Here we ago again:
The Standard Bearer: Nothing short of a championship is good enough. Scoffs at playoff appearances and despises anyone who receives any enjoyment from a regular season win. Proclaims that the coach or GM, if not both, need to be fired immediately to salvage what’s left of a franchise that is inevitably heading south, maybe even this season. Is very likely an underachiever in the workplace and rather crude with ladies; projects his insecurities onto the team in the form of constant criticism. Always complains that his beer is flat when the bubbles are literally overflowing from the glass.
The Emotionally Strained: Takes things a little too seriously. When asked what he’d do if a genie granted him one and only one wish, incorrectly replies that he’d want the Raptors to win a title, while ignoring his more urgent deficiencies such as a sense of humour, a clean shave and a woman. Cried when Carter missed that shot against Philly and called in sick to work the following week. Picks fights at school with anyone who even casually says that the Raptors suck; in a social setting, he always steers the conversation to basketball because that’s the only thing he can speak of with relative competence and without a nervous twitch. Is a genuinely nice person who would benefit greatly from an NBA lockout, as it’ll finally allow him to attend to the part of life not related to the Raptors.
The Loyal STH: Rain or shine, this man will buy season tickets. The unexplainable inertia that propels him to renew his seats is something scientists can only wish they could understand. No doubt, after every disappointing season he seriously contemplates it and even decides on it, not answering the Raptors’ phone calls all summer. Then one day his phone rings and the call display says “B. Colangelo”. It is simply too tempting for him not to answer so he does, not knowing that the call just cost him $5000 dollars. Before he answers he has his mind made up of “ripping Colangelo” but the latter’s sweet talk and promises are too much and The Loyal STH is reaching for his credit card before he even hangs up.
The Pragmatist: If the team wins 41 games he’s happy, if they win 42 he’s jubilant. Doesn’t concern himself with nonsense talk of championships but has calmly accepted that the Raptors will never be as successful as the Lakers, or even the Magic. This mental resignation makes watching the Raptors extremely easy and even pleasurable for him, so much so that he wasn’t too devastated by the loss to the Bulls in Game 81 last season. He does care for the playoffs and is excited enough to pay twice the value for tickets on Craigslist, but not making the post-season isn’t the death-blow it is for The Standard Bearer. A happy-go-lucky guy, usually with an above-average looking girlfriend.
The Inexperienced Expert: Has never played the game but that doesn’t stop him from commenting with an expert’s air on all things basketball. Often found criticizing players only because others have criticized them, recent targets include Marco Belinelli, Andrea Bargnani and Antoine Wright. Blames the coach too often to be taken seriously, and wonders why the Raptors just can’t run backdoor cuts on every play. Changes his opinions based on the latest thing he read, and in the rare case that somebody agrees with his message board comment, will not post the rest of the day to “keep the feeling alive”. Is also an expert on the NFL, MLB, Rugby, shot-put and the triathlon.
The Sufferer: The most common creature of them all. Didn’t mind suffering through the early years of the franchise as long as progress was being made, the McGrady, Carter and Davis led playoff appearances was the reward of watching Carlos Rogers and Walt Williams all those years. Got his hopes high after the Philly series but was blindsided by the spectacular failures that followed. The 2006-07 team got his hopes high but deep down he knew it wasn’t going to last. Goes to games when he can but prefers watching on TV since he has the option of ending the misery whenever it gets too painful. Will always remain a Raptors fan but goes to bed wondering just why he’s putting himself through this, since he’s received almost no enjoyment from it for a long time.
The Loyalist: Is a fan of the Raptors because of a particular player. Will often Google that player’s name just so he can defend their honor in any corner of the internet. Will refuse to criticize that player despite abundant statistical evidence against him and will point to other players as the cause of overall failures. Players The Loyalist has martyred himself for include Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon, John Wallace, John Thomas and Rafer Alston. Has multiple “favorite” teams and was a huge fan of the Jordan Bulls but couldn’t care less for them right now.