The gracious thing for me to do would be to express great regret that I will be no longer covering the Raptors after 10 years of devoting a significant portion of my life doing so, but I’m choosing honesty over grace in this post. The truth of the matter is that when I consider what it will be like to no longer feel obligated to watch every Raptors game and express my opinions about them, I feel nothing. This franchise has finally sapped my will to give a crap about it.
When I started this blog 10 years ago, I wasn’t motivated by diehard fandom. The Raptors were definitely my favorite sports team at the time, but I was really motivated by what I saw as a market opportunity. I wanted to find a way to break into the sports media business, and when I saw the quantity and passion of Raptors fans online and compared that to the pathetic coverage of this team in mainstream media, I said to myself, “I think I can give these people what they want.” How successful I was in that department is debatable, but here I am.
What isn’t debatable is that this franchise has been a miserable failure since I started RaptorBlog in October 2002. The Raptors only made the playoffs twice during that period, and they lost in the first round both times. I often joke that I cursed the franchise when I started this blog. The joke has grown old, and so has my will to get outraged over all the things that have pissed off Raptors fans in the past decade. Too many of those frustrations show no signs of going away, and I’m tired of pointing out problems that almost everybody except for the employees of this franchise seem capable of understanding — or willing to change because ongoing profitability makes those changes unnecessary.
It wasn’t the ongoing incompetence that destroyed my passion for this team, it was the tolerance for that incompetence. From the players to the coaches to the front office, it’s become increasingly clear that the Toronto Raptors are doomed to indefinite irrelevance as long as they can continue to make money with bread and circuses. Every sports fan has their own relationship with their favorite sport and team, but I prefer to treat sports as a fun distraction from the daily grind that most of us have to endure to make ends meet and get out of bed every morning. This team ceased to serve that purpose for me a long time ago, so I plan to go forward with an approach to sports where I watch whatever games interest me most on that particular day. Most of the time, Raptors games are only interesting to the masochistic diehard fans who inexplicably revel in complaining about the outrage du jour after another loss.
I used to fantasize about how cool it would be to write about the exquisite relief of the Raptors finally winning an NBA championship. I now recognize what a sad and unrealistic fantasy that was. Even when exciting new players like Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas join the roster, the Raptors somehow continue to marinate in fail-sauce one way or another. I’m tired of stressing out about this team — I have far more important things to worry about.
That gave me a good laugh. Why WE haven't jumped ship is anybodys guess. Plenty of reasons to.
If Colangelo gets an extension, I'm out too. Seriously. At least until he has nothing to do with the franchise anymore.
I don't blame you. I've been hanging by a thread as a Raptors fan since 2009. But I already got to the point where I don't hang off every Raptors game like I used to. I catch them when i'm free, when I miss it i'm cool with it. If Val and Lowry weren't on the team this year it'd be just like last year for me where I watched less than 10 games and only a couple from beginning to end. Just like it says in the article, it's not the record or the team being bad that makes me pissed about this team. It's how accepting they are of a losing culture. The front office needs to be wiped, and then 90% of the players have got to go as well. I for one don't like marinating in fail sauce either.
BTW, the Score team of personalities seems to fall apart lately. Brendan Dunlop to Sportsnet/Fox Sports, Rene Paquette to WWE, and now Carefoot leaving. Now we have to stick with terrible Paul Brothers.