…is not a lottery winner, MuchMusic VJ, or Yorkville gynecologist, but this man: Ari Xenarios. The energetic small forward for the Ringers (TCSSC’s version of the Phoenix Suns), affectionately known as The Greek Streak* for his blazing speed, is also a broadcaster, the booming voice of the Humber Hawks and the UofT Blues.

*As of RIGHT NOW. 

The Streak spent a recent snowy evening cajoling in a non-forced social environment with every member of the Toronto Raptors. Well, maybe it was slightly forced, but that’s besides the point. The point is, my wet dream was Ari’s reality. Am I jealous? Just a bit. And by a bit, I mean tremendously. But he was kind enough to let me sniff the hat he was wearing. What a pal.

Ari is a die-hard Raps fan, his desk boasting more bobbleheads and random Dinophanelia than Center Sports. He was courteous enough to allow me to post the following pictures so you can all join me in silently begrudging his good fortune

 

Ari says: “Classiest guy on the team.”

Ari says: “We had to take this twice because the first shot was just the top of my head.”

 

Ari: “Bosh was supposed to make a face too…but he balked.” 

Great opportunity, huh? Wait – it gets better. Because before you write off Ari’s night as nothing more than an exclusive photo-op…

 

Ari: “Carlos was looking around for a foosball partner, and I happened to be walking by at the right time. We must have played 10 games.”

Yup, your eyes don’t deceive you. It’s Ari and Carlos VERSUS…

Rasho and Garbo! An international match featuring Greece and Argentina against Slovenia and Spain!

 

Ari says: “We beat them three in a row at first. Rasho sucked, so Garbo called his homeboy Jose to take over, who is pretty damn good. The two of them spoke Spanish the whole game. I’m pretty sure they were talking trash about me.”

And that’s Kris Humphries in the background, relieved to discover his phone is SUPPOSED to vibrate.

Ari says: “Intense game action. BTW, if you’re wondering why Kapono’s lingering in the background, that’s because…”

“…he was the official Ball-Dropper!” 

I know, wish you were him for a night, right?  You know what’s making me feel better? Photoshopping my head on all of these pictures!

************ 

So we didn’t win Best New Blog either. But we did get a haircut and new, clean, hole-free undergarmets. So really, it’s a good day.

(Seriously though, we did miss out on getting our very own Jeff Cliff, a computer science student at the UofR announcement. I still got that one on my “Bucket List”.) 

Congratulations to Danielle Takacs: Galloping Around the Golden Horseshoe*, winner of the 2008 Best New Blog award. Apparently, more Canadians care about the Golden Horseshoe than the Toronto Raptors. Makes you want to live in Indiana for about half a second.

*Caution, Danielle’s “about me” section is very intense. Reader discretion advised.

************ 

Back to reality…

Tonight is the 1000th game for the Toronto Raptors franchise, and seeing as how we’re coming off a high (purely emotional) from the Miami win, the Raptors should carry all the confidence in the world into their contest against the 15-31 Los Angeles Clippers.

With Maggette day-to-day, Mobley and Cassell officially ancient, and Brand/Livingston out long term, The Clips have been climbing Mt. Kaman this season. Now sans mullet, Kaman is dropping his white hot hillbilly hammer with dangerous consistency, getting my early vote for Most Improved Player. The rest of the Clips, however, are a total mess. They have 8 players over the age of 28, only two players (Paul Davis and Shaun Livingston) under 24. Their roster looks like an expansion team: mismatched and lopsided all around.  No wonder they’re getting killed by everyone. They can’t really score, they can’t move quick enough to defend most squads…a messy season for the Clips, which stings even more as they watch the Lakers rise to the top.

Without Corey, all we gotta do is stop Kaman from going for 30 and 30, which is easier said than done. Of course, if Maggette plays we have to keep him off the line, where he’s all but automatic, missing only 2 of his last 48. Maybe we can slip
a Raptors jersey on him while he’s in Toronto…who’s up for the mission?

Mismatches all over the place at the PG position. Ford and Calderon are going to whiz past Sam Cassell, who couldn’t be slower if he was dragging Elton Brand behind him. On the defensive end though, Sam can use his size to back them down in the post. Who’s going to cover Bosh, Tim Thomas? Uh oh. Smells like Twisty’s poised for have another 12-18, 32 point 15 rebound night.

Hopefully Bargnani will draw Kaman out of rebounding position and open up the paint a bit for penetration, which, now that TJ is back, can be returned to our vocabulary. 

All signs point to a Raptors win. So of course, they’ll probably lose.

(Really though, I think they’ll win)

(I hope they win) 

(please WIN!) 

Oh, and Kapono looks about ready to defend his 3-point title, wouldn’t you say? Bet against him at your own risk.

 

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