March 4, 2009

By Cailen Swain…  Watching the Raptors is like finding out the girl I liked back in high school doesn’t feel the same.

Let me break it down. The day of each game I am constantly reminding myself that the Raptors play, making sure to note the game time, opponent and any key injuries. I get excited about the prospect of watching the game, which I do in most cases. If not then I catch bits on the radio or get updates online depending on where I am.

Just like when I was 18 and I knew I was going to hang out with the girl I like. I’d think about it all through the day, making sure I was certain of our plans and thinking my way through anecdotes or anything else I might want to talk about.

Then comes game time. It starts in different ways. In tonight’s game (still underway I might add) the raptors got off to a great start and had a nice early lead. Now we’re almost at half time and they are down by 6 and on the way to a certain loss. Sometimes they tease me like this, making me believe they might actually win whatever game it is I’m watching. Other times they’ll just get killed right from the start, like at Madison Square Garden a couple weeks ago. However it happens to shake down on a given night the result is uniform; disappointment. Constant disappointment.

So I’m hanging out with the girl I like. It’s not a date because the girl I like always turns out to be someone who I’m a friend with so we are quite likely doing something that would otherwise be construed as a date but is most certainly not a date. Things are going well, we’re both having a great time, enjoying each other’s company and whatnot. Then I drop the bomb followed by the inevitable rejection. Again that could come in many forms: ‘I don’t want to ruin the friendship’ or ‘I don’t feel that way about you’ or the ever popular ‘it’s just not the right time’. At that point I realize that all along I’ve been hoping for something that was never going to happen.

Like the Raptors making the playoffs and/or eventually becoming a championship contending team. Deep down I know my emotional attachment to the Raptors is as tenuous and flimsy as my crush on any number of girls when I was in high school. But come on, I expect to be let down by girls in high school, I shouldn’t have to put up with that from my professional sports teams.

Right now they’re down by 5 going into the 4th quarter. And will likely lose by 5-8 points. Thanks a lot guys.

Edit - final score: Houston 107, Toronto 97

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