I’m three drinks deep. Give me a microphone and a soapbox.

I want you to think back to where you were when the news broke. Maybe you saw it on Twitter. Maybe you caught it here. Perhaps your favorite award-winning sports app passed along a push-alert. Your buddy might have texted you. Or you might have caught it on the late-night re-runs of Sportscenter. No matter what the circumstance, remember it. Treasure it in your mind and lock it in a safe place.

I was at work when I saw Adrian Wojnarowski’s tweet flash across Tweetdeck. I literally shrieked. I have a strange job where watching sports merits financial compensation rather than grounds for dismissal. It’s my job to repackage breaking news and provide unbiased analysis. I couldn’t do it. An all-consuming feeling of happiness washed over me, making me hot and flustered. I clicked Woj’s profile to make sure it was actually him, and not yet another impostor. I gathered myself enough to write this incredibly one-sided piece with a shit-eating grin on my face. It’s been almost three hours since and it has not come off. I’m afraid it’ll stay like this.

I know it won’t. There’s a karmic balance with sports fandom. With a normal team, there’s an accompanying low paired with every high. Call it the Newton’s third law of sports. Teams contend for a title, then wholly fall apart, only to rebuild itself and propagate the cycle.

The process is broken for Raptors. Any slight twinge of happiness is immediately smacked down by tragedy and disappointment. Think 2006-07 then the years thereafter. Think Vince leaving for essentially nothing. Think picking Bargnani first overall. If the Raptors were a novel, its author would be Fyodor Dostoevsky. Or George R.R. Martin. Every season ends with a repeat of the Red Wedding.

Shit like this doesn’t happen to the Raptors.

And yet it did, which is why most fans are borderline euphoric. It’s the jarring feeling of shock that something actually broke right for the franchise. It shatters the numbing self-loathing that comes with devotion to this squad. It pierces through the thick cloud of pessimism, which looms at all times waiting to drench us in a cold shower, leaving us with nothing but pneumonia and a pair of players named Williams. This is new.

I’m not naive enough to dive head-first into a sell-job of culture change and a brighter day. I’m too skeptical, as I suspect many of you are. Acting aloof affords us protection against the let-downs. Pessimism after the fact is somehow better than shock and disappointment.

It’s imperative that we remember to cherish these moments, especially if you’re a glass-half-empty fan like myself. The whole reason sports exist is to give us something to cheer for, something to hang our emotions on. We’re feigning the comfort of an actual relationship by bonding to a specifically patterned jersey. With this team, it’s not a happy marriage  by any means, but try to make room for love. The draining, emotive, self-flagellating nature of the pairing should make moments like these extra special. Having Lowry pick us over attractive alternatives in the Lakers, Rockets and Heat? That’s like the team putting down the remote, scooting down the couch and snuggling up for once. It’s not time to bicker about right or wrong. It’s time to close our eyes and cherish the moment.

This is why we do this at all.

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  • jakdripr

    Damn…… quite the write-up. But yea, I had to keep telling myself to calm down after I read the news. Not only did an UFA choose us, but he chose us despite being courted by Houston, LA, and Miami. Definitely a good feeling.

    Now I’m just bracing myself for the eventual let down, whatever it ends up being.

    • noname

      the let down? ok. First you will get another thing to cheer about…the raptors will make the finals this season. But they will get swept and Demar and Kyle will both tear their ACLs. Looool just kidding and I don’t believe in jinxing something so it won’t actually happen.

  • me

    Nicely put, this is why I was against tanking . A winning culture it what attracts/keeps talent, BTW when are you changing your name to James Lebron?

    • Phat

      For it to truly work, it has to be Jame Lebron. Can’t have that extra ‘s’ mucking things about.

  • TheSpiceTyrant

    So onward and upward. Hopefully it has reverberations across the NBA…. puts egg on Houston’s face, and Lakers fan think twice about free agent appeal.. And Some pressure on Chicago if Rose can’t play the way he did.

    What I really like is the fact KL made his decision quickly, allowing for the raps management to adjust to any offers for GV and PP.

  • Bigbadjv

    This has made an otherwise terrible day at work incredibly exciting

  • Guest

    “Think back to where you were…” I read it on Raptors Republic!


