ever produced. Steve Nash didn't disappoint, dishing off a season-high 18 assists while chipping in 10 points. Leandro Barbosa scored the baskets but Nash was everywhere. He was worth every cent of my $15.
Here are pics I took. A good time was had by all.
The last time I was at the ACC to see the Raptors face the Phoenix Suns, it was a significant milestone in Toronto Raptor history. It was the first nationally televised game for the Raps, airing on NBC at 12:30 on February 27, 2000. It was also the game Vince Carter scored 51, still a franchise record.
Tonight, I'll be watching the Suns and Raps again. I bought the tickets to see the greatest Canadian basketball player in the history of the sport, but I'm still cheering for a Raptor victory. With Bosh out of the lineup, I wonder who will step it up to set a new franchise mark for points?
Carlos Delfino, this is your night.
Vince Carter of the New Jersey Nets will be sidelined indefinitely with a sprained right ankle.
I don't mean to make light of another man's pain, but this image is deja vu all over again. I'm trying to heal, but there's always something there to remind me of the pain.
How do you spell karma? F-U-V-C.
Tonight, at 7pm, the Raptors host Philadelphia in our season opener. If you bounce around and check out the American media's predictions for this season, our Raps aren't getting much respect.
- The NBA GM survey doesn't mention the Raptors at all. Their picks to win the Atlantic Division are Boston, New Jersey and New York.
- The SI Power Rankings don't even have us in the top ten.
- This Fox Sports blog doesn't even care enough to mention us. It likes the Bulls.
- Somehow Associated Content has the Nets, Celtics and 76ers ahead of us in the division. Yikes!
- Hollinger at ESPN has us finishing 8th in the conference.
- The Sports Watchers don't even have us making the playoffs.
- ESPN, at least, have us tied with New Jersey as the 2nd most likely to win our division. They're picking Boston.
You get the idea. Nobody thinks we're going to win the division again and few give us a hope and a prayer of coming out of the conference. Listen to me now and hear me later, we're a better team than we were last year and we were pretty damn good last year. It's possible the Nets win the division, but this year we actually win a playoff round, maybe two.
Bargnani will be greatly improved, Bosh is still awesome and Kapono can shoot the lights out. The fun starts tonight. Go Raptors Go!
Mo Pete played 542 games for the Toronto Raptors, a franchise record. His next game will be for the New Orleans Hornets who signed him to a four-year $23 million dollar deal.
Morris Peterson was around a long time, and although I liked him, I never felt he reached his full potential. When I was ready to write him off and move on, he'd do something like this and blow my mind.
When the Hornets come to town, give this guy a seven year salute.
I got an interesting email from Medea Kalantar yesterday.
I am sending you the logo my son has created, his name is Jean-Diar Kalantar and he is 13 years old. Can you please make sure the right people see his design.
Medea knows MLSE visits this site. Right people, here's Jean-Diar's design.
It's half time, and the Raptors are up 46-43 in New Jersey. Not only is T.J. Ford playing, but he's 6-7 for 13 points in nine minutes. That's awesome.
James and I watched the first half together, but I just put him to bed, so I'm going to have to finish this thing on my own. Here's hoping VC continues his shitty shooting, Bosh gets pissed and takes it hard to the hoop and Ford continues to run right through this News D.
As we prepare for game #6 in the swamp, let's listen in on a moment from Tuesday night's big win. I'm giving this a chill factor of 8.1.
Thanks to Kic for bringing this to my attention. Kic, I'll see you on the field. Don't forget those discs.
I think my heart just stopped. We were up large, and then it dissipated. When the Nets hit that three with Calderon hurt on the floor, I almost cried. When the Nets missed that final three ball, I almost cried once more. We're going back to Jersey.
Teams with a 3-1 game lead in the NBA playoffs are 158-8. Now that I've discovered what was holding us back, you can be sure we'll be number nine. That damn Raptors masthead was clearly jinxing us, and now that it's gone, we can't lose.
You may be wondering what Sam Mitchell is doing to psyche up the Raptors prior to tonight's do-or-die game at the ACC. In a Toronto Mike exclusive, I've just learnt how MoPete and the boys are preparing themselves for Kidd and Carter.
Sam's got them watching Bruce Willis' "Yippee-ki-yay Mother**cker" on a continuous loop. Listen for it at the 1:01 mark.
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