Since the inception of this franchise, Raptors fans have always made idiotic assumptions about their own players. No name players that would become world dominating players when donning the Dino uniform, the purple, or the red & white.  Vincenzo, Primoz, Oliver, Keon, Sonny, and on and on. Every season brings predictions of 40-50 wins, a sure playoff seed and at least one player heading to the AllStar game, repping the TDOT. Fandom makes people delusional, no doubt of that.

 

This preseason the forums and comments were full of “surely they can’t win just 20 games, this is a 40 win team!” nonsense (okay, maybe blind hope) and I scoffed, shook my head, and made my 23 win bed and slept in it.  Fast forward to today and we have lived through fake injuries, questionable lineups, unmotivated players, and the ridicule of all our non-basketball fan friends.  We are back to the point where wearing a Raptors cap in downtown Toronto brings mocking looks and spiteful comments.

 

Personally I’m happy with where we are. Sure, Bargs has been up and down (heck, when hasn’t he been) but DeMar has turned a corner by working hard in the gym, Ed Davis is getting some vital playing time against some great frontlines, Jose and Amir continue to show flashes, etc. Next season, you mix in one solid NBA veteran who can still play, a nice first round draft pick, and some time for fans and franchise to lick their wounds during the lockout and we can come back regrouped and loaded for a real chance at a return to the postseason.

 

During a long losing streak, it’s always easy to accentuate the negative, but you as supporters stand behind this squad and make it known that we’ll get this ship back up to seaworthy shape. You have continued to make Raptors Republic the first stop for Raptors talk. Other blogs fade in and out but with your help we remain the most consistent and visited. That got us to thinking that you should tell us why you continue supporting this squad through thick and thin. Why do you defend them when your buddies mock you? Why do you stay up until 1am on the western road trips to watch these guys?

 

Lay a comment below telling everyone what gives you hope, what stirs the passion, your best Raptors memory, etc.  Keep it positive. Reignite the passion in those of us that consistently see the dark side.

 

As motivation we are giving the person that leaves the best comment (as judged by Arsenalist and Sam) a pair of lower bowl tickets to see the Raptors take on the San Antonio Spurs this Wednesday at 7pm at Air Canada Centre. These aren’t courtside, but they are very close and not too far away from the Raptors bench. Also, if you feel so inclined, we’ll let you write up a postgame review for all to see here at RR.

 

Wow us with your insight and passion. Let the team see that all hope is not lost.

 

(NOTE: Contest ends at 6pm on Feb 8. A winner will be announced later that night. Prize is 2 tickets and does not include transportation, merchandise or food & beverage. Tickets will be available at the ACC Ticket Office as of 5pm on Feb 9th.)

  • Ballaz123

    Raptors we the young gunz dont give up hope we forsure gonna do it big in the future !!!!

  • tootoo

    The boys come out every night and show their passion to win. Even with the recent skid, Reggie, Demar and Amir kept us posted and promised victory in the long run. Since 95′, I’ve been watching the Raptors for a reason and that is a championship. We’ve been through the ups in the VC days and through the downs in the Hedo days…we will see victory. History will be made. A championship to Canada will be brought. GO RAPS GO!!!!!!!

  • albertan_10

    Don’t bother even putting me in the competition because I’d have to fly in from Calgary. I like the Raptors because the potential we have is amazing. The flirting with the playoffs kept me in last year but it was dreadful to see the lack of passion that came out of some people. This year they’ve got some fire and they’re working hard. I like the rebuild and the youth movement. If we’re going to be good long-term then it needs to start with strong youth. Eventually free agents and the such will come, but right now it’s about growing and developing. The future is bright for this group and gives fans a lot of hope.

  • J. Elders

    I’ve been a Raps fan since Day 1, and now is no different. Being a fan is full of ups and downs for everyone, but Toronto is exciting because we keep getting better fans! Game coverage is better, more people are being exposed to this great sport and tickets are still being sold. We love the underdogs and are ready to get behind a group of players that work hard like this years group of young guys. I predicted 26 wins and I’m looking forward to the run we can go on in the next 3 years. Go Raps Go!

  • Aslade340

    The raps are the third youngest team, and starting to really gel together. Get ready for years of domination once they figure it out. Go RAPS!

  • Adrian

    I Love the RAPTORS!!! Its my dream to see them courtside, or close! I’m in university at Laurier and I’d come to toronto just to see them.

    • Hotfuzz

      Hey,I study in WLU too!!!

      • Chrish Boss

        UWaterloo here

        • Chris Bosh

          I majored in engineering in the University of Texas i tell you what.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Anuson.W Anuson W

    Wow, i was planning on watching this game to begin with but due to some recent spending on a couple textbooks i was putting off on buying, i didn’t exactly have enough money to get decent seats anymore.

    I’m not gonna lie, I haven’t exactly been the most faithful of fans or anything, i only casually started watching the the raptors 2005-2006 season, and not paying too much attention. They were out of the playoffs pretty early off but for some reason that year a spark of interest came up, I have to say that ended up being a really good time to show an interest. The year after, Andrea was drafted, delfino, garbs, Ford, and slew of other players were around, and all of sudden Raptors became somethign to be proud of and since then i’ve stayed a fan.

    And somehow I still am one, i still watch every games all the way through live or on the couch, and for some reason i still find myself defending the raptors to friends and acquaintances who choose to mock them in their in recent years. Sure they aren’t playing great ball, especially recently but every franchise has its ups an downs ( we still havent exactely gotten a great up yet), but being negative juss cause its more cool to act like your don’t care isn’t the best way to act when it comes to sports teams.

    I wanna see them win, i wanna see a championship, i don’t care how long it may take but im willing to stick around for w.e time that may take…. (bttr not be like the leafs) GO RAPS GO!!!! I’ve experienced only one season where the raptors where above average, and Dammit I wanna see another one and many more in the Future, im here for the long run baby.

    p.s.
    THIS SITE IS AWESOME, im on here daily (and no im not just sucking up)

  • Jamesk

    Game one, day one. Was I going to stick with my pre-raps pistons loyalty, Isiah’s attachement clouding where my true alliegences would lye? Damon, Raptors win, and the front page photo of mighty mouse reaching for the sky in victory goes up on my wall, encapsulating the days long high of having a team to root for, players to know and watch develop, a coach who was all about winning, dreaming of a championship. The pistons faded into what they always were,but I hadn’t realized, a schoolyard crush. I even started thinking of Isiah as a Raptor and nothing else. I Love this team; this is our team.

  • thesharpestone

    I am a die hard raptors fan and even if this team wins 20-25 games i will still treat every W like we just won the superbowl.Very tough season for the Raptors but guys like demar and ed and amir continue to develop day by day which is a very positive sign for the future.

    My favourite raptors memory by far is the morris peterson miracle shot
    Swirsk : GOT IT I DONT BELIEVE IT I DONT BELIEVE IT

    I remember that game like it was yesterday and gives me the chills every time i watch it on youtube

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNvdhCMYih4

  • MLVN

    I think there 3 types of Raptor fans. (I was gonna make this a thread, but I’m kind of new to initiating my thoughts on blogs and would rather read what insight people have to give, good or bad):

    1) Downers – ones who just want to point out which player is bad compared to NBA superstar so-so. Eg. ‘Let’s trade Bargs for a ‘real center!’ Heck let’s trade the whole team!’

    2) Homers – They are going cheer for their favourite team, no matter what the outcome. I admire these guys with their idealism, but you can’t stop the dream! Who cares if Jose got 19 assists and is running this young team with efficiency, he’s not scoring 25 points like Rose he must be useless!? (Sarcasm)

    3) Fair-weather fans – also known as bandwagoners. You’ll hear them say I’ll only watch them if they’re above .500, have a super star or they’re making it to the post season. Although, these fans are more likely to go out clubbing on a Friday night than stay at home, or load up the stream on a computer, to watch a game on west coast time.

    Who am I? I think I fall into neither … mind you, these are the most GENERAL types of NBA fans. These categories cover 92.5% of all fanbase. Moreover, I say I’m neither, because I just want to watch the Raptors play – win or lose. I’m just excited to see Bargs, Demar, Amir, Jose – the whole team – do their thing! This team is growing. This team ‘is what it is.’ They’re not great, won’t be great for a while, but they’re not that bad either. In time, I’m sure we can and will appreciate this product growing on the court and these growing pains will pay dividends. I think it’s incredible Toronto even has a NBA team.

    Okay, alright, I’ll admit that I’m almost like a homer, but not quite. I think I’m realistic. I know this season’s team isn’t going to make it to the playoffs, Bargs isn’t going to average a double-double with 1.5 block per game anytime soon and I hope to God Jose retires as a Raptor. One guy couldn’t have said it any better, (taken from another sports blog site) and I quote, “Just enjoy the game.” So I relay that unto you RR users and Raptor/NBA fans alike. Just enjoy the game! This is our team, this is Toronto’s team and it’s your choice to watch them or not. I’m going to watch every game, barring any mid-terms and exams, and I think you all should just enjoy the game.

  • http://twitter.com/skateee Scott R

    I’ve been a Raps fan wayyy back, and recall even entering the competition to name the team. While this may not be a golden year, what excites me is a glimpse of the future. Ed Davis is building confidence and getting some time to play. His best flash of brilliance came against the T-Wolves where he had 15 points and 11 assists, and showed us he can play ball (and if i remember correct it was one of the few Raps highlights that game). I’m also excited about the coming out of Demar DeRozan. he continues to improve, as exhibited by a great January and he was a key part of the offence. He is exciting, has great potential, and he is starting to become a focal point for the opponents. I am excited by what these guys offer, and hope toronto can continue to build aorund them.

  • Vimalan

    What gives me hope? The thought of Solomon Alabi and Alexis Ajinca on the floor at the same time. Oh yes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Lee/744690005 Daniel Lee

    My original comment was going to be about how as fun as BC is in teasing us with constant new players and faces. (New = Potential=Dream). Perhaps it’s biting us as our players never gel and learn the system long enough before we add someone new.

    Then I realized… we don’t really have a system. Unless, Amir not fouling, Bargs rebounding more, and Calderon keeping guards in front of him count as a system…or a dream.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Lee/744690005 Daniel Lee

    My original comment was going to be about how as fun as BC is in teasing us with constant new players and faces. (New = Potential=Dream). Perhaps it’s biting us as our players never gel and learn the system long enough before we add someone new.

