Do They Know It's Christmas Time In Raptorland?

After a tough loss yesterday the mood in Raptorland has sunk to even lower levels. In a time when people should be happy with thoughts of Santa and presents under the tree, it is instead more about what is wrong with the Raptors. Not unlike in society as a whole which is concerned with the global economy and how to pay for Christmas gifts. These are tough times. Sports is sometimes used as an escape from all of that doom and gloom but when you turn to the Raptors there is just more of the same to be found. Now if the Raptors win or lose is not the same as if you can afford to do any Christmas shopping. But still, it is important for people that care and love this franchise. When you look forward for signs of hope it can be tough to see any on the horizon. The Raptors next game is against the Cleveland Cavs. They are on a roll with the third best record in the league. Despite my thinking that Moe Williams would not be the point guard that the Cavs needed. But we all can be wrong once in awhile and Cavs fans and Lebron James would be happy to tell me that I was.

I have went through the schedule in the blog before. If you take the time to look at the rest of the games prior to Christmas try to find a easy win for the Raptors. It isn't an easy task to do. Maybe the Pacers would be the answer for some. But the fact you will have a lot of motivated folks based on the trade between to the two in the summer. Also despite a poor record like the Raptors, the Pacers have shown an ability to rise to a higher level. The Pacers have beat both the Lakers and Celtics in this young season. They are the only team in the NBA that can make that claim. So the message is if they are a motivated group with the Raptors on the second half of a back to back it will not be easy.

My fellow Blogger Scott Carefoot was not a fan of Twitter. I will be honest I am on Twitter and I really don't get it exactly. But I noticed that Chris Bosh is on Twitter as well. So I am following Bosh on twitter. He rarely makes entries on it. But his last one is interesting. "To struggle is to grow". That entry was made after the game versus Utah. I think it says a lot to the mood of this Raptor team. They are struggling in a lot of ways. They are struggling to meet expectations from the Organization, the fans, their team and their own personal ones. By having expectations you run the risk of failure. But if you do not have expectations or goals to reach it can making getting ahead very hard. I may not understand what it is like to play in the NBA and live the life of someone that does. But I do understand having expectations and goals. That is something that we all can relate to I think. Think back to when you were a kid if you are older. If you are not just think back. How did you feel when you did bad on a test or exam in school. Were you concerned that your parents would be unhappy with you? Were you unhappy with yourself? Well every game in the NBA is a test of sorts. But in this test there is only 50% of the people taking it that will pass. So back to the Bosh comment of "To struggle is to grow". Sometimes in life we need a failure or two to learn how to get to a new level of understanding. That is how we can grow as people and in this case for Bosh as a basketball player as well. He had done a lot of that heading into this season and maybe he thought he was ready and got it. But life can always make you re-evaluate and often when you think you have all the answers that is when new questions come along.

The other thing that happens in times of struggle is you find out who you can count on and who is truly loyal. Some folks will jump on and off a sports team's band wagon. The frustration level of even the most loyal fans will have a lot of angry and passion to it. Everyone wants to find that magic answer as to why this has happened and how you can fix it. I am no different in that respect. If I could find a way to fix the Raptors I would want to do it. But at the top of that list is Bryan Colangelo who actually can do it. He is likely the least happy of all when it comes to the performance of this team. He will not sit by and watch this team continue to lose. He proved that in firing Sam Mitchell. If that is not enough I do expect there will be more changes to come.

That is why the one point loss yesterday was so painful. This team needed something good to happen for it. They did show more fight and effort. But they still failed to get the ultimate goal. But as they wake up this morning and look in the mirror they can feel a lot better about the effort they put in. The Raptors have had some U.S exposure as of late so many eyes have watched them fail. The last game with the eyes of America on the Raptors is Tuesday on NBA T.V against the Cavs. So let's see what the Raptors can do for a last impression on the U.S.A.

It is hard to think about Christmas when things on your job are a mess. The thought of what to buy for the people you love is not exactly at the front of your mind. But that being said despite all of this every player in the NBA, be it a Raptor or a member of the truly struggling Thunder, they all can be safe in the knowledge they are blessed to have the money to buy the gifts to go under the tree. That is why some fans who are likely not as fortunate can not understand when they see a lack of effort from the teams they cheer for. A game like yesterday in painful to lose for players and fans. But if fans can believe that the team gave all that it could and made the effort that is something most can live with. That is all sports fans can truly ask for and expect is the best effort of all the people in the organization they support.

So while many of us get set for the Christmas holidays it is important to remember some things. There are far worse things than losing streaks and under performing players in a sport. Some people are truly in need in this holiday season. So if you stop just for a second and remember that it may give you some much needed prospective in all of this. I had that message hit home for me. A few days ago. Scott Carefoot who writes RaptorBlog and is responsible for bringing the Dino Nation Blog in to be part of the Score.com Sports Federation was given some tough news in this holiday season. Here is what he wrote about it a few days ago.

Scott Carefoot (Raptor Blog)-I'm closing this shootaround with something a little unusual and a lot more personal than what I usually post. Yesterday, my son, Max, was officially diagnosed asautistic by a pediatrician. My wife and I had suspected this was the case for quite a while now, so it wasn't really a shock to have our suspicions confirmed. However, we have a long road ahead of us working with Max towards living a relatively normal life, and research and support for autistic children is sadly underfunded in Canada. So, from now until Christmas, I will post a link asking you to donate to Autism Society Canada on Max's behalf. (Click here to find out what your donation would help support.) Max is a terrific little dude and he's my pride and joy, and any bit of support the smart, attractive and talented readers of RaptorBlog (how's my sucking up?) can give would be greatly appreciated.

I have just started getting to know Scott over the past few months. I have never met his family or his little boy. But it is a reminder that there are lots of worthy causes that can use your support. I hope that for those that can help would do so. If not for this cause. There are a ton of others that all would be grateful for the support. So for those of you that have the means in this Christmas season please remember people out there can use help if you can afford to give that help you should. The Raptors win or lose have always been out there in the community helping people. Chris Bosh has donated huge amounts of money to a lot of worthy causes in his time in Toronto. Let's all try and follow that example. So if you can give to Scott's cause or any worthy cause in this Christmas season please do so.

After that if you want to write a letter to Santa to bring us a back-up point guard or a small forward that can score feel free to do so. But always remember as bad as it gets with the Raptors or any other sports team does it really matter in the grand scheme of things? I love the Raptors and am making or trying to make a living based on them. But the health of my mother is more important to me than any game win or lose. Christmas is not about gifts and money it is about family and caring and sharing. We all share a love of basketball and the Raptors and that is a great thing as well. So hopefully that made you forget about all the problems that face this Raptor team even if for just a minute or two.

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