Raptors Win & NHL TV/Leadership An Issue

Many of you have emailed me about a twitter dialogue I had with Greg Brady a couple of days ago. As you know, I have been riding the local print media to shine the light a little brighter on the Toronto Raptors. Last Monday, after their big home win vs. the LA Lakers the Toronto Sun buried the Raptors on page 6. Mr. Brady’s point was, to summarize, that this is a Leafs town first, it’s suicide to cover the Raptors ahead of the Leafs until the Raptors win a playoff round and that regular season NBA game of a mediocre team didn’t demand more attention than the AFC/NFC title games.

All that Brady has said is in fact true. When he says that the Raptors haven’t won a playoff round in 15 years, he’s right. Their road record sucks, as he says it does. This was just one game in January. All true, and he is in fact entitled to his opinion.

Personally, I like Michael Grange’s take this morning:

“Regardless of what happens the rest of season, the Toronto Raptors have accomplished something vital by pulling themselves off the NBA scrap heap in the space of six crisp weeks.

They’ve made themselves relevant.”

Well, if the Raptors totally crumble and return to their earlier ways then it’s all for not. Having said that, in a town where our hockey team is so bad that Brady and Watters debated why people would even go to a home game, at the very least the Raptors are still playing meaningful games. Does that mean a whole lot? NO. Does it mean that I may actually follow their games- YES. We citizens of Loserville only want a team that we can actually watch around the midpoint of the season. Our iced prodcut hasn’t really been to that level in years. Their hardwood brothers are there right now.

“Last night, the Air Canada Centre was rocking again as an energized crowd of 18,265 came out to see the Raptors duel Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat, three days after the home team defeated Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers in front of one of the biggest crowds in franchise history. ”

Look, their is a buzz starting to be generated about this team. If this were, I don’t know a lesser team, would the ACC have been filled tonight????? Good question. Let’s see what happens over the next little while. It is a nice change to see a team in this town put together a string of wins though.

“And while any basketball fan would be entertained watching Wade weave, slither and explode for 35 points and 10 assists, a Raptors fan could take heart that – as they have almost every night since early December – their club competed and for the most part had answers.

The result was a 111-103 win that improved Toronto to 17-9 since their season-low point last Dec. 4. ”

Ya see, people say Leafs fans are pulling their hair out over the teams performance therefore a real rebuild wouldn’t be tolerated. That’s utter nonsense. It’s not the losing that bothers me. It’s the way in which the team is losing. The Leafs haven’t for the most part competed. If the Leafs were comprised of younger players who busted their butts night in and out and lost, that would at least be hope. We get none of the that right now.

“You want to become part of the conversation in your local sports market? How about winning 11 of your last 12 games on home court?

Last night, Toronto (24-22) did it in pleasing fashion. ”

I agree, it is something to take note of. In Brady’s defence, let’s not get ahead of ourselves and pat ourselves on the back yet. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it while it lasts. It’s a hell of a lot more interesting to watch and talk about than which Leaf player floated the night before isn’t it. The Leafs these days are like a part of the Festivus ritual, the one where we tell someone all the ways they have disappointed us in the past year. Except with the Leafs we can do it about the previous night’s game.

By the way, most of the Toronto Sports Media personalities who are on twitter have really embraced it. They are not only commentating on twitter, they are part of the conversation. As a fan, I think that’s awesome. Guys like Brady do a phenomenal job on twitter.

So we here at TSM had a chance to speak with a very deep pocketed individual who happens to own a part of a professional sports team in one of the professional leagues (not NHL). We suggested to this person that they look hard at the Tampa Bay Lightning as it could be a good acquisition for this person, who has the wherewithal to pay cash for the team if it were for sale. The response was very telling. Basically, we were told that this person loves hockey, one of their favorite sports and at one time they considered buying a team. However, it won’t happen. The NHL, according to this person has “the worst TV deal and leadership (commissioners) in professional sports. Until both of those things change, “I have no interest”.

So, the Argos owners are looking to David Braley to buy them out, or so says the Globe and Mail’s David Naylor. I remember when I was younger having to explain to my American friend that there were other teams in the CFL than those named Roughriders. How the hell do you explain that own guy can own 2 teams in the same league when there are only 8 teams? Say this for Braley, 1/4 are great odds when it comes to winning isn’t it.

I love that Jamal Mayers and Exelby have asked to be traded. Don’t ya think that if Brian Burke could have he would have already?????

From Montreal



Grange is here

About the Author