    Then I realized… we don’t really have a system. Unless, Amir not fouling, Bargs rebounding more, and Calderon keeping guards in front of him count as a system…or a dream.

  • Tonk_king

    Total love hate relationship with the Raps, Love it when they win, hate it when they lose! But as a fan, you gotta still continue to support! You just have too! You can’t cheer for another city other than your own. You wait all summer for training camp, hoping this IS the year. Something positive will happen, we’ll win some games. Than either we make the play-offs and your hoping they get pass the first round, or the team is a total sinker and you just want the season to end (such as this one) and wait for the summer, to see what FA we sign or who we draft. Total cycle that happens every year. Hope and Reality, keeps us fans coming back!

    Each year your hoping someone steps up or comes back with some new moves, or bulks up! Something to give us hope. We had Damon, we had VC, than CB, now this year Bargs, but I really don’t see it. I’m hoping my man crush on DeMar is real! Right now he gives me hope for the Raptors. Just watching someone improve, and works extremely hard, that keeps the fight going each game! Just seeing him get better as a ball player each mouth is great! If Kobe respects you, you know you got something going! He also bulk up over the summer and now has a decent jump shot! Him and Amir will be something special, as a fan you just have to hope!

    A couple more key pieces will make this team better. A hard nose C(defensive first) and a solid 3 that can defend and hit 3 is what we’re missing! Every thing else is there! That is what gives ME hope for next year. Just something new and fresh!! Sometimes you gotta go backwards(this year) to really progress forward, and as much as you hate to admit it, but you can really see progression forward!! OKC – Portland – Chicago all had to built through the draft and key developments with their players! I think Toronto is on its way there!!! A lot sooner than what most “Fans” think! If you’re a true fan, not just Raptor ball, but NBA ball you would see it TOO!

  • http://twitter.com/SA5195 SA

    The Raptors to me are like the love of your life that you sometimes want to leave, but you’re still staying with her cause you love her. I always get frustrated when the Raptors lose, I feel ashamed, but I still watch them play, and I never missed a game on TV for the past 3 seasons. Heck I was even studying for my exams and watching the Raptors play during the 13 game losing streak!

  • http://twitter.com/I_Saini Isha Saini

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ad7BirOtnUo

    Actually took the time to enter the fanbassador contest…I think the video gets my level of dedication to the raptors across pretty well

  • Comphawk15

    I don’t know whats worse
    a) that you thought of such a question
    b) me trying to reply to such a question
    c) making a contest out of this question
    d) mocking the value or raptos courtside seats by failing to include transportation costs..

  • http://twitter.com/Slimsunbeam Neci Clayton

    Ok here’s why I stay true to the raptors… to put it simply… I BELIEVE in their talents! That’s all. Sure I haven’t been a raptors fan for years, afterall i’m new to basketball-but over the months that I’ve been following raptors games they have earned my respect and confidence. I’ve only been following the raptors since Nov.21, 2010 when they played the celtics AND WON! not only did they win that game… but they also one a new fan, as since that game I haven’t missed a raptors game whether live or at home. And we can all agree from then until now hasn’t been the greatest stretch.. with isolated wins here and there, but it has been an opportunity to watch our young team grow and mature as players together.

    I feel like I’m at the beginning stages of a great franchise and I;m glad to be along for the journey. Ed’s in new from the d-league, Bayless just came over from another team, Wright’s been getting opportunities to showcase his skills with our team. Add these ‘new’ pieces to the chemistry of the ‘Young Onez’ (Weems, Johnson & Derozan), the expertise of Barbosa, Calderon and Evans and the skills of Bargnani and we’ve got a quality contender team for the rest of the league. Now how can I faulter in support for a team which has so much potential and promise?

    Here’s what I think the difference is between our Toronto Raptors and the leading teams in the NBA… They have all, for the most part, played together for years and know each others’ strengths and weaknesses. Our currennt team is esssentially brand new. I believe once our core gets the chance to stay together, and develop the comfort, confidence and trust with each other on the court, then we’ll be hanging with the elite franchizes in the league.

    So yes it’s been a rough year, and no we wont make it to the playoffs 2011… but look at the potential of the future of this team and you cannot deny that this team is going places. When a mother looks at her child, she sees the potential for him/her to become anything that they set out to be; when I look at the elements of the raptors current roster… I see that same potential – with nurturing and guidance, to be one of the great contenders within the league.

    I LOVE THE RAPTORS and I’ll be right there behind you supporting you all the way .. GO RAPTORS GO!!! The city of Toronto is ALWAYS proud of you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/paolo.pujante Pj Pujante

    MY RAPTORS TEAM

    I follow every game of my Raptors team that’s holding on for dear life
    For every ball that’s released I scream like my wife
    Even if I’m not religious i call on the saints
    Hoping the Raps would win

    Alas they mess up early in the game
    Every play is countered upon
    Me and my buddies all agree
    We blame the referee
    We were down by 30
    And my world came tumbling down on me

    Please give me a break
    It’s not often my team wins
    Please give me a break
    This is my only vice
    Or else we might fight

    And the 2nd half started
    The Raptors were on a roll
    The double team was useless against Amir
    Even when fouled it still went in
    It was raining threes
    from Jose and Bargnani

    The opponents offense is disrupted
    by the defense of Juju and Special Ed
    The execution was flawless
    Making plays was Demar and Bayless
    The building was going crazy
    We might just see Solomon Alabi

    Last 2 minutes, and we were able to catch up
    I suddenly remembered the game against the Wizards
    And Mo Pete’s crazy buzzer beater
    I prayed hard
    Hoping we would have a repeater

    In an instant the scores were reversed
    100-99, the ACC crowd erupted
    We have just won
    and it’s free pizza for everyone!

  • Samantha C

    As a Raptors fan since day one, I’ve always been inspired by the players who seem to fall on their feet but have the teammates to pick them back up. This is one of the main reasons why I have always stood behind the Toronto Raptors. They are resilient, competitive, and never back down to anyone. The squad has always been a close group, and they never fail to stand up for their teammates. I love the leadership that Jose and Reggie bring to the court; Demar’s explosiveness as he drives to the basket, and Bargnani’s confidence in shooting the three. I love Bayless’s fearlessness, Barbosa’s speed, and Davis’s touch around the rim. Wright and Dorsey’s hustle, Johnson’s power, and Weem’s sweet jumper. This young core has the potential and the passion, you can see it in their eyes day in and day out. They take losing hard, but it’s all about coming going even harder for the next game. You can see that, even through their losing streak and in a season that seems lost. They go at it as hard as a team playing for the number one seed. They have the motivation behind them, and that is what inspires me most. It’s not about what their record is this year – it’s always been about my passion for a team that I’ve stuck with for over 15 years.
    The Raptors have shown spurts of greatness, beating the Mavs, Magic, and Celtics this year in statement games. And although their record labels them as a team that has no hope for the playoffs, this is a team that is comprised of a group of guys that have battled so many obstacles and hardships to make it to where they are now. This team is the definition of the word “driven” – they will do whatever it takes to win, which is what makes me watch all 82 games in a season year after year.
    As a die-hard Raptors fan, I’ve taken time off work and school to watch a Raptors game on tv, just because I can’t stand to miss one game in the entire season. I watch every game with my Raptor’s jersey and foam finger on hand, showing my support through each and every game, regardless if it’s a loss. I don’t care what others think of me being a Raps fan; I don’t care if the Raps are last in the East or the league; and I don’t care if everyone thinks we have nothing to contend for. They’re still the team I’ve grown up and fallen in love with. Raps fans are special. We stick with them through thick and thin. Other fans jump on the bandwagon with the Heat or Celtics, but the Raptors have a true hold on their fans. Whether it’s a rebuilding season or a contender for the championship, I’ll always stick by the Raptors no matter what. Through every up and down, every trade or injury, it’s all about the group that has come together to be called the Toronto Raptors. They never back down, and neither do their fans.

  • http://twitter.com/MomoGFT Keyser Soze

    People ask me why I even bother watching the Raptors? Especially in a season like this. Well, watching every game let’s me see what they don’t see. Watching Demar turn the corner has been probably the best part of the Raps season thus far. In the first couple of months anytime Demar put up a shot id cringe BUT now when he puts up a shot I believe its WET. Also, watching Amir 3000 prove all the critics wrong has been inspiring. This man puts his heart an soul out on the floor every game and you can see that he wants to get even better. Finally, watching the potential that Ed has as a defensive player the Raps oh so dearly has got me feeling a high i’ve never felt before.

    Basically the reason I keep watching the Raptors is because for some odd reason I believe one day they will be GREAT. I was one of those delusional fans that thought the Raptors could get to the 40 win mark this season. I believed Andrea could overcome his deficiencies and become a solid player for us. The young gunz propoganda got me believing as well. Heck, maybe if we weren’t attacked with all these injuries we’d win even 35 games. Nonetheless, a lottery pick and hopefully one or two good moves by Colangelo and the Raps will be on thier way to becoming the team I envision them to be!!

    GO RAPS GO – I WILL ALWAYS BE A FAN NO MATTER WHAT!

    • KJ-B

      I can relate to being delusional for sure! +1

  • Maurice “Mo” Shats

    I cried tears of joy when the losing streak ended.

    • KJ-B

      Your case of Raptoritis is severe–I LIKE IT!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=72601561 Bruce Waynphy

    Hope for me comes from elementary school kids whose faces light up like Christmas trees while cheering on blindly from the Sprite Zone. It comes from the grade 5 boys I coach who yell “Bargnani for 3…bang on!” during shoot around before practice while heaving shots from halfcourt. Staring morbidly at the standings every morning has occasionally made me wonder why I shell out big bucks for extra cable packages and jerseys of players who end up leaving, but when I see kids at the school I work at not moaning about past heroes but instead cheering on potential new ones, I can’t help but remember the reasons I began watching the NBA and subsequently the Raptors in the first place. I watch my players, many without a lot of God-given talent, dive after loose balls and improbably willing themselves to win over better teams (it’s certainly not my coaching!), and I know there will always be hope for the Raptors. While they may be few and far between, moments like an Andrea fist-pump after an and-1, an Amir Johnson put-back dunk, or Demar making Tyrus Thomas into a poster still get me off my couch and smiling blindly just like those innocent kids in the Sprite Zone seats.

