Basketball and Raptor Fans Deserve Better

I am going to be honest. I have no desire to write a recap of the Raptors game from tonight. The Raptors got a win over Minnesota and it is the 10th straight over the T-Wolves. They had to come back after a pitiful performance early. Bosh and Bargnani tied for the scoring lead with 26. In the end it really doesn't mean a whole lot to the grand scheme of things. I mean no disrespect by this. If the Raptors are able to beat the Suns maybe there is reason to get excited but will see about that Friday. Raps for the record win it 118-110. Joey Graham left the game with an injury. I will post a link to both the boxscore and the Recap if you want more details that I would normally provide myself.

Raptors Recap

Raptors Boxscore

So that is a very short look at tonight's game. I have another thing that I want to talk about which I started talking about when I was totally driven of the deep end by the fact TSN actually had a game on the main network tonight. But almost fitting it was delayed by curling. Please spare me on educating me on how things work. I know how they do and understand that believe it or not, curling is a major property for TSN. It also draws great ratings. I know that will be shocking for some. However it is the truth. That being said I don't care. Why should I. After all has TSN cared at all about me or any of you with this TSN 2 mess? They have been deadly silent on the issue. It is clear that they have no desire to treat basketball with any form of respect. I feel sorry for the fine folks like Jack Armstrong and all of the other folks that work hard on the Raptor Broadcasts. Even Rod Black who to be honest I am not a huge fan of.

So here is the thing. I love basketball and that would be fairly obvious to you all I would think. You do not invest all the time and work that I have even long before the blog joined up with The Score if you did not. I am guessing if you are here reading this, you at the very least like basketball or may even love it as much as me. I think you would agree that being a basketball fan in this country is not easy. Turn on the shows that do the highlights and the main thing you will see is hockey. It is something you are forced to accept being here in Canada. NBA's recent trade deadline got all of a 30 minute show on Raptors T.V and nothing from any of the other networks. Yet in a few weeks we will see day long coverage of the NHL trade deadline. I am not trying to take away from the hockey people getting their due. Personally do I think that is insane? Absolutely. However they do it because enough folks are watching it.

I actually like a few people in Hockey broadcasting. James Duthie is a great guy who I got to know in my brief time at TSN. He is a super guy and does quality work. I also have had fun with Doug McLean on the Game Plan as he co-hosts with Jack Armstrong. I even listen to she show when Jack is off covering the Raptors. Doug has mentioned me in referencing when Basketball is coming on the show. I take it as compliment, in the sense that I am representing folks that listen that want to have basketball as part of that show. The truth is there was a time when I considered myself a hockey fan. I have always loved the Buffalo Sabres and they have been around longer than the Raptors. That may not make the Dino Blogger very popular with Leaf/Raptors fans. But so be it. I grew up listening to Rick Jenneret. People talk about Chuck Swirsky being a homer. But Rick is maybe even more so. When I was a kid he was broadcasting to me. But you want a reason why I am not a Leaf fan? Check out what they did on the other side of MLSE today. Raised ticket prices on poor suffering Leaf fans. That is how they treat the Leaf Nation. Raptors prices did not increase. Reason why is pretty simple. The folks at MLSE can not be certain that Raptor fans will just show up. In the case of the Leafs, for ever person they push away, they will have 10 people willing to jump in that seat and gladly pay insane prices to watch a team, that is heading no where fast. I like to think and hope that Raptor fans, will always be smarter and learn from what goes on down the hall. It is clear if the day comes that the Raptors reach a level that fans do not hold this team accountable we will all be screwed.

