Toronto Raptors

An Open Letter To Vince Carter

Vince CarterHey Vince, remember me!

I loved you, man. You were our Rookie of the Year, Air Carter, you were our Michael Jordan. I was at your 51 point game against the Suns. I cheered the loudest when you won the slam dunk competition. I busted a television when you missed the buzzer-beating three in game seven against the 76ers and I constantly defended you when others called you lazy, fragile or worse. You remember me now, don't you?

Here are a few entries I wrote about you. As you'll see, there were peaks, followed by a rather deep valley. I'll let you catch up on our tumultuous history before I get to the point of this letter.

  1. The EA Sports Jinx - October 2, 2003 @ 12:53: I'm concerned that Carter is on the cover of EA's NBA Live 2004. There is that jinx and I want Carter to stay healthy.
  2. Mike's Mailbag - October 29, 2003 @ 15:03: I inaccurately predict the Raptors will make the playoffs in 2003/2004. I add a caveat that Carter must remain healthy for this to happen.
  3. Vintage Vincent - November 27, 2003 @ 08:04: I'm gushing over the great Vince Carter after he scores 43 and carries the Raps on his back. I also reminisce about the 51 point game of his I attended.
  4. Not In-Vince-able - January 17, 2004 @ 14:00: Carter injures himself once again and I brace for the worst. I even compare him to Wendel Clark.
  5. Mr. Popular - January 30, 2003 @ 11:09: Carter leads the league in all-star votes for the fourth time and I try to figure out why he's so damn popular.
  6. Guest Blog Entry - January 30, 2004 @ 15:45: For the first time, I publicly admit in this space that Vince could be traded. I also admit that he's not the second coming of Michael Jordon. "If you had brought up the subject of trading Vince Carter a couple of years ago, I would have laughed in your face."
  7. It. Is. Over. - March 27, 2004 @ 11:04: I was pissed when I wrote this entry. The Raptors were going to miss the playoffs yet again and I knew something had to give.
  8. Vin-sane - July 2, 2004 @ 09:04: ESPN reports that Carter wants to be traded and I try to digest the news. "Vince is our star and it will hurt to watch him suit up for another team."
  9. The End of an Era? - July 14, 2004 @ 10:55: Rumours were swirling that Carter was on his way out and I thought we were in the final hours of the Vince Carter era in Toronto. "The writing's on the wall and we have to accept it."
  10. Carlos and Vince - July 16, 2004 @ 21:37: I found it interesting that it was becoming incredibly likely that both Carlos Delgado and Vince Carter would be leaving Toronto. Still, I held on to a semblance of hope that Carter could stay. "It's entirely possible we're cheering Carter's name on opening night as he stays with the Raps. I'm hoping he does because players with his talent are few and far between."
  11. Guest Blog Entry - July 20, 2004 @ 14:48: I admit I'm completely torn about the whole Vince Carter saga. "I'd like him to stay, play hard and lead us back to the playoffs where he can shine on a bigger stage."
  12. My Sports Wishlist - September 22, 2004 @ 08:23: Carter makes my sports wishlist as I wish he'd stop being such a suck, rescind his trade demand and play his ass off.
  13. 41 Reasons to Kick Ass - November 3, 2004 @ 13:11: The Sporting News ranks Carter the 41st best player in the NBA and I see this as a positive, potentially lighting a much needed fire under Carter's butt. "This gives Carter 41 reasons to kick ass this season."
  14. More Than 41 - November 23, 2004 @ 07:56: It didn't take long to realize that Vince Carter wasn't going to perform for the Raptors the way Vince Carter can. "When we finally do trade this major disappointment, we'll likely get little of value in return. Then, without a doubt, Carter will kick it up a notch and shoot the lights out for his new team."
  15. The Vince Carter Era Ends - December 17, 2004 @ 17:36: Vince Carter is traded to the New Jersey Nets. "It's time to move on my friends."
  16. Vince Carter Is A Dick - January 7, 2005 @ 15:36: What a surprise... Carter actually tries for the Nets and admits he didn't give his all for the Raps. "I used to defend Vince Carter when others wanted to get rid of him. Now, I wish him nothing but the worst. F him"
  17. Formerly Known As Air Canada - February 22, 2005 @ 12:02: The Raptors first game in New Jersey against Vince. "#15 quit on us and started lighting it up the moment he was out of here. Lets humiliate the bastard."
  18. NBA Championship Tonight - April 15, 2005 @ 07:52: Vince's first game in Toronto since the big trade. "Go Raps! Beat Vince!"

