Let’s not pull a Bargnani…

Did he really think his shoes would be more comfortable than his carry-on?

Stuck at the airport…flight’s delayed (what did I do with my delay? Click here to find out!) Usually, this would have been the perfect time for me to begin draft one of my stern and profane phillipic to Westjet corporate. But today, even the devastations of air travel can’t get me down, and not just because I’ve found a free wireless connection in my terminal.

Round 1 of the Canadian Blog Awards voting ended last night, and guess what?

Your favorite Raptors blog has made it to the Finals in both categories nominated!

A heartfelt thanks to all those who voted – may you too know one day how it feels when doves cry. Seriously, it means a lot. I’ll save any real words of blubbering adoration for the 1/5 chance that we win.

Our rookie voting round was a success, so come into Round 2 sinking our jumpers!

There are only 8 blogs that stand in the way of us being crowned Best Sports Blog and Best New Blog, and receiving all the riches and international superstardom that comes with it. But before I start making room on my house league soccer trophy shelf, our work isn’t done, DiNation.

Voting begins for the Final Round tomorrow*. The winner of this final round is the one privileged enough to take home the prestigious(?) Canadian Blog Award, no doubt made of platinum and diamonds (if we win, I will request my name encrusted in REAL dinosaur fossils out of respect for the Raps.) But even if it’s made of cardboard and Captain Crunch, your vote matters, people (I’ll settle for my name scribbled in Mr. Sketch).

*I’ll link to the voting page in tomorrow’s Game Day post, when it’s live.

I know that voting again is a pain in the inter-ass, but you’ll do it, right? We’re SO close to immortality: I’m told they will raise my jersey in the ACC if we’re victorious*. But it will be OUR jersey they raise, the strong and growing DiNation. Plus, it’ll make our case to Mr. LaBumbard for press credentials that much more convincing…and will lead to better coverage and further access for next year’s blog.

* This homeless drunk outside LAX was SURE of it.

So Petersenmedia, The Joy of Sox, James Mirtle, and Hockey Capital: Game on.

To Windsoreatsfoodblog, …Scale Down Windsor, Uncorrected Proofs, and Danielle Takacs: we’ll see who’s the best new kid on the block*.

*Answer: Joey.

Please help me win. Allow the little upstart-that-could to crawl out from under it’s wintery rock and feel the sunshine, will ya? We don’t beg here at the Dinosty, but we aren”t above some gentle pleading on bended knee.

Plus, if a hockey blog or – gasp – two Windsor blogs conquer the great Raptor faithful, may we all be forced to watch every minute of the Miami Heat’s remaining games.

If that’s not incentive to vote, I don’t know what is.

NOW: This awards shit is fun and all, but we’re here to talk Raptors, right?

So I didn’t post after the Sixers drubbing because I was on vacation and didn’t see the point in getting myself all riled up. But now I’m headed back to the nasty, sludgy weather – albeit with a slight tan and some new kicks – and I can’t figure out why anyone would actively choose to live looking at this for half the year.

But despite Bosh’s mid-season ‘A’ for the Raptors (which is about as generous as saying Britney’s having ‘some issues’, ‘the Heat are still finding their identity’, or ‘the winter has its charm’), we’ve seen a handful of missed opportunities, the Philly game obviously one of them (along with Seattle, the first Portland game, and the LeBrincident).

I have to disagree with Bosh. My grade for the overall team would be a C+.

  • Slightly above average, 60-40 more good than bad.
  • Bosh and Calderon have been the only two standouts.
  • Delfino and Moon have been pleasant surprises.
  • Kapono and Bargnani have been major disappointments.
  • Major injuries to TJ and Garbo, minor injuries to Bosh and Rasho, Mitchell’s arbitrary rotation, and the sudden abundance of SG/SF’s have all contributed to the inconsistent, at-times-maddening-but-still-exciting 41 games thus far.
  • 22-19 is a good (but not great) spot to be in the East, but improvement is imperative if we want to secure home court and make it out of the first round.

What would you grade the Raptors, now that you’ve had half a season to watch them?

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