  • http://twitter.com/southpawstar test

    Where’s Hoffa? :)

  • Darien

    Some people think that this makes me a “fake” Raps fan, but I WANT them to lose right now. That’s right. I’m in it for the long haul aka a championship. Losses mean lottery picks. Lots of losses means a high lottery pick. We all know this team isnt going to the playoffs and even if they did, unless a meteor shower hits every single contenders’ building the night before the playoffs start, we aren’t getting out of the first round. We need talent. Not just good talent, but SUPERSTAR talent. I’m cheering for the raps to lose because I love them. I want them to win a championship and this is how it has to be. Tough love is still love!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MRNFH4DEDGEXKIA466YJRDA6OA Kai K

    For the last several years, the Toronto Raptors have put the weight of going deep into the playoffs and dreams of winning a championship on the shoulders of Chris Bosh. When we landed the #1 pick in the 2006 draft, it was hard not to day-dream about the potential of the team and raise our expectations. After years of heartbreak from either missing the playoffs or losing in the 1st round, we as a franchise have finally agreed that it’s time to shift into rebuilding mode. Although it’s hard to watch when they’re losing and can’t seem to turn it around, just one hustle play or dunk gets me out of my seat screaming RAPTORS as loudly as I can (usually results in weird looks at me in bars).

    During the 13 game losing streak, I felt that every game was going to be the game we win, only to my disappointment. However, watching young players like Derozen average 25.1 ppg during a 6-game stretch in January gives me so much hope. His drives and slashes in the lane are amazing to watch. The anticipation of what he’s going to do next causes me to hold my breath until he finishes it off with a gorgeous scoop or emphatic dunk. Watching his midrange jumper develop this year is also a really positive sign of his improvement. Raptors are not lacking in young talent. We’ve got the fearless Bayless and stat sheet filler Amir Johnson. Rookie Ed Davis also holds tremendous potential. His stat line of 17 points, 12 reb, 3 blocks and 3 steals in a win against the Mavs is very impressive. The Raptors also showed their resilience and fight during that game as Bargnani, Jose, Reggie were all injured, then Kleiza got ejected and Bayless hurt his ankle. Even with such a depleted roster, the Raptors were able to go into Dallas (24-5 at the time) and get a win. Hopefully that opened the eyes of some doubters and naysayers about the Raptors around the league. (It angers me whenever other announcers around the league can’t pronounce “Calderon”). Though our record shows a lottery bound team, anyone watching how we play every night sees that the Raptors takes every game as a must win game. Although on most nights I’m the tease of the night in my group of friends (that includes supporters for the Lakers and Thunder), I take pride in my team.There are times when it seems as if the game is completely out of reach, but somehow the Raptors miraculously turn it around (take Raps vs Detroit win after being down 25). This is why I watch the Raptors, because I believe in them and their abilities to win every game. I watch them to see the improvement in their chemistry every night. If I had the money, I would certainly be sitting courtside challenging Nav as the Raptors superfan.

    The dream is to win a championship, but whether or not that ever becomes reality, watching the Raptors’ energy, resilience, and passion for the game they bring night in and night out is more than enough to keep me watching every Raptors game of the season.

    LET’S GO RAPTORS!!

  • pran

    I just love reading these comments. at first the fans come off sort sort of corny as they try to brownnose and say:

    1)ive been a fan since waaaaaaaaay back

    and then

    2)Even though they suck i love the raptors

    but what’s really endearing is to here all of them go back and describe what might not the most talented bunch of players, but the players who embody what we as canadians value most:

    -hardwork (Demar)
    -playing w/o complaint (Amir)
    -Good Teammate/friend (Jose)

    Being able to see the players as people, that’s what gives me hope…

  • manyak

    Being a Raptors fan is like being addicted to heroin. Somewhere deep in my subconscious, there’s a tiny little voice that keeps telling me it’s not good for my health, that I should bail while I’m still sane and healthy. But somehow, I just keep ignoring it. I know I’ll be dealing with a lot of stress and frustration due to always-accumulating losses and bad front office decisions, but I still do it! I know I might throw a remote (or two) at the TV, but I still do it! I know I’ll very likely puke in my mouth a little every time Leo speaks, but I still do it!

    For what? Maybe its the high I get when I see Demar on a breakaway, Amir out-hustling someone for a rebound or Jose executing the perfect pick-and-pop with Andrea for a wide open three… Maybe it’s the rush I get when I imagine a future with Demar, Amir, and Ed Davis… Or maybe its just that unbelievable feeling I get when everything falls into place, even if its for one night only, and a close game is won at the buzzer! Whatever it is, it’s addictive! I know the downer is right around the corner (usually the very next game), but for that blissful moment, its all worth it…

    And every spring, after the regular season is done and all I’m watching is playoffs, I feel like an addict fresh out of rehab… “So this is what REAL basketball teams are like!” Its refreshing! And for the few months after that, I enjoy that feeling. But who am I kidding? We all know I’m relapsing come October, because being a Raptors fan is just too addictive.

    • KJ-B

      “Being a Raptors fan is like being addicted to heroin. Somewhere deep in my subconscious, there’s a tiny little voice that keeps telling me it’s not good for my health,” +1111111 …My Main Man, I CAN SO RELATE!!! I’d pick u to win, if I don’t get the nod…Raps specialize in pain masking in a box of chocolates!

  • Shayan16

    I was sweating bullets. There we were, in my living room: me, my dad, and my best friend. Watching the Raptors live in New York, fourth quarter, in the last game of the series, a do-or-die. We had built up a legitimate rivalry with the Knicks, having been beaten by them in the playoffs the previous year. Almost everything was a blur, but I remember the Knicks almost making a comeback in the fourth quarter until Alvin Williams sealed it with a silky smooth jumper from the right side of the key in what seemed like the hardest, most pressure shot EVER. And then it happened. The Raptors won their first playoff series. I was in absolute jubilation, screaming around the apartment and in the hallway running back and forth to the elevator with joy. My dad and best friend were going equally crazy. I used to HATE watching basketball games with my dad because, to someone who’s not used to watching basketball; he didn’t understand the little intangibles of the game and would criticize EVERY SINGLE play too much if there was no bucket scored by the Raps.

    But that night everything in the world seemed right, it seemed like paradise. There was no harshness, only happiness. Sheer, untamed happiness. My replica, purple Vince Carter jersey was the most precious item in the world, even more significant in hindsight since my dad bought it for my birthday knowing I could not afford it. My dad passed away, and thinking back now, that was by far the greatest father-son-sports moment in my life. The Raptors were a rapidly rising team, a WINNING team, and Vince Carter was taking over the world. But what made it so special was that it always said “TORONTO” on his chest.

  • Money Q

    They play hard every night and always put up a fight.. you can tell that these players want to be good and get this franchise back in the post season.. they show heart and hustle and if we get a small forward who can create his own shot and play defense we will be back in the hunt.. I remember a few years back it was the raps vs the spurs…this was when Vince wanted out of Toronto.. raps were down 19 in the 4th quarter and Lamond Murray came in and scored like 13 or something points in it to spark the comeback and defeat the spurs…Vince didn’t even touch the court in the 4th and this was a spurs team that went on to win the title that same year….the raps outscored the spurs 33-9 and won 96-91……
    its only a matter of time before we are back in the playoffs and as long as we don’t get screwed over by our players again(see bosh, carter, T mac) and attract some good pieces, we should be good….

  • matt

    Well I can write all day long but it all boils down to one simple thing; Raptors are the only team in Canada. Without them, we’re nothing. I’m not going to be one of those people who claim to be die hard Laker fans even though they’ve never been to Los Angeles, and then when the team starts losing again they jump off the bandwagon and join another hot team.

    I mean imagine being a loyal Clippers fan in the Pre Griffin era. Imagine being a Seattle Sonics fan now. Imagine being a Vancouver Grizzles fan right after the team left….

    There will be highs and lows, and in our case, a lot of the latter, but not a lot of people can say we have OUR team. So whats keeps me motivated during an inconsistent, lousy weather in Edmonton to watch Bargnani throw yet another semi-retarded shot during exams? Knowing it could be a lot worse, or maybe simply knowing I have a team to watch.

    There you go, got me a little teary writing that, don’t bother putting in the game seats contest, although I wouldn’t mind getting a chance to write up a postgame preview, that would be cool.

  • Timboe73

    Simple, Because they are not an American Team

  • Ali

    Are we done yet? (the rebuilding process). I can’t wait to see what we have in store for the league! We’ve got a young star on the rise (DeMar) who is getting recognition south of the border, and a 7 footer who can cause lots of nightmare matchups (on the offensive end only for now). Yeah, we still need to fix and retool our core for the future, and bring in some defensive minded athletes. (Shooting Gaurds tend to thrive towards greatness once they have a fairly decent defensive team). And get out the way NBA, The team from the “northpole” got the playoffs on lock, hopefully we will be featured on ABC/TNT/Espn channels aswell lol..that’s just a plus though!

    Anyways, before I sign off. I’d like to remind you all…this “lost cause”, “loosing season”..or whatever it is you wanna call it..is still a much better success than the 2002/2003 season! Sure we got the 4th overall pick in the following draft, and drafted Cb4..but all that paved the way for where we are right now. A chance to truly become great in the near future! draft(s), free agency, less euro and more North America/South America.

    See y’all!

  • Miles boyer

    Hope. It realizes its potential when you remove the element of time. Patience is one of the least respected virtues for young Raptors fans. We are products of the instant gratification generation(s) so what we want we want it now. We certainly don’t have what we want with this current situation so we are left with…..hope. To an optimist, it is a perfectly tenable consideration, to the pessimist, there is no hope, one merely has to point to our recent past, one could say, to see that we are a rudderless ship heading into oblivion.

    But why be a pessimist, it makes for such a miserable attitude. The reality is we don’t know what will happen tomorrow, or next year, or any year after. There is always the possibility of a quick turnaround, a slow turnaround, a diamond in the rough coming out of nowhere, a great young prospect falling into our laps, team chemistry coalescing into the perfect whole.

    Anything can happen, and guaranteed, something will, it just needs time to manifest. Be positive, it’s so much more becoming.

  • Beaverboi

    I watch every game streamed because my wife won’t let me get cable. Oh yeah, and its only high-speed LITE.

    Boom goes the dynamite.

  • knickz

    i deserve the tickest because I am the biggest raptor fan, don’t have cable but I will walk half an hour to a freinds house just to watch or i’ll stream online when i can

    • knickz

      and the mother of my son says i pay more attention to the raptors than my own nation

      • KJ-B

        GO KNICKZ GO!!! You bring that *stuff* on the regular!