Vince, you've moved on to the Orlando Magic and you're in the conference final, but you're down 2 games to 0 against the Celtics. Although I'm over you and I've moved on, I'm going to ensure you never win an NBA Championship. It's not going to happen. Not on my watch.

With every vibe in my body and every ounce of my soul I'm hoping karma is a total bitch to you. I can't wait to see you eliminated once more.

Toronto Mike


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Really Chris Bosh, Is This How It Ends?

twitterCheck out this tweet from Chris Bosh's Twitter account earlier this evening.


I'm so glad our franchise player has decided to ask his Twitter followers where he should play next season. He wasn't specific, so I'm not sure if the city with the highest vote total wins his services.

This is the way the Bosh era ends: Not with a bang but a Twitter.

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We Suck

CN TowerIt seems like we were just talking about the Raptors gunning for fourth in the conference and a home court advantage for their first round in the playoffs. For those who don't follow the Raps, we finished ninth in the conference and that means we missed the playoffs for the second season in a row.

At least the Raptors played a playoff game three seasons ago. Our Leafs haven't played a playoff game since 2004. That's five seasons ago and six years. My daughter's about to turn six and she's not been alive for a single Leafs playoff game.

Of course, if we're talking playoff droughts in this city, the Blue Jays are the top dogs. The last Blue Jays playoff game ended with Joe Carter touching them all, and that was back in 1993. What's that, 17 seasons ago? Do we count the year they cancelled the World Series? Is it really 18 seasons ago?

At least it's tough to make the playoffs in baseball. Our Argonauts play in an 8 team league in which 6 teams make the playoffs, and they haven't qualified since 2007. It's not looking good for next season, either.

I could drag Toronto FC into this mess, but they're only in their fourth season. We'll excuse their three years of missing the playoffs. And the Marlies missed the playoffs, but they were there last year, if we're desperate for a silver lining.

Who am I kidding... there's no silver lining. The three teams with the largest fan-base, the Leafs, Raptors and Blue Jays, have collectively been absent from the playoffs since the Raps lost to Orlando in the first round back in the spring of good 'ol 2008.

We suck.

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Raptor Mascot Devours Cheerleader Whole

raptorsWarning: This is not for the faint of heart. Please do not watch this if you're at all squeamish.

Our Toronto Raptors mascot was caught on camera devouring a cheerleader whole. Unbelievable.

[via b3ta]

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Raptor Cookie Bundles = Style Over Substance

Thumbs DownThey say you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. I disagree. If the horse is a lemon, it's not gift at all. It's a big animal that you have to care for and feed and that's going to cost you lots of money for oats and a stable and such.

As part of their Experience G promotion, Gatorade took me to a Raptors game. As part of the deal, I got an Raptors cookie bundle. It's tough to explain exactly what a Raptors cookie bundle is, so here are a couple of pictures I took.

Raps vs. Celtics Raps vs. Celtics

I actually ended up taking home two bundles, one for each kid. They look amazing, don't they? There's a brownie in there, and several big cookies, and each bundle retails for $9 at the ACC. As a brownie and cookie aficionado, I was quite looking forward to cracking it open and diving in.

They were so bad, even the kids couldn't eat them. How bad does a cookie have to be for a 5 year old to say no? I knew it was a weak bundle when even dunking the cookies in milk didn't improve things.

Stay away from these cookies. They look great, but they're not edible.

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I've got nothing else to say.

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It's Better Courtside

raptorsThere I was at the Air Canada Club, an hour before tipoff and enjoying my pasta, when the Gatorade guy told me why I was there to watch the Raptors and Celtics from the very first row. It's called “Experience G”...

"Experience G" will give sports fans the opportunity to score some unforgettable major league experiences - from court side at the Raptors or rink side at an Oilers game, to field side at a Bombers game, there will be tons of sporting events to choose from.

Fanatics can qualify by becoming a fan of the soon-to-be-launched Experience G Facebook page and uploading a video of themselves completing a specific a challenge that tests athletic ability and will to win - this could be anything from showing their best game face, touchdown dance or slapshot to a three point shot or crazy ball-handling skills. Tickets to sporting events across the country are available, so there are lots of chances to win.

I looked the guy from Gatorade directly in the eyes and asked him the big question. "Will this social media campaign at any time imply that we're cheering wrong and tell us exactly how to cheer?"

I'm promised there will be no cheer. This chant-less campaign is already 100x better than That Damn Pepsi Cheer as far as I'm concerned. And I'm not just saying that because they bought me lunch, let me order anything throughout the game on their tab and gave me first row courtside seats to see the Celtics.

