A tough loss, and we're not talking about a meaningless game
(Gonna take some deep Irregular knowledge to get that one).
But here we are, a quarter of the way through the pre-season (Hosannas to that one, please) and what have we learned?
Well, we’re a quarter of the way through the pre-season, that’s about it, and that can’t be bad. Gotta tell you, though, when I looked up to see Dwight Buycks, Julyan Stone, Chris Wright, Austin Daye and Jonas Valanciunas on the court to end the game, all I could think was …
Wiggins Here They Come.
But we all know that’s not true so …
A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day
The news that The Chicken blew out his Achilles in Halifax last Friday and is lost for the year was a crushing blow. Sad. Upsetting.
Look, you all know my affinity for he/she/it, best mascot in the NBA, great person/animal/carnivore and someone who’s been around this franchise as long as I have been.
I’m sure you’ve already read Not Grace’s piece where Dwane told us his daughter cried at the news and I’m sure others will write equally glowing things.
And I know he/she/it will be back, no way The Chicken doesn’t get to 20 years with me so this is not a eulogy at all but here are two things I heard last night that might put this is in some context.
One reader told me her son was inspired by The Chicken to be a performer and he’s going to audition for a school for the arts this spring.
Another told me they bought a Raptors 95 jersey because The Chicken brought it every night.
Look, that’s hard job, physically demanding, hot, difficult and you get banged up. But he/she/it was tougher than 99 per cent of the guys who wore the uniform, and funnier than 100 per cent of them.
This is gold, Jerry. Gold.
Now, they say they’ll have some succession plan in place by Opening Night to get them through the season and here are two things they simply cannot do:
Let anyone or anything wear The Chicken costume. No way they can disrespect he/she/it that way.
No return of The Bleacher Creature.
I’ll be moved to commit homicide if that’s the case.
Significant defensive slippage – they guarded pick and rolls like they’d never seen one before – but you’re not going to get crisp and effective and energetic every night in the Pretend Games so they get a bit of a pass.
And as Dwane pointed out post-game, they’ve been going pretty hard since camp started with no days off and since they’ll work again today and then play back-to-back on the weekend, I can just imagine the quality by the time we get to Minnesota on Saturday.
How’d it look?
Since nothing that happened on the court means much in the grand scheme of things, tell me this:
Did the place look as amateurish courtside on TV as it did in person?
It astonishes me that an organization as big as MLSE, which had been planning to contravene league media seating rules in the pursuit of a few more bucks for about six months now couldn’t be even remotely close to ready for the first pre-season game.
Shocking, stunning and, if I’m a big wig over there, embarrassing to the point that someone has to get demoted.
Those tables the TV broadcasters had to sit at? Banquet tables that would have been out of date in the 1970s. That they were still trying to get stuff plugged in and working in the back row for scoring crew about two hours before tip was unforgivable.
You know what I think happened?
Sometime last spring some marketing muckety-muck decided they could sell a few more high-priced ticket and convinced a narrow-minded boss that they could ram it through for this season and no one in charge took the time to think about the small stuff.
And that’s bush league thinking.
You know what I think are great?
Remember them? Very, very cool. Fun. Nice.
Petty sure I would have had this single back in the late-‘60s, maybe ’68? Who doesn’t like a little Motown, right?
Don’t forget the chat today at noon for an hour or so if you want to play along and if you’re busy, the mailbag is sorely lacking for content. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, lots of people I need to hear from, thanks.
Try as I might, I could not channel the spirit of Bill Mazeroski at any point last night while I was paying scant attention to the game and my Bucs bow out of the post-season.
Too bad, I don’t think I have a dog in the fight of St. Louis-Dodgers and I’m pretty sure I don’t care who Boston plays or how that turns out.
But I imagine I’m in the minority on that one in the Toronto area and among TOD fans.
Even friends of mine who are totally casual fans are so anti-Red Sox because of John Farrell and what transpired with his departure that they’d quietly cheer for any team than Boston.
And that’s kind of odd. I can’t remember an ex-Blue Jay who has evoked such venom than the former manager. There has never been an equivalent of Vince or Tracy or Damon or Bosh, has there?
This anger reserved for the ex-manager is, for that sport and that team, off the charts, isn’t it?
This is what my friend Jerry From Minny wrote about last night.
So we’re all getting prorated rebates for the massive Rogers screw-up last night, right?
Shocked everything worked in the arena while the rest of the country was in communications hell. Must have been Bell’s night to run the show.
And just because …
(Don’t get used to these two-a-days, okay? Just felt like a reprise this morning)