The fact that this organization can have the balls to raise prices, in an economy that sees people losing jobs and earning less is truly beyond words. However why should it shock Raptor fans really. I mean this season we have watched MLSE sit back and do nothing while TSN and Rogers go to war over TSN 2. The main victim in that dispute is the Raptor fan base. Where is MLSE sticking up for us? To busy selling condos and building Maple Leaf Square to care much about it. They would likely disagree with that. I would understand that. However where is the statement from Richard Peddie on that issue? He was sure quick enough to get out there and spin away as to why Leaf tickets were increasing. He gave a justification of rising costs and upgrades to the ACC. Funny how the Raptors do not have these same issues. I mean Raptors play in same build. Bring in the same lower Canadian currency. Maybe I should be quiet now, or they may re-think things and raise Raptor prices as well. MLSE talks about wanting to win Stanley Cups and NBA Titles but ultimately they are about the bottom line and making money. Some will say that is the way they should be. I am not out to say they should not be concerned with that. However they could learn a lot in the way it comes to dealing with fan bases for the franchises they own. Would it have been so difficult to make a public statement that said something on the TSN 2 issue? I mean am I the only one that finds it totally hilarious that Rogers sponsors a segment on TSN through it's Raptors advertising? You know Rogers did you know? Here is what I know, it is that instead of listening to your fan base you ignore them. Dino Nation Blog, Raptor Blog, Raptors Republic and a bunch of other sites that you can find in the directory on this site, this is your fan base talking to you. We are the people that care about this franchise and actually want to see it succeed. The readers of these blogs care as well as the people that write them. It is a touch of irony that all of us depend on the franchise in a way to create our content. However we also offer you a public service in seeing what your fans think about this team and you. At the very least could you make it a bit easier to do that without having to scramble to find your product? Some how the people in the blog community manage to get along with each other. Ironically the two partners that will broadcast the Olympics in 2010 and 2012 can not agree to broadcast Raptor Games. I mean it is pretty simple to fix this. If you have the guts to raise ticket prices on your fans in the worst economic times since the great depression have the guts to do this. TSN 2 mess gets solved right away with a very simple action from MLSE. If TSN and Rogers can not agree it is fine. Just make the suggestion the when the Leafs T.V comes up to be renewed that you may consider taking games elsewhere. Tell me people are not falling all over each other to make a deal if that was thrown out there. After all TSN and Rogers are much like the Leafs fans they can not afford to walk away from the Leafs. It would be a disaster for TSN or Rogers to be without the Leafs. However no one has the guts to do that at MLSE it would appear. They choose to sit and let the Raptor fan base suffer. Again they may disagree but show me the example where they have publicly done anything on this issue. It just doesn't exist. Not even a simple apology to Raptors fans.

See that goes back to my point about Hockey. I use to enjoy hockey but thanks to the complete over kill of the media coverage, a general decline in the sport in my view, a season long lock out that cost fans a entire season, it has all lead to me having little care or regard for the sport. Doug McLean once said on the Game Plan that I was anti-hockey. It was done in fun, but I guess there is some truth in it. However it is the media that has made me that way. Starving me of coverage of basketball and other sports I enjoy, to have more hockey coverage. I make no apologies for how I feel. I also understand that it is rare for a Canadian to feel that way. It is not that I am against hockey at all. I am cool with it and if people enjoy it I do not hold it against them. I know people that do drugs. That is not something I have done but hey if that is what you want to do I am not going to judge anyone based on that. The sport of hockey is almost a drug in a way. Look at any Leaf fan and tell me they do not suffer from an addiction.

It goes back to what I said at the beginning of this. I love basketball. I am very proud that I have started to turn that love into a job for me. Part of that job in my view is to stick up for and represent all of you out there that love it to. I will always do whatever I can to make more people become fans of the sport. I will defend all of those that already do. There are a lot of different opinions that exist out there. About how the game should be played. What players are good. What players are bad. How to fix the Raptors. Who is better Kobe or Lebron. However at the end of it all. Even though we may not always agree on any of these issues and thousands more. Here is something we all must come together and unity around. It is something that I have often said is at the core of what this blog has always been about. To stand together as a united group on one single issue. Well two actually. We love basketball and hopefully, despite all that has gone on, love the Raptors.

If we can agree on that. Here is the next step to that which in part we are all already out here doing. Make people fans of the sport. Do whatever you can to make that happen. I invest countless hours into that one purpose. I bust my butt to bring guests to this blog. Some will say that sure but you are doing that for you. Part of that is true. However the more people we have that care about basketball as much as I do fighting to bring everything I have to expanding the sport. That is a good thing. The one thing that everyone I deal with in working doing this have a common love of basketball. It is cool in this country to be a proud fan of hockey. Well I am proud of being a fan of the game invented by someone that was from this great country we call Canada.

So for the TSN and MLSE it is time to wake up and treat everyone that loves this sport of basketball with common decency and respect. We have taken to much B.S for far to long. You can do all the stupid things that you have done. However it will not change the simple facts that:




I am sure the rush to create 12 hours of useless T.V for the Hockey Trade Deadline will make it impossible for you to address this matter. However it will still be here and so will we the sports minority of basketball fans.