  • John Miller

    My wife asked me to buy season tickets (300 level corners) after purchasing a 7 pack 4 years ago, she at 48 had never been to a ball game, never watched a ball game, she’s hooked. When at a move up event she mentioned to a sales rep about being courtside and what it would be like. Lo and behold the last game of the season he hunts us down in the 300 level and moves us up courtside/front row besides the players bench. AMAZING !! She’s a bigger fan then I, return to 100 level would be appreciated.

  • http://www.cellouts.net/ CellOuts

    Spurs by 12

  • Kretzc

    Its worth continuing to watch this team play because no matter who is on the team, they sometimes have a way of laying down a real gem in the most unlikely circumstances. Every once in a while they threaten us with becoming decent. I keep coming back to bear witness for these few in-between moments so I can chat with my buddies about what a game that was (Dallas anyone? Lakers anyone? Spurs anyone?).

    I watch to be entertained. The “best” teams in the league are always expected to win so a win feels normal and a loss feels awful and embarrassing. When the Raptors win the unexpected games its like our golden moment. I feel great going to work the day after those games. I re-watch those games (and only those games). I read all of the comments after those games. I read our news articles and the oppositions articles after those games. I lvoe those games. Whereas losses are not as much of a suprise.

  • Stretch

    The Raps are in their infancy as a franchise. Times are tough now but so often when you least expect it the future is being moulded and shaped when you are going through hardship. Character is being built through struggles and perseverance is created through adversity.

    We watch the games knowing that the lessons learned today and the rough patches we live through now will provide us with a testimony in the near future.

    Hope is great cause you will always be able to bank on it someday. As Raps fans we support this team because we know our day is coming.

  • http://twitter.com/neet9801 A.Hill

    @raptorsrepublic After the big L to Atlanta I facebooked that I was on “raptors strike” but as soon as Friday night rolled around vs the timberwolves I found myself tuning in because I love to watch this team! I try to get down once a season to see them live but money is tight so seeing them floor level would be such a treat and great opportunity to get some great pics!!!

  • DWest

    Ball!

  • Nilanka15

    I’ll graciously take the tickets just to be within ear shot of Bargnani so that I can remind him to box out. I’ll even bring my blowhorn.

    If the opportunity presents itself, I’ll also attempt to tackle the age-old question that has plagued Raptor fans for [what feels like] eons: Why does Alabi never get any burn?

    A bonus mystery I will attempt to solve: Who shot Julian Wright on his breakaway dunk attempt while at Kansas, and why would anyone want to kill him?

    If I’m REALLY lucky, I’ll be within ear shot of not just the Raptor bench, but also Colangelo in the tunnel. I’d then start whispering the words, “Kyrie Irving”…with enough volume for him to hear me, but enough softness that he has no idea where it’s coming from. With persistance, I just might succeed in blowing his mind.

    If for whatever reason, I don’t win this contest, I’ll simply kidnap Micah Nori, steal his suit, and take his seat behind the bench while using his clipboard. He clearly does nothing (yet gets paid a lot of money to do it), and thus, I can confidently conclude that nobody will notice me as an intruder.

    And if that fails, I’d just wait outside the Spurs locker room and offer to give Matt Bonner a ride home. There’s a 50/50 chance he’ll accept…

  • skeptical

    Why stay positive about the Raps?

    Is it loyalty built over years of support and love, watching and cheering during hundreds of games since Toronto was first granted an expansion? Is it a dream about that moment that may never come, where the tension of a last second shot is only broken by whispers of “championship”? Is it hope that next year will be better because of lottery picks and developing young talent that we (yes, that is the true fan’s “we”) are investing in now?

    All of those reasons play a part in my choice to be a Raptors fan, but none are the deciding factor.

    I am a Raptors fan because I enjoy the struggle.

    As a basketball player, I’ve always dreamed about being a star… but when the game starts I have to focus on smaller ambitions instead: boxing out after every shot, making good rotations and always getting a hand up in time, setting tough screens and making sure my angles are good before an entry pass. When I do my part and play the game properly, my team has a chance to win – even if we don’t have the most skilled players. Fighting through my weaknesses to become part of a winning team is the most rewarding feeling I’ve ever experienced.

    Seeing Amir struggle to improve his free throws, to keep his fouls down while still impacting the game, to simply be the best player he possibly can. Watching Demar put all the peices together and showcase monster games where “potential” is more than just a label. Even cheering as Bargs shows emotion and attacks the rim while trying to break through a shooting slump.

    As a Raptors fan, each small struggle that is overcome gives a feeling of proud accomplishment. Every struggle that is endured now only makes the eventual victory that much sweeter… and rest assured, there will be a victory worth celebrating.

  • Megi

    It’s probably not a very cool thing to admit but I’m a new fan, dating back to the beginning of the current season. My fandom started very randomly, almost by accident when a friend, an avid basketball fan, was looking to give his tickets to a pre-season game against the Bulls away as he was heading out of time on business.

    Since I am an avid sports fan, tennis and figure skating being on top my list, I have decided to use the opportunity and check the game out. Next thing I knew, I was buying for the next game. I’ve been hooked instantly!

    What really attracted me to the game are the fans. Up until now I’ve been into individual sports and as much the atmosphere at live events is always exciting, nothing can match the feeling of thousands of people at ACC getting together to root for ONE team, their team.

    When the unfortunate losing streak started and there were so many people screaming ‘I told you so!’ and getting all bitter and negative, I was expecting to get a taste of that in the arena as well. But it never happened, the energy and support was always there!

    Win or lose, the players always seem to respond to that energy playing at home and just keep trying.

    Those both factors together give me hope. Why? According to the quote “Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.” and I don’t see that refusal looking at bother the team and the fans.

  • Ritchie

    As everything else in my life, the Raptors are a total shitshow with the ever dangling carrot of potential and promise, frustratingly out of reach.

    About myself: I’m 26, bald, 5’2 and 183lbs.

    I lost my testicle in a softball game where I accidentally fouled the ball right into my left sac and it was struck with such force the gonad was instantly ruptured and leaking fluids that the doctor’s advised removing to it as repairing it would be next to impossible. I’ve since replaced it with a glass prosthetic and when I masturbate I must be careful to not stroke too vigorously as the prosthetic rubs against the damaged tissue and causes severe burning and possibly internal bleeding. Of course this happened at company picnic in front of my entire colleagues including the girl I’m desperately in love with. I don’t think it helped my cause to have her seeing me in a heaping pile of anguish crying about my testicle. She hasn’t spoken to me since I showed her my replacement in the copy room.

    Forgive the tmi, but my counsellor is encouraging me to speak openly of my life as it will help me re-adjust how I feel about myself. Honesty is the best medicine as it is what who and what we are.

    I live alone and work as a graphic designer for International Clothing. I’m the guy who makes those flyer ads selling suits 2 for $99 in the paper. I make about $26,000 net per year and although I dislike my job, I am unable to leave as it took me over 8 months to get this one and I don’t have the confidence I can find another.

    To my point, and why this is more uplifting than you might think. I watch love the Raptors as I feel they are a good metaphor for my life, or anyone that has felt they have been wronged by the powers that be. We are all told we are special, if we work hard, exude a positive demeanor, and believe that we will be given the keys to happiness. They try so hard and you can see the eager ambition in their eyes as they all want to prove themselves. But as the season drags on, and they fears slowly creep in, you can see them all realizing that they aren’t special, that the writers and critics were right, that they just aren’t very good at all. Why try so hard to fight for postion? Why make that extra pass when you can just shoot it yourself at a 40% fg clip?

    I’m a fan of the Raps because the sheer total chaos I see on the court make me feel better about myself. The constant disappointment of the team, and the never ending lies fed to us by Matt, Jack, Triano, BC & Co. is just a reminder that life isn’t as wonderful as you would like it to be. I enjoy the consistency in my life. I need it.

    GO RAPS!

    • Paps

      Congrats. You got an online portfolio? I don’t have a job offer I just like to see design work.

      • Ritchie

        Oh wow I won! THANKS! and no I don’t have a portfolio, I’m a print designer, never had the skills to learn how to code.

        • 511

          Congratulations. Glad for you. Hope you enjoy the game.

          • Geraldflemming

            Enjoy the game brother. You definitely deserve it.

        • KJ-B

          So Ritchie, this story is real right? You’re not gonna show up at the game 6’2″ and loaded right…Truth is often stranger than reality, forgive me for questioning though, I tend to question most things–if it what it is: CONGRATULATIONS!!!

          • KJ-B

            ((Pardon the syntax errors: you should understand that as an editor…GO RAPS GO!!!))

            So Ritchie, this story is real right? You’re not gonna show up at the game 6’2″ and loaded right..?Truth is often stranger than fiction, forgive me for questioning though, I tend to question most things–if it IS what it is: CONGRATULATIONS!

  • SKC

    He looked like he just won the championship. Jose simply couldn’t stop smiling after the win against the Wolves. The expectations this season aren’t very high, but its moments like this that makes watching them every game worthwhile. Like watching a baby grow, the Raptors are bound to fall at times, but every step is an accomplishment that you’re proud of. Not only that, it gets me dreaming about the potential of the team and what our young core of talents can one day accomplish.

    I can’t take my eyes off the tv whenever the Raptors are playing. This is one of the most exciting and entertaining teams there is to watch in the league, and this is my team. Although making the playoffs this season is becoming more of a dream, the Raptors continue to fight every game. They want to win, but are also riddled by injuries. The future is extremely bright and it’s hopeful one day the lone Canadian team will bring home the trophy. Watching the backcourt of Bayless and Derozen improve, amir and davis develop into inside presences just gets me so excited! Another positive is how much better team chemistry has become, as Jose knows just where to find Amir for the alley or dunk in the lane.

    Despite their record, the hustle and heart the Raptors bring night in and night out is very admirable; they don’t give up. We’ve got a great young group of players, the most hilarious commentators in Jack and Matt, and one of the most loyal fan base around the league. The future is bright, and through thick and think, I’ll always wear my Raptors jersey with pride!

  • Geraldflemming

    I was there.

    January 96, edge of my seat. The Bulls about to run off a 72 win season. Damon vs Michael, head to head. Damon went off for 30 points and 11 assists. And Michael went off for 36 points. And against all odds the Raptors won the game. We stunned what was arguably the greatest team to ever play the game. We did it with that ridiculous Barney emblem in the middle of the court. For me that was the real beginning of this franchise. That was when the rest of the world stood up and said, “Damn!!”

