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Saturday, February 04, 2006 

A.D., S.B. and P.E.

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AD vs The Metric System (Hate League)

Apparently someone doesn’t remember all the boo’s Antonio Davis had to endure in Toronto, leading up to his trade that brought Jalen Rose to Toronto. Now, apparently, Antonio Davis is coming back to Toronto in the trade that is giving Jalen his long-awaited exit from the organization. As is Raptor tradition, however, you have to wonder whether or not AD is going to report to the Raptors. The metric system does still exist in Canada, and we all know how intimidating that is for Mr. Davis. There is also the rough ride that Raptor fans gave Davis, in response to his saying that he didn’t want his kids to learn the metric system and Canadian history. His returns weren’t quite to the same degree of antagonism as Vince and T-Mac received, but the audience clearly showed their disdain for the former Raptor. So to ask Antonio to come back to Toronto might be a bit of a stretch, thus it may appear that for the second year in a row that the Raptors made a deal with the intention of buying a player out. Antonio himself did nothing to detract from this appearance, saying last night that he was going to take the night to take in everything that happened, and that he will have a statement for us today. That is a very ominous thing to say. Clearly AD isn’t going to come back to Toronto, right?

Well, not so fast. Another thing people seem to forget is that before he left Toronto, he wanted Sam Mitchel as a coach. The two of them have a very good relationship. The front office staff is also very different looking than in his day. Also, are the Raps really willing to walk away from the 7 million owed to him, taking a big hit a year after taking a lot of flak for making a similar move? And all this ignores AD’s time as President of the Player’s Association. Is holding out really a move that the Player’s Association condones, and would they want that appearance from one of their President’s? I think that last point alone is definitely the fact that is making Antonio have to think about this situation. And I think he is also definitely worried about how Raptor fans are going to treat him upon his return. To that I will say this: Antonio, I live in Toronto but am not a Raptor fan. If you do swallow your pride, and decide to be a big man and give Toronto a second chance, then I personally will be your biggest fan in Toronto. It would be great to see someone in the position you are currently in do the right thing for once, and I have to do what I can to support that. Please show up. Please play your hardest. It’s the East, we don’t expect much from a guy we can slide into the C-spot. If you are able to bring the effort that I remember you playing with 5 years ago, the fans will welcome you back. Not only that, but you could actually be what the Raptor’s need to sneak into the playoffs. How would that look on your resume in a contract year? At this point you have nothing to lose, Raptors fans have nothing to lose, and the organization has nothing to lose. If you fail, it will be the teams fault. If you succeed it will be attributed to you. But if you don’t even bother to show up, that is the only way you can lose. I trust that you will do the right thing

Back to the trade, losing a $17 million contract from next year on a guy that clearly (and inexplicably) the team didn’t feel fit in is always a great move. But did it really need to cost a first round draft pick? It was, in fact, a draft pick the raptor’s picked up in the Vince deal last year. What does this mean? Well, if AD doesn’t show up, and you piece all the movements together, the exedus now looks like this:

Two potential superstars, Vince Carter and Jalen Rose, traded WITHIN the division, along with $20,000,000 in buyouts and cash, for 3 late picks and a bench warmer.

Honestly, that's what it comes down to now. They have all this cap room to work with next year, but with that kind of track record, who in their right mind is going to want to sign with Toronto in the offseason? I know that I wouldn’t if I was a free agent. I guess they can resign Mike James now, maybe. As far as I can tell, the only thing that saves all of this is if AD shows up, plays like he can, and gets the Raptors into the playoffs this year. Otherwise I think that the league should take the team away from MLSE and force a new owner into the situation. The brass there may know something about hockey, but enough is enough with this basketball debacle. I can’t even end this section with a joke because at this point it just isn't funny anymore.

Steelers –4.5 Seahawks

Before I get started here, I just wanted to know is anyone else getting tired of this guy: Joey Porter

I was going to be cheering a little bit for the Steelers on Sunday (much to the chagrin of my old neighbours in Seattle), but Porter is really turning me against them. I’m not even sure I can pick the Steelers to win anymore because of him. I really just can’t stand to see him win at this point, but I’ll try to be objective in my prognostication anyway.

This is a pretty even matchup, but I would say look for the QB’s to either make or break this game. Matt and Rothles can both be streaky, so whichever guy is on his game early is going to be the one that wins. You can pretty much turn this one off after the first quarter. I’m not sure who’s going to win, but it will be over after the first quarter. One of these QB’s will be hot early on, and the other will be scrambling all game to try to make up ground. And it just won’t work. I don’t really trust Matt to be the guy that keeps his cool in the big game, and the Berger has really been impressing me this far in the playoffs. I also think this game means a little bit more to the Steelers, because they look more like the team that will be less likely to be in the big game again next year. They’ve also got a coach who has lost in the bowl before, versus a coach who has won it, and sometimes still thinks that he is in the city where he won it (did anyone else see the interview I heard about where he referred to Matt as Brett a few times before the interviewers corrected him?).

As you can tell, since I’m pointing to all these obscure facts, I think it is a very even matchup, so I have to take some of the mental game into account. And unfortunately it all points to Pittsburgh coming out on top in this one. Like I said, it’s close, but whoever is winning early on is going to win, and at this point I have a feeling it’ll be the Steelers. Take the Steelers to cover the 4.5 spread, and pray that they don’t show Porter too much when it’s over.

On a side note, to the NFL fans in Toronto, the commissioner said today that the NFL will only be expanding to one city soon, and it isn’t going to be Toronto. This is great news for CFL fans, as the Argos will be around for years to come now. How the NFL can be bullied out of expanding to the fourth biggest sports market in North America by what is effectively a minor league is beyond me. It would be like not bringing a team back to LA just because an Arena Football League team is there. It’s baffling, but as someone who actually prefers the CFL style of play I’m not complaining. Now, if only the top athletes could be involved in the better style of play somehow, that would be perfect. There’s no chance of that happening, unless T.O. is willing to take a 85% pay cut just to play in the city that is named after him. It’s apparent now that is the only way T.O. will play in T.O. during his lifetime.

Speaking of T.O, here’s another guy that has CFL written all over him. I can’t wait to see what he does with himself living in Saskatchewan. That’s worth a reality show right there!

Elias Watch

Before we get to Patty’s adventures, the big story from last nights game was the retiring of the big number 4. Scott Stevens became the first Devil to have such an honour bestowed upon him, although his number will certainly only hang alone for a few years until number 30 is ready to keep it company. Stevens, who got choked up as he said his official goodbye to the game, showed his soft side as he said “I think this is the first time I've ever felt intimidated on this ice surface”. At least, however, his emotion was understandable. It’s hard to say goodbye one last time to something that has consumed your entire life. What I don’t understand is why Elias had tears running down his face during Scott’s speech. That sadness aside, the Elias watch is now as follows: 14 games, 17 points and 11-2-1 record. Elias ended his three game pointless streak with a goal on three shots last night, and is still in on over 40% of the teams goals since his return. For numbers like that, I guess a tear or two can be forgiven. I guess.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart

Well there is an other number joing Stevens this year. Ken Danyko. I guess its his reward for playing on the team for so many years.

I look forward to my morning blog read....the SaxMan

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