  1. One solution that can cure this debacle is to have some billionaire buy the Raptors away from MLSE. Even though I do attest to their rip-off cell and TV contracts, I hope the new heir of Rogers buys out the Raptors, since they are buying out my former school of Ryerson University and bought the Blue Jays that are splurging (stupidly) on a fattening Vernon Wells and a GM-with-his beak-up-his-bum. I respect your ideals and your protests. Having a strong and a lil`less Hoser-y ownership can create a new feeling of `winning` can help right the ship for the Raptors and basketball in Canada. Sportsnet and the Score can dominate the schedule of the Raptors (+ if they can draft a few game-changers for the 2009 draft as well) and TSN2 and TSN can rot in Bell Hell and Raptors TV can disband away from its uselessness. TSN and Bell are the DEVIL because they bought off the Hockey Night in Canada theme from CBC!!!

  2. A bit long, but I feel your pain, bro. Totally agree. Tuning in last night all jacked and ready to watch the Raptors play what more sports fans are coming to see and understand what is really is THE greatest game in the world (and I grew up on hockey, too) and ... instead, on the screen, are chicks with brooms chasing a rock on a strip of ice. I thought I'd lost my mind for a moment. And then, I thought I might, in a different way. I get what you say about the insult of it. Absolutely unbelievable.

  3. Rogers made a choice to drop the NBA altogether. Hence why we see Jack Armstrong on TSN. He is still with Fan 590 as well. But to make Rogers the owner of the Raptors is the same issues under a different company. Ideally if the Raptors could have a Canadian Mark Cuban as the owner it would be the answer. Just as long as he did not influence the basketball moves. Maybe the head of RIM will get tired of being rejected by the NHL. I am not being serious mind you. Jim Balsillie wants a hockey team in Hamilton. I want the Raptors D-League team here. He is worth more than I will earn in life most likely.

    I am not against Curling and be it men or women it would not matter. The rage would be the same. I mean given all that has gone on you would think the folks at TSN could have had the coverage shift over to TSN 2 and use it to help Raptor fans for once. But why would I expect that? Canada's Sports leader unless you like basketball. In that case you are out of luck.

    This is part of why I am proud to have The Score logo at the top of this blog. They do more for basketball. They do not just show Raps, the show lots of NCAA ball and even the CIS. I said long before this blog had that logo that The Score did the most for basketball fans. It has not changed.

  4. I missed last night's game because I was out curling of all things :). But when I saw the tv sched I knew there was a halfway decent chance that there was going to be a conflict. Unfortunately it probably made the most sense for TSN to screw over the Raptors fans since: i) the people who had been watching the curling would have been REALLY REALLY pissed if TSN had cut away from the game in its most climatic moments; ii) TSN2 had a hockey game on, I believe, so you knew that wasn't going to get bumped. Of course, even if they HAD announced that the start of the Raps game was going to be on TSN2 that would've have helped given the whole Rogers dispute.

    There are two weeks a year when TSN goes nuts for curling...and maybe it didn't make sense to try to squeeze in a Raptors game during that time. I believe the Raptors game went over its allotted time frame too, so the next round of curling that was supposed to start at 9:30 probably was joined in-progress too. Anyway, this incident on its own wouldn't bug me very much, but when added to the TSN2 fiasco and other incidents of lack of concern for the fans, I can see why people are upset.

  5. Well said JBar and I understand the whole Curling deal with TSN. That is the point I was making given the current situation with TSN 2 this was another kick to the Raptor fan and basketball fan that as already endured a beat down. It is just enough is enough. Basketball fans need someone to stick up for them. That should be MLSE. If it isn't somebody at the NBA league office needs to look at this.

    I would like to think the NBA can to a better job for it's fans here in Canada. Lord knows the NHL has totally screwed up in that regard in reverse. The NHL is so far off the radar in the U.S it is not funny. I do not want or wish the same fate for basketball here in Canada.

  6. I still hate your views on CB4, but you are dead on the money here. How are we supposed to build support for the team - the only NBA franchise in Canada - when its constantly being treated like a second class citizen by TSN. Kudos to you and your site for exposing what's been going on with TSN2. I know they have some competing priorities over at TSN, but its bad business to cheat the few fans the Raptors have left.