    And I still see the hints of that Toronto working class leave it out on the floor, blood and sweat in Amir’s eyes. And in Jose’s eyes. They’ve gotten some great scalps this year and beaten teams that nobody gave them a chance against. I love those games. I love the games where nobody gives us a chance..because they always take me back to January 96.

  • Neil

    My relationship with the Raptors, like everything else, changed when I had my first kid 6 weeks ago. I’m still a 50% season-ticket holder, and the home games are my nights out (and occasionally a chance to get smashed even though ACC draft gives wicked next-day beershits) but I couldn’t care less if they win or lose any given game any more. Someday, though, SOMEDAY – I’m going to take my son to playoff games. And that’s gonna be awesome.

  • PhotoR3alism

    Why am i a raptors fan.

    I like basketball and am from Toronto – thus – Raptors.

    How can i stomach the constant crap they put out. I’m from Toronto – where the best fans create a harmonious dance with the worst teams. The last sports team to do anything here were the Jays – and i was 7. I still have my mini John Olerud jersey, and much like winning in Toronto – it just doesn’t fit anymore.

    However, i still watch because one day – not someday soon, but one day – we will win something, and when that day comes in my late 70’s its gonna be that much sweeter. I will have waited and watch for long enough that the win will belong to me/fans even more so than the players on this futuristic fantasy team.

    Many band-wagoners will hop on and cheer, but i – along with everyone else here, will know climbing to the top only feels good if you start at the bottom.

    Till then, have a beer and enjoy – or watch curling ( were good at that i think)

  • http://twitter.com/GarrettQD Garrett Desjarlais

    I’m no longer sure why I punish myself continuing to be a Raptors fan. I find myself growing tired of the NBA and it’s double-set of rules for established “stars” and petulant behaviour of supposed adults.
    Whether it’s the Pistons crying about not having a 5th all star several years ago, KGs and Bruce Bowens stepping under ankles, or my own team I’ve supported from the beginning being full of a bunch of me-first players with “upside” I can’t seem to bring myself to divorce my fandom from this squad.
    There will be another Vince Carter or a Chris Bosh, and maybe even a strong supporting cast to go along with said star.
    How will I feel if a team I gave so many years to runs deep into the playoffs and I’m no longer a part of that community? This not so cautious optimism and hopeless romantic ideal that we as sports fans have adopted is why I’m still up at night watching these games. It’s why I’m studying box scores, visiting these blogs and following the commentary of my peers via social media.
    Hope is all we have to hang our hats on these days, but for me that’s enough.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504323292 Cito Knickz

      welcome to the club…i stopped watching this crap 3 years ago…i only focu on my raptors…this league is the biggest joke in sports

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504323292 Cito Knickz

        just look at last year how we got screwed out of a playoff spot by bosh, espnba, and tnt…i don’t care if we were a mismatch for the cavs it wasn’t right for guys to play against us and sit against the bulls

      • smushmush

        so true, the NFL is the league to be – your team can be hot one year a la the New Orleans Saints or even some games before the playoffs and ride that momentum into the playoffs a la the Superbowl XLV champions – the Green Bay Packers. 32 teams with a chance to win the championship – that is what we as fans wish to have for our teams, sigh. Hopefully, the new CBA can break all these star-studded teams and reward teams instead based on financial prudence via a hard salary cap, partially guaranteed contracts, and option to void contracts.

  • kareemslick

    Raptors I’ve been a Fan of yours since 1995 and you Guys have come a long way as a Team and an organization. You gotta understand their will always be ups and downs regardless you just gotta learn how to roll with the punches. Keep working hard, keep playing as a Team and don’t lose hope. Some of the games you guys lost weren’t by much and 90% of the Games are always close. Keep your head up like 2 Pac would say and trust me hard work and dedication will pay off. I have faith you Guys will make the playoffs so when you get back after All Star Weekend it’s gonna be a time for y’all to start fresh. Just communicate with each other and try and help one another become a better Team. Good luck with the second half of the Season and I hope to see some Raptors in this years All Star Game.

    Peace and Respect

    @kareemslick on Twitter

  • Ryan_A79

    A Raptors fan has had to endure much in the team’s 16-year history. Unfortunately, it has been littered with more upsets, disappointments, and heartache than jubilance and bliss. For every playoff appearance there is an equally horrendous regular season. For each player that has endeared themselves to the city and embraced it there is another looking for the quickest way out the door. One minute a general manager is heralded for drafting and signing a nucleus that will lead us to the promised land, then quickly lambasted for handcuffing the team to lengthy cap-stifling contracts.

    What keeps a loyal fan coming back then? Blind faith and hope. The lack of a winning culture prevents the Raptors from enjoying success in drawing free agents to a foreign country. But you have hope that one day, winning will come again; faith that by drafting properly, signing the right free agents, and trading for the proper pieces of the puzzle, this basketball franchise will once again see the playoffs. The belief that thousands will again be chanting in unison at a playoff game “Let’s Go Raptors!”, streamers and balloons will rain down from the rafters, and ‘Celebration’ blaring through the speakers. I want to be there for that party. It will take time, but it will come.

  • J_Pardi

    This is what a rebuild looks like!!! We lost our all-star, who wasn’t taking us anywhere anyways, and most of what was left was a young core, or more specifically THE YOUNGONEZ!!! As we’ve learned from ball, or any sport really, is that you build through the draft – its where we got Bargs, DD & Ed Davis! And that is what we’re doing! Yes, a rebuild will have some down moments and times will get rough… but there will most definitely be the exciting flashes as well! This team can be “IN” every game… can steal a win from the historic CELTICS or take the favorite HEAT down to the wire! There will be the highlight dunks from Weems; the boards from Amir; the dimes from Jose; the clutch threes from Barbosa! We’ll watch as players grow, like Bargnani playing inside and down low, and others come into their own, DeRozen And Davis! All the while collecting confidence and maturing together! I want to be a part of that! I want to say i was there from the beginning! I watched it unfold and come together! I believed when some didn’t! After all, we’re not just Toronto’s team, we’re Canada’s team! Raptors Nation has an entire country behind them… what other NBA franchise can say that!!! Let’s Go Rap-tors!

  • http://twitter.com/J_Pardi Jeff Azzopardi

    This is what a rebuild looks like!!! We lost our all-star, who wasn’t taking us anywhere anyways, and most of what was left was a young core, or more specifically THE YOUNGONEZ!!! As we’ve learned from ball, or any sport really, is that you build through the draft – its where we got Bargs, DD & Ed Davis! And that is what we’re doing! Yes, a rebuild will have some down moments and times will get rough… but there will most definitely be the exciting flashes as well! This team can be “IN” every game… can steal a win from the historic CELTICS or take the favorite HEAT down to the wire! There will be the highlight dunks from Weems; the boards from Amir; the dimes from Jose; the clutch threes from Barbosa; the enrgy from Evans! We have a core and players who will find their role on this team! We’ll watch as players grow, like Bargnani playing inside and down low, and others come into their own, DeRozen And Davis! All the while collecting confidence and maturing together! I want to be a part of that! I want to say i was there from the beginning! I watched it unfold and come together! I believed when some didn’t! After all, we’re not just Toronto’s team, we’re Canada’s team! Raptors Nation has an entire country behind them… what other NBA franchise can say that!!! Let’s Go Rap-tors!

  • Filsor

    Filsor here.
    My favorite moment ever was way back when. My dad always watched hockey and one time I had the raptors game on and my dad started to watch and ask me about them. Just a few minutes later VC threw down a 360 dunk mid game. My dad just said “wow” and we started watching the games together after that. We’re had some fun years and obv some poor ones but I love this team and im sticking with them :) (please trade Bargs lol).

  • http://www.facebook.com/bayan.foyle Bayan Foyle

    Haven’t posted in a long time but I’ve been still religiously reading RR. Much respect to all the writers (and my boy samholako) in these dark times I know it can’t be easy writing about a team that was in midst of a 12 game loosing streak as I struggle to watch a complete games most of the time.

    It’s definitely been a tough year for us as fans, I think it’s the first year I have missed games consecutively and I think the record for most games turned off in disgust has been broken this year as well.

    Fav Raptors moment has is a bittersweet one: Second round playoff series against Philidelphia. I know we didn’t win but it was the closest we were to championship team. And oh yah the 2007 regular season that gave us false hope for BryCo wasn’t too shabby either :)

    • Sam Holako

      thanks bayan, you do know youc an’t possibly win now that you’ve given me a shout out like that right? lol

  • danskitch

    19 assists against Minnesota!
    Though it wasn’t a good team they played against, this is the kind of result we should be focusing on.
    Nevermind the losses and the negativity. Jose played his butt off and it pay off. To think people wanted him out last year.
    What about Amir? Still think the contract was too big? You know what? He’s great addition to the team. He hustles and does the things no one else does. For that, I can justify the contract a little more.
    The talent on this team has yet to fully grow. It’s just starting to blossom, so there’s bound to be bumps in the road, but they are steering in the right direction.
    Being a young team we have the advantage to make these kinds of mistakes, because in a years (or two) time, they won’t happen. We’ll be back in the playoff before you know it. Like when we brought Philly to 7 games.
    Hope is still alive. We just misplaced it over the last little while.

  • Sek99

    Toughness. That’s the thing that keeps me hopeful. It’s Amir Johnson not missing a game when everyone else left and right is going out with the flu, or a sprained ankle, or a hangnail. It’s Demar Derozan working on his jumpshot and showing an actual will to win, something VC lost after his three point shot came and Bosh never had the drive to. It’s Reggie Evans going out there and pulling down 15 + boards while being pretty much the least athletic guy and probably the shortest PF on the floor. These are the things that keep me hopeful. Raptors becoming, or at least trying to become to with Ed Davis and some younger guys, a more exciting, faster paced and hopefully one day defensive style and getting away from the Kapono days of three point shooting being a top priority.

    This years been tough. I was one of those who actually thought we could win forty or so games (guess I was wrong), but really, factor out the injuries and who knows? We were 7 and 11, just like last year, until Reggie went down a few games later. But it doesn’t matter. With Bosh, we were going nowhere fast. With this new team, a probable high draft pick, and hopefully an eventual change in style of play, the Raptors could once again be an up and coming team instead of what we were for the past three years or so.

