It’s been a while, but The Peep Show is back! I’m still reeling from getting hacked, which you can read more about by clicking here. It’ll be interesting to see how this affects the traffic numbers. To kick it off, something I saw while watching the highlights for today’s games that just pissed me right off…
Bosh Chirps Toronto
Heat’ F Chris Bosh, formerly a Toronto Raptor, has finally told a Miami newspaper his true feelings about the city of Toronto. Bosh describes the city as a ‘different’ and unfamiliar destination.
“I didn’t want to go there. It was different. All I knew was Vince Carter was there and I never saw him play on TV. It was a whole different country, and it was just different. I’m 19 years old, I didn’t know anything about culture and being away from home. All I know is the States…Toronto’s a great place, a fantastic city. It’s a metropolitan area, but you could tell you’re somewhere different. You could feel it, you could look at it, you can smell it. Everything. All your senses tell you you’re somewhere different. You can smell it.”
You know, a lot of former Raptors have had issues with Canada. F Antonio Davis hated the metric system. G Doug Christie said his mother-in-law’s cooking in Toronto tasted different than back home. But to say that the city smells different proves just how much of a moron you really are.
Now, I could run through a bunch of things that makes Canada better than the US, but to avoid angering my peeps to the south, I’ll hold my tongue. I can’t say that I’ve been to too many cities in the US – I’ve heard great things of Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Boston – but Toronto is a classy, multi-cultural city. Eve the Huffington Post called Toronto North America’s “coolest city.” Understandably, since there are only one Canadian (Toronto) team in the NBA and MLB (which are primary sports in the US), it will never feel like home for a US-born basketball player.
That said, players generally love the city once they get here. There are tons of celebrities, athletes, teams, sights to see, nightlife, diversity, you name it. When in Toronto, you play as a star – everyone recognizes you. You become a celebrity in yourself.
If you look around the league, Toronto is always amongst the top cities that players vote as their favourite. In fact, many teams arrive a day early or stay a day longer in T.O. because of stuff like the nightlife, bars and clubs downtown, the ethnic diversity all across the city. Dot. That said, in many player’s eyes, Toronto is a ‘great place to visit, but not to live here.’
Toronto’s biggest problem is winning. The Jays haven’t won since the early 90′s. The Leafs are winless since 1967. The CFL and NLL are considered a minor league amongst Americans. And the Raptors? They haven’t won anything. The franchise itself has a poor track record for winning, which compounds the problem of playing in Toronto. The NBA is not run like a video game, where players can be signed or traded on a whim without issues. People like GM Bryan Colangelo often deal with players who have American families living in America who are unwilling to move to Canada. Family location, birthplace, friends, housing, etc. are all aspects factored into whether or not a player signs anywhere – the problem is, they’re magnified when Toronto is a potential suitor. You’re not just changing cities for some players, but countries.
The Raptors’ franchise has had to deal with this for years, and will have to deal with it forever it seems. The ‘winning’ issue can be solved by, well, simply winning. A winning franchise will attract players from all over the city. This ‘different place’ problem is what haunts the Blue Jays now too, but this issue was non-existent when they won back-to-back World Series rings in the early ’90′s. Players were dying to come to Toronto to finally win a ring that their career had been lacking. Now? Toronto teams are places people go to for bounce-back seasons, slighty higher pay, getting the opportunity to start on a regular basis, or if they have no other options and are forced to sign. If the Raptors ever become an elite NBA team, attracting great American players will be incredibly simpler. It’s all something that the fans and the franchise are going to have to get used to.
This was a stupid deal. 17-years/$102M? I’m glad that the NHL stopped it. It was so heavily frontloaded, it’s ridiculous. There’s no way Kovalchuk would’ve played until his 17th season (age 44), and would’ve easily retired in his late 30s to just reap the remaining dollars on the contract. I don’t think he has any intention of playing the duration of that contract out, but now that the NHLPA has filed a grievance, it may go through/get slighty tweaked.
MJ pulled out of a late deal that would’ve seen the Raps get a 3-player package including Tyson Chandler and Boris Diaw. I was beside myself when I found out that Jordan pulled out. Chandler is exactly the kind of guy the Raps need, and Diaw’s versatility would’ve been key. That would’ve changed the starting lineup from Bargnani-Bosh-Turkoglu-DeRozan-Calderon from last season, to Chander-Bargnani-Diaw-Barbosa-Jack, which would’ve been solid. Moving Turk’s massive contract was key, especially for a guy with the calibre of talent that Barbosa has. I’m glad BC has decided to throw caution to the wind, since it’ll be his ass on the line if the Raps have another season without making the playoffs.
Raw vs. Nexus
This angle is turning out alright. There’s still a lot of question marks regarding whether these guys can hold their own in a match that’s longer than 10 minutes, how they can perform one-on-one when there aren’t 6 other guys there to bail them out, etc.. I think Triple H will be the leader of Nexus, rather than John Cena, but either one would be fine by me. I personally think HHH is far better as a heel than he is a face, so I welcome the change. Cena’s face promos and mannerisms are just so old, I think he needs to switch sides. Will it happen? I doubt it, since he’s the top merchandise seller for the WWE right now. Him and Rey Mysterio are probably the two unlikeliest to have heel turns. Speaking of turns, how about Randy Orton? A great transition from heel to face, the same mannerisms and behaviour, but the RKO is *so* incredibly over with the crowd right now, it’s insane. It’s almost like the Stone Cold Stunner circa 1997ish when Austin was doing it to everyone. Those were the days…
I’ve got the same few projects under wraps right now. Whether or not they’re unveiled remains to be seen, but I’m trying to find more time to write columns and stuff, since I think that it’s what’s lacking most on the site.
I just got my Skype/video blogging/podcast stuff worked out on my new laptop, so both tools have become potential options for VoV. You’re more likely to see a podcast coming before you see me videoblogging/Skype-ing, but who knows – this Peep Show feature may become a podcast just in itself. I’d like to do one for WWE/MLB/NHL, but that’ll depend on a number of factors.
I think that’s it for now. As always, I’ll be taking questions off of VoV post comments, Twitter replies, Facebook questions, emails, SpringForm questions, the Facebook fanpage, you name it. The links are posted below where you can contact me. Again, if you’re sending via email, please use something to the effect of “VoV” in the subject line so it doesn’t get filtered by spam. I’ve been getting truckloads of spam as of late, so if you used a stupid subject line, it probably got caught with the rest.
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