It's better courtside. I was courtside before, but not first row. It's completely surreal and you get to enjoy the game within the game. I'm talking about all the trash talking, especially from the always hilarious Rasheed Wallace. Wallace killed us all afternoon and wasn't shy about replying to our heckles. When one loudster told him he sucked, his instant reply to us all across from the Raptors bench was "thank you very much".

Kendrick Perkins was also a treat to watch. At one point, he told us to "eat a dick". You don't get such demands in the Sprite Zone.

Although the Raps did pull within four with a couple of minutes to play, we trailed wire to wire. That's okay, because I had the best seat in the house. Check out these pics.

Raps vs. Celtics Raps vs. Celtics Raps vs. Celtics Raps vs. Celtics

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Raptor Mid-season Grades

raptorsMy buddy Kic is a big Raptors fan, so I asked him to chime in on the Raps periodically.

Here's his mid-season report card for our Toronto Raptors.

Mid-season Grades

Hey Raptors fans! I know it’s been a while since I last blogged about our beloved Raptors team, so I thought I would give out some mid-season grades on the team so far.

Many fans feel that the team has underachieved again, great team on paper, won’t make the playoffs…..blah blah blah. But honestly the Raptors, who currently sit in 6th place in the Eastern Conference at 17-18, are exactly where I would have placed them at this part of the season. It’s been a tough schedule for the Raptors so far, many back to back games, many road trips and a lot of tough Western Division teams played. But fear not my trusted Raptors fans, this is where the schedule gets a little easier for us. We have yet to play the Knicks this year, plus we still have a handful of games against the lowly Nets.

I find it quite fitting that the Raptors play the Magic next, especially since CB4 just passed Vince to become the all-time Raptors scorer. Personally, I feel that us Raptors fans need to stop booing Vince. I know that many fans will persecute me for mentioning this, but don’t we owe Vince credit for the Raptors franchise? He was the guy who wore that Toronto jersey as he turned heads at the slam dunk contest years ago. Not only did this put Toronto on the map for basketball, I started seeing Carter jerseys in music videos. I still think we have a franchise because of Vince and I will still proudly wear my Carter jersey….and stop booing him.

So here are my grades for the team so far:

CB4 = A (an absolute beast…..and he’ll only get better)

Bargnani = B+ (really starting to pick up his game and now that December is over, so should the slump)

DeRozan = B (limited minutes, however, very exciting to watch him play this year…he is the future)

Turks = C+ (has had some clutch games, however, he needs to get the ball more….hear that Jay)

Calderon = C+ (ya he has flashes of greatness, but man…..he really needs to learn how to play some D)

Jack = B+ (has really looked good this year coming off the bench, I still feel he should start over Jose)

Belinelli = C (has been way too cold this year, still waiting for some consistency. Here’s hoping he doesn’t become the next Kapono)

I said it before the year started and I’ll say it again….this team WILL make the playoffs, and I’m still predicting we make it past the first round.

Looking forward to heckling both KG and Paul Pierce while I attend the game on Sun. 

Kic is best known as the bananas guy on that FutureShop ad.

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Forced to Unfollow Chris Bosh on Twitter

TwitterChris Bosh is a fantastic Toronto Raptor, and for a while he was fun to follow on Twitter as well. He used to give us an interesting insider perspective, a glance behind the curtain of NBA stardom. He was one of the few celebrities worthy of being followed.

Lately, Chris Bosh is all about selling his DVD. It's tweet after tweet about where to get his DVD, RTs of people who claim they've got it and instructions on how to order this DVD. Chris Bosh has gone into inventory sales hyperdrive and it's forced me to unfollow him.

It's likely for the best. After saying goodbye to Roy Halladay this week, I'm thinking it might be smart to emotionally distance myself from CB4 now...

And Chris, if you're reading this, I'm glad you made a DVD and can make some extra scratch from it, but I understand you have another gig that pays fairly well. I'd focus my energies there.

Chris Bosh (chrisbosh) on Twitter_1260923210287

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Leafs and Raptors Pregnant

BabyCongratulations are in order for the members of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors. They're all expecting!

I assume they're pregnant, because I know they're over the age of five, and they've all received their H1N1 vaccinations while the shots are reserved for high-priority groups. It's miraculous to consider one man becoming pregnant. Over 30 men becoming pregnant is something else entirely.

I want to be vaccinated as well, but as a healthy non-pregnant adult I'm not in the high-priority group so I have to patiently wait my turn. Ontario health minister Deb Matthews says we'll run out of the H1N1 vaccine before school-age children like my very own can be vaccinated.

But at least pregnant folks, like members of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors, can jump the line before the province’s supply dwindles. Good on them.


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