    Isn’t your orgasim based on ONE FANTASTIC game KL played against the Brooklyn Nuts? Don’t get me wrong but for me to blow my load I need: Greivis Vasquez on high school teammate Kevin Durant: “Hopefully I get to play with him one day in the NBA & hopefully it’s here in Toronto”

  • raptorstand

    I had a terrifying flashback to when Bosh left. I paniced, I got mad, I started sneering at the computer and sports shows. I knew if Kyle walked, that the tanking douchebags would have a field day. On and on it went , I posted that this organization were the Toronto Expos, always destined to be second class citizens , feeder fodder. Then the news hit. I didn’t jump for joy, I didn’t shoot my load ……. I nodded, yea baby. I had some apologizing to do. I am sorry for ever doubting the GM would not get it done. I am in awe of the man. We have a very nice competitive team that is really going to be fun to watch , continuity breeds success, and I’m all in. GO RAPTORS !!!

    • DD

      You know what the funny part is? ESPN has been giving half of the Lowry talk to Miami, discussing how he didn’t go there, rather than the fact that he chose to go to Toronto. Oh well. #ProveEm

    • CJT

      Yup, you were a total shit bag there for a few days. I hope you have learned something about yourself and sports through all of this. It’s hard to make that as if you know guy look good, but you sure tried.

      • raptorstand

        Yea the thing I learned and have always known is I want to win , period. This gives us a better chance to win. I have never advocated losing or being second class gamers, but that was what this organization was before Masai. I’m real happy you got a kick in before letting me up. I bet you throw a nice sucker punch.

        • jjdynomite

          The thing you should learn is not to post pessimistic drivel… unless they are about Vince Carter.

          • raptorstand

            I will post whatever I like about whoever I like . I stand for this team always, and when I feel that someone is going to f it over like I thought Lowry was , I acted accordingly. All done I apologized and I stand .

            • Benjamin

              The point of that comment is to just not think that Lowry was going to leave. Your pessimism was bred by pure speculation.

              • raptorstand

                Past history.

  • Feather Ruffler

    The sun is shining, the birds are singing, bees are trying to have sex with them…as is my understanding… I’m going to have a smile on my face all day long. Now if we bring back Patterson and Vasquez, we’ll have one of the deeper teams in the association in my opinion.

  • Sadballer

    You make A LOT of girlfriend analogies.

    • DDayLewis

      It’s easy to relate

  • Sean

    I think people fail to remember that Vince signed a long term deal when he could have bolted. The same could be said for Bosh when he was a free agent the first time he ended up signing a long term deal to stay.

    As someone who who was 18 when this franchise began and watched every season until now very closely we need to realize that if the team is winning players will stay. Yes this is a great moment but we’ve been able to keep so called “star players” before.

    • jjdynomite

      Time for you to learn the difference about young players on entry-level contracts and veterans who are unrestricted free agents.

      • Sean

        Regardless they still signed. They didn’t have to. There were other options.

  • DC

    Kyle Lowry would not be resigning with the Toronto Raptors if not for the presence of Amir and DeMar, their heart and their fierce loyalty to the city and the team. Kyle was persuaded. Give credit where credit is due.

  • BIG Mac

    I never comment, but this moment deserves it. KUDOS to all involved! Kyle is King!

  • Marshall

    “If the Raptors were a novel, its author would be Fyodor Dostoevsky. Or
    George R.R. Martin. Every season ends with a repeat of the Red Wedding.”

    THIS! Awesome analogy

  • Joey Drummond

    I’m happy too, and very relieved that a prime FA has chosen Toronto over other destinations offering around the same money. However, let’s keep things in perspective: Toronto didn’t just need to re-sign Lowry, they need to get better. As we sit and discuss today, this is the same 48 win team that was ousted by a deeply flawed Brooklyn roster. Where is our future hope? Organic growth? Bruno? Durant in 2016? – amazing, but unlikely.

    I have faith in Masai, but let’s move on from the Lowry celebration quickly. The Raps need to get better, and so far, we’re basically the same; glaring needs at SF and no back-up center (and we still don’t have PPatt or Vasquez signed).

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  • noname

    I first saw it on bleacher report when, for the first time ever in free agency it seems, there was an article about the raptors that headlined the home page (the report of the signing).