    One last thing ALL Raptors fans can be grateful for though, is that we aren’t Cleveland. I have love for them, but man, whenever anyone feels bad about the Raptors, just say that at least were not the Cavs and take a look at their schedule of past games. It could always be worse.

  • Npollard1

    Raps are Canada’s bball team, and regardless how they do I will always root for them so long as they are layin it down for Canada. It’s a very competitive league, but I think with Colangelo we can be relevant. With Bosh gone BC has a clean slate to work from. Right now, they are way better then their record shows. Even with all of the injuries they are still competiting night in and night out. This says allot about this core group that BC has assembled, and things are looking great for the future!

  • RapthoseLeafs

    The beauty of wondering why I’m a Raptor fan, is that it always leads to more questions?

    Why do I PVR each & every game?

    Why do I get mad at my daughter when she accidentally erases it?

    Why do I go to a bar with the game on, stare intently at the screen like a Madam Tussuad statue, while a couple of girls wave their hands in the air trying to get my attention (and whatever)?

    Why do I go home alone from the bars?

    Why do I steadfastly back our embattled Italian, simply because I see more to him?

    Why do I prefer Ravioli over Lasagna?

    Why do I feel we give up on our draft picks, knowing how some great ones pick up and leave?

    Why do we keep yelling at Vinnie?

    Why do I think Reggie should come back next year, even if it’s in a smaller but more effective role?

    Why do I have a problem with that beard?

    Why do I think it’s been a tough year to cheer for this Raptor team, when I know their rink rat room-mates have been tough to cheer for, for over 40 years?

    Most of all though ….. Why haven’t I seen a live game?
    .

  • Jacqueline H.

    I started following the Raptors when I got married – it was the year before Brian Colangelo came on board. Charlie Villenueva was slicing and dicing, Mike James thought he was Micheal Jordan and Mo Pete was my favourite Raptor. The wins were few and far between but my husband watched every game like it was the finals, and because we were newlyweds, I took an interest in what interested him. Towards the end of the year Colangelo signed on, which didn’t mean anything to me but I was told it gave great hope for the future.

    The following year, it seemed like our hope was being realized. The games were exciting, we surpassed all expectations, there was Chuck and Norma, Double Dribble and Full Court Press. I watched it all – the three pointers raining down, the great point guard tandem, Bosh’s development, Garbo, AP, Rasho, Bargs. It seemed like Colangelo really was the genius he was made out to be. The playoffs were disappointing in their outcome but the energy and passion were out of this world.

    Since then things have gone downhill and my passion has waned a bit. But I know how fast things can turn around and I’m thinking, because everything is cyclical, we are due to rise from the ashes once again, only this time we’ll stay up for a little longer. Call it female intuition.

    • KJ-B

      “Mike James thought he was Micheal Jordan”… yes, I remember that too…*Wince Carter* nowhere to be found and we replace him with Mike James! Only in T-Dot OHhhh!!!

  • blubb

    Raptor fan? No. I cannot be a fan of a team which is destroying all the good player and the fans are blaming the only two good player of this team.

  • Fern Fig

    Give the tickets to blubb…because he makes no sense at all!…other wise give them to me. lol

    • blubb

      blubb. please send the tickets to triano, so he can watch what a bad coach he is.

  • 511

    A lot of years ago, before the Raptors were even a gleam in the eye of local hoops fans, a buddy and I found ourselves sitting around a small hotel lobby in Miami, Florida on a boring Sunday afternoon, killing time. A few weeks earlier, we’d decided on little more than a whim, that it’d be fun to get away from the early spring chill of Toronto and as neither of us had a job we cared a damn about, driving to Florida sounded about as good an idea as anything else we could do. The drive there was full of adventure – good and not so – but after a few days, we crossed the northern Florida State line. After kicking around different parts of that flat, tropical state – always near the ocean – we met a guy in Fort Lauderdale who’s brother owned a hotel in Miami, so (long part of the story short) we checked it out and ended up getting a great weekly rate. So, there we were, in that hotel lobby, half-watching an NBA game on the old TV that was chained to a corner of the ceiling. The owner of the hotel’s Dad was sitting there as well, a gruff old guy with a heavy New York accent who called himself Joe and hadn’t said a word to me up to that day, but he started to yap with me by asking if I understood what was going on with the basketball game. I told him that I played a played a bit in gym class but other than that, no, not too much.

    He pointed to the TV and said, “you see this guy with the ball? …” and he continued talking for the next half hour or so. He must’ve had a real love for the game, because I found myself caught up in seeing plays unfold in a way that I hadn’t to then, understood nearly enough to appreciate. This was a game that unlike hockey (I found myself thinking) was three dimensional as opposed to the relatively two dimensional hockey that I’d followed for so many years. I think I started to love the game that very day.

    Some years later (long back in Toronto – we’d stayed in Florida only another month or so), the Raptors were born. By the time the first season arrived, I was near out of my mind at the idea of having our own NBA team to cheer for. I loved them like a madman right off the bat. Damon Stoudamire was our first draft pick and as far as I was concerned, he was the best point guard in the league. I mean, I could see that some were better in their ways, but I had no doubt that he’d get to be the best and maybe even lead us one day, to our first NBA Championship. We won our very first game with Stoudamire scoring a double-double and I knew we were firmly on our way to good things. Maybe more importantly, I really felt I had a team that was mine and I knew that I’d follow them with joy and passion for as long as I’d live, no matter what happened. We lost a lot of games, yes, but I never saw a game in those early days – whether in the Skydome or home on TV – that didn’t leave me feeling hopeful for what was to come. It was going to take some time, but we’d get there. One day.

    And now, here we are in 2011. A lot of players have come and gone, and while we’ve not done too well lately, there’s something about this team that makes me believe, maybe like never before, that a version of THIS team might be the team that challenges one day, for the big prize.

    The thing about basketball is that it only takes a few top-notch players to raise a whole team from being the dregs of the league to very near the top. We have seen it happen before.

    Some of the things that make me continue to believe even more than usual, are …

    – watching our prized rookie, twenty-one year old Ed Davis, seeing a natural instinct for the game like I’ve rarely witnessed, wondering just how good he’ll get to be over the next few years.
    – seeing DeMar DeRozan, another twenty-one year old, with only one year of college ball behind him, in his second year playing against the best players in the world, beginning to blossom in ways that I had only hoped to see by this time.
    – Amir Johnson’s enthusiasm and infectious good cheer making me smile and feel good, watching him play with the heart of a lion through injuries that would keep some on a stretcher, improving all the while in all facets of his game, even winning a game against the hated Celtics with two free throws at the very end, doing it like it was never in doubt. And almost unbelievably, at only twenty-three, he’s in his sixth season in the NBA … and he’s getting better all the time.

    While I see those three as the heart of the future for the Raptors, we also have some good pieces that may factor in, in a big way as we move along. Bargnani can be great and as we know, sometimes not. But as I see it, he’ll either be a very good bargaining chip for the future, or, a great sixth man off the bench. If we can build up the front-court through a trade or the draft, keeping Bargnani (as I think we’re likely to) it’s easy for me to imagine him at least being a guy who can come off the bench and steal games now and then, almost single-handedly. (And somehow, I think he’d like that role.) Jose is important to the team right now, but he also might be the most valuable trading chip we have, so whichever way we go with Jose, I’m alright with it. He’s a class act, top to bottom and he’s served the Raptors well, so I’ll always be a fan, but if he is traded, I like to think it’ll be for a piece that will be valuable to us, maybe even very, into the future. And Sonny, well, he might yet learn that if he’s made the last two shots, it’s not automatic that he should take that third one … with fifteen seconds left on the shot-clock. Barbosa is a great sixth man and once his wrist is fixed up this off-season, will continue to be for years to come, whether it’s with us or someone else. Bayless is young enough, talented enough and maybe smart enough to make him worth nurturing – for the next year or two – as a possible valuable point man. And the others, well, some might pan out, some maybe not … but if a player has gotten himself to the NBA, where the best in the world play, it usually says something about what they’ve got going on.

    As for the management of the team, like many of us, I go back and forth on that. Colangelo has put a young nucleus together (for my money, Amir, DeMar and Ed) that I’m strongly optimistic about, so … there’s that. While mistakes have probably been made along the way, I can’t say that I was one who was against any of the moves he made, while he was making them. He seems to care and he’s obviously not a stupid man, so a big part of me is willing to let him continue on. And I’m the same with Jay Triano. There are times when it’s hard to keep quiet, to not demand (here) that we get a new coach … but, there are other moments when I think I see the bigger picture and realize that maybe, I should let the team grow as it is doing, under the guidance of the people who know the game and the league better than I do. Because, it might be true that I care about this team too much to really be able to say what those larger decisions should be.

    Lastly, I really enjoy this site, Raptors Republic. The range of humour and insight that is a part of almost every day around here is something that I’m frankly, addicted to. I don’t always agree but I ALWAYS appreciate the effort … and that it’s run by Raptors fans much like me. There’s no other place like it. So in finishing, there’s not much else to say, except for, Go Raps!

    • 511

      Man. I should’ve taken the time to edit this thing. Too long. Only read parts of it. Thanks.

  • Ted S.

    I’m happy too. We just need a ball to drop and more importantly, actually pick a talented player and this team will rise again from the ashes. This BC-style “re-tooling” may actually get us back to respectability faster than I thought.

    I like Davis, Dero has grown….their is some decent youth here. It has been awhile since our scouting department has hit the jackpot. We’re due.

  • JoPo

    It was March 11, 2007. I was up in the cheap seats with my best friend. The Toronto Raptors were hosting the former Seattle Supersonics.

    Twenty seconds left on the clock with the Raptors down by two. We’ve been here before, we know it’s time to at least start putting the jackets on . The ball gets into Chris Bosh’s hands, he goes for the game winner – and gets blocked. Seems like game over – until the ball ends up in the hands of our new big Italian rookie Andrea Bargnani. Ray Allen runs him down as he throws up a 3- pointer. Swish. Foul on Allen. And I my best friend has to catch me as I almost leap over barrier in excitement as the big rookie makes a last second four-point play. We went to OT and we won.

