Cheer the people, not the jerseys
I’m sure you might have heard about the Raptors and the camouflage jerseys they’ll wear tomorrow night against Chicago – and three other times this season – as a tribute to the Canadian Forces.
Not sure exactly how I feel about that; I can see it as a bit of co-opting an issue (support for the men and women who put their lives on line for us every day) but I can also see the “honouring” aspect of it and whatever we can do to increase awareness of the risks these men and women take and thank them for it, we should do.
It also helps that some of the proceeds will go to Forces family fund that, among other things, is used to construct sports facilities for the children of servicemen and women.
And it is part of a longstanding relationship between Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment that dates back years; they give time and money and support to the forces and that’s a tremendous thing.
There will be members of the armed forces and their families who are at the game as guests of the Raptors and that’s another good thing.
And I will tell you this:
We can debate until the cows come home Canada’s involvement in various conflicts around the world, it is a discussion not really suited for here, but when they get around to recognizing the servicemen and women and their families in the arena, whether it’s by trotting them out to the court or playing some video tribute, I would think a standing ovation would be in order.
These men and woman have chosen, at great personal sacrifice in many cases and knowing full well the dangers inherent in their choices, to put their lives on the line daily for our country. They deserve all the accolades they can get, and we need to give them the respect they deserve. It doesn’t really matter, I don’t think, what your opinion is of what we do, you cannot help but feel respect for our soldiers.
Still, doesn’t something rankle, just a little bit? Can’t really put my finger on it, whether it’s a level of exploitation or something like that, or trivializing what the men and women do each day but there’s just an uneasiness about it.
I guess, on the whole, it’s not a bad thing when everything is taken into consideration.
The jerseys themselves are, um, unique. As a one-off thing seeing a guy standing around wearing them and they don’t look too bad; I’m wondering what the totality of the view will be when there are five of them running around a confined space. I can see the retina-burning possibilities there for sure.
Peter The Irregular sends this in and it’s classic:
More than half of the Raptors 30 losses this season have been closer than Monday night’s 8-0 Leaves game.
Take that to your MLSE Trivia Contest. Means nothing but kind of nice to know.
Oh yeah, C. Kelly is in New York for the big tilt tonight; I’m planning a restful night so the IGBT will be back tomorrow for the Bulls.
Guess the Old Smith Reverse Jinx worked well with the football, no?
Peyton Manning’s headed to Denver – and doesn’t that tempt fates taking work away from Tim Tebow – and all the Alex Smith stuff quiets down a little bit.
And another Alert Irregular points out that there is speculation that Smith will indeed change representation and, frankly, I think he should regardless of where Manning ends up.
Tebow? Mythical Just Win Quarterback should probably stay put and be a backup to a guy who took his job after having four neck surgeries and who is in the mid-30s. Will make Tebow’s return to pick up the pieces if or when Manning gets hurt all that much more dramatic.
Only saw snippets because Bulls-Magic was a bit compelling at times and Celtics-Hawks was like watching a train wreck but totally underwhelming inaugural performance by DWTS pre-show favourite Martina Navratilova.
I’m sure you’ve all read the dispatches this morning about the HOTH and the fact that it’s about 99 per cent that Jose Calderon will return tonight (he’ll go through shootaround just to be sure the wonky ankle is okay) and he’ll be right back in the starting lineup.
As he should be.
Forget for a minute that I don’t believe guys should lose starting spots – generally – simply because they are injured; I will repeat this one more time: The Raptors are simply better with him running the offence.
Andrea Bargnani thrives more with a point guard who is accomplished at running high screen and roll stuff; Calderon is a better distributor all around and everyone else is more effective.
It is, to me, a no-brainer.
But that is not to say the Jerryd Bayless hasn’t filled in admirably and isn’t playing some fine basketball.
I’ve seen him, and continue to see him, in some kind of backup, score-first energy guy coming off the bench, kind of a Barbosa Lite right now, a quick fearless guard able to take his man off the dribble and one who’s shooting better now than he has at perhaps any time in his career. There is a spot for a guy like that on this team and unencumbered by the presence of Barbosa, whose “take three steps back, drive the ball just about every time he touches it” style kind of limited what his second-unit backcourt mate can do.
That’s Bayless’s job now and I would think he could shine in it.
Barring any further setbacks for Calderon, the rest of this season amounts to a 21-game audition for Bayless to see what he can do; he is a restricted free agent in the summer with no 100 per cent guarantee to be back. I know the organization is high on him, they see a young, accomplished scorer with solid defensive skills and in many ways, the departure of Barbosa was done so they could get a good look at Bayless in a role they see quite suitable for him.
Hope he takes the ball and runs with it; and I fully expect he will.