I moved around a lot when I was younger. As a result, I was used to being labeled the ‘new kid’. It was tough. Maybe not as tough as it was for Sergei, the stuttering Slovenian with the glandular problem (last seen sniffing the toilet seats in the girls locker room), but still, making new friends wasn’t easy. Sure, it helped that I was (note the past tense) incredibly handsome, great at sports, and hung like an Oktoberfest ribbon-winner, but even still not every student bowed to my smarmy superiority. I had to resort to the ultimate low: buying my friends. Sour Keys, fuzzy stickers, and slap bracelets were my currency. Pogs? Plastic gold. And before long, I was the most popular (and most broke) kid in school.
Seeing as how I’m the new kid on the Raptors blog block, I’ve decided that the quickest way to make DinoFriends of the Raptors organization is to employ my old strategy.
As we creep ever closer to the holiday season, I’ll share with you the little tokens of purchased friendship I’ve procured for each Raptor stocking. We’ll go in ascending order of age, ’cause, really, the holidays are for the kiddies!
STOCKING STUFFERS (Part 1 of 2)
For Andrea Bargnani, something to toughen him up. I went with the Spaghetti Westerns Box Set. He can learn some good old fashioned American grit and toughness, taught by some hard-nosed Yank named Sergio Leone. I wasn’t sure whether to purchase the PAL or NTSC DVD versions, so I did the safe thing and just printed out a picture of the DVD’s and stuck it
in a card
Maybe Clint can teach Bargs his steely gaze, likely more intimidating than Bargnani’s trademark doe-in-headlights stare.
For Kris Humphries, something to expand the mind. Kris may be an physical specimen, but the brain doesn’t count as a muscle. Knowing Humph needs to pump the cerebral iron as well, I was going to go for something out of Phil Jackson’s library, like The Art of War. Upon further reflection however, it seemed more prudent to scour another Jackson’s library for something a little less…Englishy.
Michael Jackson swears it helps him achieve his goals.
For Chris Bosh, something to keep it all in perspective. On Sunday, I stole Kevin Garnett’s personal diary while he was busy screaming at Glen Davis for tying his shoes near Sam Mitchell. Bosh shares KG’s trademark intensity, but he needs to remember that whatever basketball brings, life goes on. Flowers still smell beautiful, chocolate’s still delicious, and expensive call girls still pretend they love you. Because no matter how frustrated you are, how bad it may look, or how many times an open Raptor on the three point line steps out of bounds…well, just consider this excerpt from KG’s diary, written during the 2005-06 season:
On team jet after another loss. Scored 25/16/4/4 yet the Blazers beat us (again). Considering shaving body hair and bathing in nitroglycerin…just to FEEL again. Stored some powerful ammo in the Violence Vault tonight. It’s getting heavy to keep carrying around. Helpless. Steaming. Can’t sleep. Troy Hudson is singing karaoke. Might have to kill him, if Ricky doesn’t beat me to it. If we don’t, I bet Tyronne Lue will when we match up against the Hawks tomorrow. Even they own us.
If this plane crashed tonight, it would hurt less than losing.
For TJ Ford, something to make you feel indestructible. There’s nothing more demoralizing and destructive to an athlete’s psyche than feeling like you can’t trust your body. Because If you can’t count on your body, you can’t do your job. And so I thought TJ would appreciate a little outfit to make him feel strong and confident in his own skin.
It also comes in Extra Small.
TJ’s had some unfortunate experiences that have made him feel fragile, like a Mini Cadbury egg (both chocolatey delicious!), but if you wrapped a Cadbury egg in a shiny red cap and fake abs, I bet they would never break and inadvertently rub chocolate into the leather interior of your girlfriend’s father’s car.
For Carlos Delfino, something to help make the adjustment to Canadian living. Moving from Argentina to Detroit must have been an adjustment, but from Detroit to Toronto? That’s like, wow. Two totally seperate universes. So I got a little crafty (because Carlos is a little crafty) and created the Toronto Transplate Gift Pack™. What’s inside, you ask?
- 1 Smiley face sticker (there’s no frowning in Canada!)
- 1 TTC token for when there’s too much snow to drive.
- 1 Tim Horton’s gift card (because it’s about time this South American tasted some quality coffee!)
- 1 lock of George Stroumboulopolous’s hair (on loan, not to keep)
- 1 of Canada’s own MAC Splashproof Lash mascara (Hombre, you’re not fooling anyone.)
For Joey Graham, something to fall back on. ‘Cause let’s face it, this whole pro basketball thing just isn’t working out. And since you didn’t stick around Oklahoma State long enough to graduate, we can’t consider anything the least bit academic. It struck me late one night, while I was simultaneously eating ice cream and cleaning up spilled bong water:
For those unfamiliar with the treat that’s taken over California, Pinkberry is like Yogen Fruz, only with a way gayer name. Like all American trends, it would explode over here even if we already have something exactly like it. Joey would make a killing, and once Steven’s 9 lives run out, they could operate it together! Even call it Twin Pinkberry, or Twinkberry! Take up some prime real estate on Church street, and watch the money roll in. Even an idiot could do make this work, so…case and point.
For Jose Calderon, something to cushion the fall. Because Jose’s good for a least one three-foot ass slide per game. He’s got to be sporting some nasty bruises on his derriere, and if you don’t know how difficult it is to sit down with a bruised rear end, read John Amaechi’s book (man in the middle, indeed. Even closeted homosexual athletes are having more threesomes than me.)
Of course, wearing bulky ass-pads would hinder Ocho’s movement, not to mention look very, very uncool (unlike those pointy sideburns, which are all the rage in Woodbridge). So to keep Jose’s mobility and machismo intact, I found this:
Breathable, sleek…very Robocop. Bueno!
That concludes the first batch of Raptors, aged 22-26. Stay tuned for Stocking Stuffers Part 2, later this week! We still have gifts for Kapono, Moon, Dixon, Garbo, Baston, Rasho, Parker, and Grandpa Martin.
If you have any suggestions for Sam’s stocking (pinstriped and Italian), please leave them in the comments section.