I woke up today to the news that my old high school is being closed down by 2015. I am not going to bore you with tales of my high school days and misty memories of the past. I did win a high school football championship there which was cool. A member of the Hill Park Rams football team, wearing number 77, but number one in your hearts was me. It is not like Rams are roaming the mountains of Hamilton last I checked, anymore than Raptors are roaming downtown Toronto. On and off for the last few years there has been the suggestion that Toronto should do away with it's Raptors nickname and start over with something new. Aside from the obvious and it making the name of this blog make about as much sense as Rams roaming the mountains in Hamilton or Raptors roaming Bay St, it is just wrong. At the end of it all no new name and colours is going to wash away the history of the Toronto Raptors. It is what it is at the end of the day. Ultimately why on earth should a franchise that has failed be rewarded with the opportunity to reach into their fans pockets and take more of their money? Ultimately that is the only thing a name change is doing, it is forcing loyal fans to go out and purchase new merchandise. MLSE has already done a fine job of that with new third uniforms on what seems to be a yearly basis now.
Face it the NBA basically doesn't do this. There are no Lakes in L.A, No Jazz in Utah, Rarely a hornet in New Orleans, The Grizzly Bear population in Memphis is slim to none. The point is the NBA has long protected it's teams names and it is only in rare circumstances that we have seen a change be allowed. The most recent being the Thunder who were the Supersonics in Seattle. I am not certain but I think the league decided to save the name for if and when a franchise could return to Seattle. In any case this is a rare event. It is going to happen again the sale of the New Orleans Hornets as well. It shows just how desperate the league was to sell that team and keep it in New Orleans if possible.
It seems that people would rather just wash away the last 17 years and get the bad taste out of their mouths. It won't change anything you do realize this? Vince Carter still did leave, T-Mac, Damon and Chris Bosh too. The main problem that has dogged this franchise will still be here, in how they are going to be able to keep and attract American superstars here to play in this far off land that is Canada. You can call this team the Huskies, Hogs or Hillbillies it is not going to change the fact that they play their games in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. If changing your name truly helped wouldn't the Clippers have done it years ago? They actually did change their name from Braves when they once called Buffalo home. How has that worked out in San Diego and now L.A?
Not to mention about the best thing going the the Raptors is "The Raptor" who is one of the best mascots in sports today. If you change the name he goes away and transforms into a husky dog or worse. He might even end up with one of those stupid mascot names like Ace or Stripes. I am fine with B.J Birdy and T.C thanks all the same. Those were the names of the original mascots for the Blue Jays and Tiger Cats. We live in a world that seems to be obsessed with the idea that change is good. Sometimes it isn't good and sometimes it is just change for the sake of change. Repackaging the Toronto Raptors into some new form is only going to give you reason to spend your hard earned dollars. That is all it will do at the end of the day. Given the track record of this franchise and how they already come up with new and creative ways to take your money as it is, do you really want to given them a license to take more of it? Go win an NBA Championship or hell just make the playoffs and you can change your name. If the Raptors had done that more would there be all this drama about changing their name. Probably not because there would be no reason to change it in the first place. So good bad or indifferent the Raptors are the Raptors so just live with it. Worry more about the stuff that matters which is making this franchise better and actually able to win games regardless of what it says on the jerseys.