    Lightning in a bottle sure, but it sometimes feels like I’ve got a ton of these bottles stored up somewhere. Filled with these moments that have shaped and defined me. When my heart stopped in game five as Alvin William almost turned over the ball, only for Carter to recover give it back and make Alvin a legend. When Mo Pete hit the most incredible buzzer of all time against the Wizards. Or of course, the hundreds of little moments still etched in all our minds on March 24, 1996 when the Raptors beat the Bulls.

    However… it’s that Bargnani bottle from 2007 that I keep pulling off the shelf and playing with. It reminds me that through this haze of a bad season, we still have players capable of making our spines tingle and jaws drop. Demar Derozan has made me jump out of my seat. Amir Johnson has made me lose my voice. And Andrea Bargnani genuinely has done things I will never forget.

    Sure the rest of this city have written these guys off already, but there’s a core here ready to do some amazing things.

    They are sharpening their teeth, they are getting tougher, and with a only few good breaks this off-season they could be poised to create some brand new lighting of their own… and I’ll have my bottles ready to catch it all.

  • Paps

    I love the Raptors unconditionally like a parent. From the star child Vince to the hope he finds his way child Bargs. I watch cause there are part of my life till I die.

  • Buschfire

    wow you guys just gave yourself a lot of reading material between now and tommorow night to make your decision on who you’re giving away those tickets to…..I bet when you thought this up you didn’t think each post would be a bloody essay…. LOL

    uhmm been a basketball fan since before the Raptors came into existance, I used to dream of a team in Toronto and how cool it would be if we had an NBA franchise. In Nov. of 1993 was when the “team” came in to fruitition… I remember they were gonna call us the Toronto Thunder, or the Toronto Beavers…finally settling upon the Raptors…I was only 11 at the time… look how things have changed! I’ve probably sat in almost every section in ACC from the baseline floor seats all the way to the nosebleeds. By far the best game I ever went to was during the playoffs against Jersey when we won that home game…. was it game 3? idunno anyways I was up in the nosebleeds and by far it was way better then the courtside seats I had several years prior! An amazing sea of red chanting throughout the entire game things like Jose Ole ole ole! and Vc is SHIT i swear the whole stadium was yelling it lol. anyways I’m going no where with this and am way too lazy to try and win these tickets. I just hope they go to a deserving fan who will appreciate the seats and hopefully we’ll get some more people aboard the Raptors bus.

    cheers.

    p.s. “Personally I’m happy with where we are. Sure, Bargs has been up and down (heck, when hasn’t he been) but DeMar has turned a corner by working hard in the gym, Ed Davis is getting some vital playing time against some great frontlines, Jose and Amir continue to show flashes, etc. Next season, you mix in one solid NBA veteran who can still play, a nice first round draft pick, and some time for fans and franchise to lick their wounds during the lockout and we can come back regrouped and loaded for a real chance at a return to the postseason.”

    I totally agree with you here and think i chose a 25 win season lets see where we go.

  • KJ-B

    OOOhhhh MAN, reading these personal stories of Raptoritis are touching and equally disturbing because they ring true in my heart as my own affliction… Simply put being a Raps fan means you’re gonna suffer like very few other people in your collective circle that have grown up and have developed enough sportsfan-common-sense to cling to ‘habits’ that steer one away from self inflicted heart break by remote control… Yah, I said it… Essentially, bandwagon jumping and being a Lakers Fan, Heat Fan, Magic Fan, Celtics Fan and rejecting your own home team, because they’re that child in the family photo that doesn’t look like any of us–is the way most of our ‘friends’ are innoculated from this GTA based epidemic!

    Seriously, why do we watch this unending train wreck of willful athletic under-performance and shoddy teamwork that is the TORONTO RAPTORS??? It’s kinda like going to watch the “Dirty Dancing”, theeatrical production and hoping you possess the ticket for the night when Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey actually show up and make this date night a Tony-award winning performance with amaazing fringe benefits–BUT ALAS, they don’t show, the performance sucks, your wife or girlfriend still hugs you and smile you that pity-smile you’ve grown to love and you THEN LIE TO YOURSELF saying, “The neXt time I come back to this show, this Johnny Castle and Baby ‘over here’ will be better than those lame Hollywood washed-up actors in the movie!!!”

    WHAT AM I SAYING??? Being a Raptors fan means you’ve gotten very good at “creating your own reality” — oK, you lie to yourself..! Every game, Every week, Every year that THIS IS THE SEASON we’ll win it all without a *Real Superstar, *A Hall of Fame Coach, and a Basketball brain trust not run by *MLSE as if we’re hopelessly suffering LEAFS FANS who’ve never one after the NHL expanded beyond 1 Division!!!

    “Mike James is a strong willed player” — Selfish Jerk

    “Vince Carter is such a refined athletic talent” — Jumpshooting Softie

    “TMAC to the Rack Come Back!!!” — The Best Player to ever play “here” who really didn’t care to be loved back… I digress!

    “Oak is The Man…We Need more Players like JYD… ALVIN WILLIAMS THE WARRIOR… MO PETE FOR THREE” — Yes, we’ve grown used to loving players that NOBODY ELSE in the NBA has ever won with or would pay THAT KINDA MONEY!!! {See: YOGI STEWART}

    …..

    BUT OH HOW WE LOVE THEM… Btw: “Do you think, if we fire Jay now we can convince Phil Jackson to come out of retirment at $15 million a year to build around Bargnani?!? Yeah, that would put us over the top– I knew there was a reason we were losing this year: KYRIE, YES WE CAN…” Really???

    I STILL LOVE ‘EM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And you do too….

  • Malin Balasooriya

    Never thought this website would do something like this. very cool. But if I win these tickets, can i still wear my Duncan jersey?

  • Malin Balasooriya

    Only thing I can say after being a Raps fan since 1995.

    “We still suck, yet I cannot look away.”

  • barenakedman

    I have to admit to an obsession with all things Raptors. I actually read the seventy something comments before posting this and I typically read everything on the site everyday. It’s not like I’m a lonely recluse as I run my own small business and live with my wife and three kids but like I said the Raptors have become an obsession.

    Raptors Republic is the catalysis that has taken me from a casual Raptors fan to a hardcore addict. After reading the in depth articles and the truly insightful and often highly humorous comments from real fans and guys that played or coached at various levels I started to appreciate levels of the game that I had been unaware of.

    Now when the Raptors played it wasn’t just about them winning or losing. When they put it all together and have a great game, especially against an elite team, it is a thing of beauty that at this stage of my obsession surpasses almost everything that men can be overwhelmed by.

    I’m obviously no expert and am a terrible prognosticator but there is something about this team that makes me believe they are getting better and they will reward our hope for a contending team. If not I’ll just look at it like other things in my life that I had high expectations for that never quite materialized. They may not make it to where we want to go but the journey has been one hell of a ride.

  • Scaron391

    i live in new england and am a fan of the raptors because i was born in granby, quebec and moved here nine years ago. i have watched every single raptors game since 2004-05 and have seen the growth of demar, amir, bargnani, and calderon. i went to the game two years ago when they lost 127-97 to the knicks in new york, considered to be the raptors worst loss of the season. i hope i can win some tickets to finally see a win live.
    Thank You

  • Mohammed Altukmachi

    Our team has energy
    And some chemistry but we need some more chemistry to win
    Raptors4lyfe<3
    I love the raptors yet I haven't even been to 1 game before

  • William H.

    Like a Phoenix rising, the Raptors will shake off their reputation of extinction and shock the world with an unlikely run to a higher plane of existence. I can feel it in my bones……this world is due for an unlikely story…..why not us I ask!

  • Homayon

    Even though the raptors are having a tough season , there are so many bright spots for the city of toronto and our raptors. Demar has been coming along recently and that is just a glimpse of how he can make a positive impact on our raptors in the near future. Amir johnson has also been great for us this year and what can i say about the rookie ed davis he a fighter also paired andrea i have the confidence and i will promise all the loyal raptors fans that we will defintly be playing playoff ball in no time as we had to the right direction. Patinence is key. So dont give up any hope we will be contendors for many many years raptor fans and we will have the team that many of us expect to have and the team that we deserver to have. Also have to remeber that we are one of the youngest teams in the league. So dont give up hope raps fans!!

  • cesco

    wow a lot of first time posters explaining why they love the raptors. hmmm. Can the tickets please go to one of the regulars who has been with the raps through thick and thin, k thanks.

    • pran

      i know we dont see eye to eye often but i gotta agree with you here

  • Andreas Fotopolopolous

    In these uncertain economic times, where job prospects are limited and the price of gas has risen to a level that would make Liberace think twice about buying an SUV, the Raps never fail to make me feel better about myself.

    For as long as I can remember, we’ve been “trying” to build a team that can “compete” in the Eastern Conference. One would think that, in the past 15 years, we would have had–at the very least–2 consecutive years of being considered a second round threat. Not so.

    So, for 15 years we’ve been trying and failing. In this regard, they boost my morale, knowing I could never fail so hard, and more specifically, so consistently, in that timespan.

    Thank you, Raptors, for showing me that no matter how bad things may seem–they’ll never be as bad for as long as this franchise has been!

    RAPTORS 4 LYFE, foo!

  • justchillz

    Next Season’s Wishlist:
    – I wish there isn’t a lockout next season, basketball is the only thing many of us look forward to after a long day at school or work
    – I wish Bryan Colangelo drafts a very much needed PG for this team, Calderon just can’t cut it
    – I wish Bargnani would grow the balls to grab boards and crown people in the post
    – I wish Kleiza and Bayless to be in better health next year, they’ll be around for a while (not saying thats a bad or good thing)
    – I wish Sonny and Demar can develop a consistent jump shot and go-to move
    – I wish to see how Ed Davis and Amir grow on defense, they have the makings of a Joahkim Noah type

    Now on another note,
    The all-time raptor memory for me at least has to be the game where Mo Pete sent it to overtime after Michael Ruffin threw the ball in the air, Mo Pete caught it and heaved it (*that should’ve been AND1).
    WOW what a ball game that was, and if you managed to catch it on the american broadcast, LMAO funniest moment ever.

  • maaaaadman

    One day in the future (probably in the far far future, but still), the Raptors will win it all! For one magical season, everything will come together perfectly and they’ll make history. And on that day, all this crap we’ve gone through will be worth it, and I will proudly be able to say that I was with them during the bad times, the worse times, the “you’ve got to be kidding me” times, and finally, the good times. That’s what keeps me going.

  • Imanari

    When looking at the Raptors as a Raptors fan, it’s extremely frustrating. They mostly play hard and they lose, Andrea Bargnani is rebounding as terribly as ever and the rest of our roster (and our organization) appears to be profoundly flawed. Calderon still can’t defend quick point guards, Derozan is inconsistent and doesn’t defend as well as we need him to, Amir Johnson has earned a reputation as a fouler and will be treated as such by the officials no matter what, Barbosa is built as sturdily as a knockoff chinese iPod, and the rest of the roster, the coach, the management and probably even the fucking water boy, all have their own crippling flaws. With so many shoddy parts, you’d assume that fans would would be best off simply throwing their team away…but never think that way, my dear masochistic Raptors fans, for if you ever truly give up hope, then how were you a fan to begin with? I have no intellectually articulated reason to hope, yet I do and I will always, for I am from the GTA and I will love those sons of bitches that we call Raptors as long as Canadian blood courses through my veins. They’re my crippled Canadian dinosaurs goddamnit and I’ll never give up on them.

    • onemanweave

      I still love the Raps because I am a confirmed couch potato and the Leafs are my only alternative.

  • Kaine

    The basket play is not that good, but the cheer-leading is fucking world-class!

  • http://twitter.com/DontBeChp Dean John

    Simply put, I have high expectations for my team. When the Raps underperform, I wait patiently, excited to see them improve. When they overperform, I’m ecstatic because I get to see my team play great basketball.

    That, and there’s nothing like Bargnani smiling like a little kid when he shoots the lights out.

  • Evan Paisley

    as of right now, the raps are about as good as Arsenalist says they are. but with a little more effort and consistency these raptors have the potential to finish the season as a 45 win team. unfortunatly, without me cheering for them in the lower bowl they will never get the spark to success they need.

  • RaptorDude

    I moved to Toronto in 92….. and what happened?…. we won 2 World Series … back to back….

    Maybe I should move away and then move to Toronto again …..and then the Raptors too, will win a Championship!!!!
    …or 2

    maybe i should just fool them into thinking I moved away…..

    What ever happens, I WILL be there when we win the Trophy!!!!!

    • KJ-B

      Funny stuff right there dude!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=511364756 JR Parilla

    APRIL 21, 2007 – RAPTORS VS NETS PLAYOFF GAME 1 (ACC)

    Although we lost the series opener against Toronto’s most hated sports athlete and the Nets, I will NEVER forget that game! I dunno if anyone at RR or fans of the site were there, but if you were, you know what I’m talking about. Standing and singing the Canadian anthem along side the raucous sold-out ACC sent electricity through my body and was clear that this city is more than willing to support it’s teams, not only because they’re from Toronto, but from Canada. I think that’s what it boils down to, the Jays/Raps are Canada’s lone teams in their respective sports and that’s prolly why were so passionate, we gotta rep for the country!

    In terms of the Raps, it’s easy to write them off after a tough season like the they’ve been having. I’m not one to make excuses, but with a team with an average age in the low twenties, and being ravaged by injuries, we all have to look at the big picture. We’ve got a strong “up and coming” core in Demar, Amir, Ed, Jerryd and even Wright and Bargs. Like in real-estate, you invest in these areas to make them into moneymaking and PROSPEROUS PLACES TO BE. BC has the tools; Exp. contracts, draft picks and money in the bank. IMO, we’re a trade and a solid pick or two away from a OKC-esque movement north of the border. RAPTOR FANS, WE ARE SITTING ON SOMETHING SPECIAL HERE.

    I like BC. Since hes been here, he’s had the city buzzing with exciting and money-wise trades, and had they panned out like we all expected, we’d be giving him keys to the city. But they didn’t, AND HE MADE MOVES TO FIX THEM. The dude does not sit on his hands, we can give him that. Just imagine if we had got Barnes, and Chandler this offseason? This year would be much more interesting.

    Despite the losses, this is OUR TEAM. We’ve got promising talent to cheer and support, and a smart GM that knows that this city is aching for a trip back to the playoffs and a championship. Give them time to grow and develop physically and chemistry as a team. This is a rebuild, but these are times where we may one day say, “We witnessed the development of a championship team.” That electricity I felt in 2007 isn’t too far away Toronto, stay up! MLSE knows they have Toronto’s and Canada’s support…if only they’d stop charging so damn much for beers at the games…

  • JDharmeyer

    If Ritchie can prove any of that he deserves the tickets.

    Shout out to Jose and Ed Davis.

    I miss Chuck and Sam Mitchell.

    BC/Kapono/Bargs/Kleiza suck !!!!!!!

  • Sari

    What started out as a 7 year old girl desperate to do anything to to stay up past her bedtime has turned into a full-out addiction. Fast-forward 16 years, and that 7 year old girl is now 22 and still staying up past her bedtime (when the team is out west) cheering for Canada’s team.

    Whether it’s 1pm, 6pm, 7pm, 10pm…. (occasionally) Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, (occasionally) Saturdays, and Sundays – I can be found at one of two places – the ACC or glued to my couch. I am proud to say I have yet to miss a game this season (thank you, pvr.) I have been a Raptors fan for as long as I can remember, Raptor Red seems to be in my blood. I use to pretend to be interested so I could participate in dinner table discussions and stay up late; but pretending only lasted so long, before long I was hooked. Over the years, my love for basketball has solely become a love for the Raptors.

    I am often asked “why are you [still] watching this game?” and my answer always seems to be the same, “I don’t know but I just cant turn it off.” There is just something about this team, this group of guys, that has drawn me in. From DeMar & Sonny’s brotherly bond, to Amir’s heart and never-give-up attitude, to Jerryd’s deadly stares and fearless attitude, to JuJu & Ed’s pregame dance routine, to Jose’s leadership, and Reggie’s beard. This team has my heart. Of all the Raptor teams to have come through this great city, this current team is by far my favourite. I don’t know what it is about the certain group but they’re passionate, good-natured guys, who really want to win – and that’s all I can really ask for (except maybe some actual wins!)

    As players come and go throughout this organization, I have grown to appreciate how hard these players work and the dedication they have to the city, but more importantly this team!! I love the Raptors, I believe in this team and will continue to support them – up 25, down 25, or during a historic comeback!!

  • Jesusfrancisco1

    One of my greatest memories as a raptor fan, was when i found out Chris Childs was coming, back in the Grunwald days. Even though he was on the decline by the time he came over just the memory of him 1 2ing Kobe made my day. We had some hard nosed teams back then, sigh… at least i can still see some of that in bayless, amir, davis. Give them time and we’ll get there

  • Raptor4Ever

    Why do I love Raptors and am still supporting them ….

    I am Raptor fan not because the players in this team play with passion and bring their best effort every single night to the hardwood , because they do not.

    I am a Raptor fan not because this has ton of young promising talents that make me smile when I think about the future, because it does not. The best talent in this team shows promises to be a decent starter in this league at its best.

    I am not a Raptor fan because I am happy that we have a GM who knows how to build a team and take it to the next level because BC does not know how. After 5 year, I have zero confidence on him and his imaginary direction that he is pushing this team to.

    I am a Raptor fan because this team belongs to me and my city. Players come and go. There will be many Carters and Boshs but my team stays the same. I am a Raptor fan because this team represents my city and my country and my passion for Basketball north of the borders. GMs like BC come and go but at the end of the day, this team is still here.

    And finally, I am a Raptor fan because if this team is moved from Canada, then all I be hearing in TSN is Hockey and Curling !!

  • big-red11

    I became a raptors fan nearly 5 years ago after making a highschool basketball team. The knowledge acquired in learning the game by playing it allowed me for the first time to appreciate the NBA. Throughout the years I began to learn all about the association and this particular team, admittedly because it was the most available to me.

    Many years later I would consider myself a good fan, though I have never been able to attend a game. I think that someone who stirs the passion on this team is Calderon. When we’re down he is always trying to talk to the players and get them going. When the game is close, there is no one on the court who is more intense and committed to the goal. When we are up, its Calderon whether on the bench or carrying the ball up who rallies his teammates. I feel he is often the guy who, no matter what happened last night, believes in his team tonight.

    There are two moments this season that give me hope for the team in the future. The first was the impressive win against Boston back in November. Bargs showed up with 31 points and there was an all out team effort to try and upset the Celtics. The second important game was the huge comeback against the pistons in January. Granted the raps looked far from special in the first half, the unbelievable 25 point comeback cannot be denied as a special moment this year.

    We have many tools that need honing, but with a decent draft pick next year and young players that are only getting better, I don’t know why anyone would lose hope in this team now.

  • Thejellokid

    Young athletic players locked up long term such as Amir and Demar… Young supporting cast coming into fruition when given playing time (Julian, Sonny) Offensive focal point that can still give teams fits especially if we add another scoring threat (This years draft) and a solid leader in Jose who when healthy, helps to manage the game and keep the young players learning and in control at all times.

  • Dunkin Derozan

    Relationship with the game:
    Growing up I always played basketball. When you play a sport you naturally look up to the industry best. So as expected when the NBA expanded into Toronto I instantly became an avid follower. Having had the luxury of growing up with sports in my bloodline I was able to analyze the game from a personal performance perspective and enjoy it from an entertainment perspective. When teams run plays I evaluate result based on personal experience. The team aspect of basketball increases my respect for the sport. For the most part a team will never have success without the collective results of each individual. Having been on teams from both ends of the spectrum I realized that end results are only a fraction of the game. Sure winning is nice, but the process is what keeps me playing on a personal level and watching from an entertainment level.

    Loyalty to my hometown:
    I consider my self a loyal fan. It would be easy to purchase a Bryant jersey following his 81 game performance and pronounce myself a Lakers fan. Instead, I choose to support my hometown because at the end of the day, any success the team achieves will be felt throughout this beautiful city, from the teachers pensions plan all the way down to the line. The Raptors are a big part of Toronto’s identity not just because they are forced upon us through television and media, but because they invest in our communities and allow children to enjoy the game of basketball which builds friendships and leadership skills which will last a lifetime.

    NBA is real:
    Unlike 90% of the television broadcast basketball is real. Real sweat. Real Dunks. Real Fouls. Everything which relates to basketball is a joy to watch. I can watch a Raptors game because I know the game is not staged; there is no love story involved. Its not rehearsed there are no retakes. In fact the beauty of watching Raptors Basketball is the unpredictability and excitement which each and every game brings.

  • N Money

    Who WON!?!

    • KJ-B

      My question eXactly…

      • Cdog

        false hope…….fitting for Raptors fans