A Long Season and a Wide Smile

If you consider Minerva’s wide smile as a representation of the entire history of the universe, then this pre-season cannot even take up a single charged electron hovering within a dimple. But it seems like we’ve experienced enough of it to cover everything that the waxing of her upper lip might have removed. I’m sure she doesn’t require such beautifying measures, but unwanted, bristly follicles stuck in wax, torn away from their life source, and tossed away unceremoniously, pretty much sums up how I feel about this last little bit of time reeled-off within the Raptor’s universe.

Now is the regular season going to be much different? Will time continue to seem to drag on? I think it might. I reached a certain level of boredom last season already, that I never felt before. Coming back home on the subway and seeing young fans slumped in their seats, on the verge of assuming the fetal position, and not expressing sorrow over a disappointing loss, but rather over what might happen in the TJ-Jose saga in the weeks to come, exemplified how the excitement about the team within this community fell off substantially. Personally, I kept anticipating a decent winning streak, and there were tantalizing hints at those developing – but they just never materialized anymore than shapes of unicorns formed in the clouds.

I expect this season to be quite the reverse in many ways. Jose is not only the singular floor-general, but he looks entirely comfortable as a leader on this team. And pre-season ugliness aside, I have to imagine that a lineup with Calderon, Bosh, O’Neal, and Parker, has to be able to create something more than a collection of individuals, and carry this team somewhere this season. When that winning streak finally materializes I am not going to be euphoric. This team should be able to gain enough of an identity that they will be able to systematically tally up one win after another, even if absolutely everything fails to go just right. It might take a little while to get to the point where they have a much wider margin for error, and a lesser tendency to make errors, but I’m thinking that it will happen, and that it will not be something to trigger enormous amounts of dopamine in my brain.

Gone this season will be the whole nail-biting “salami and cheese” moments, along with an announcer that craves giving players nicknames that matchup with his favorite breakfast cereals (Captain Crunch, Golden Grahams, Special K, Snap Crackle and Pape). All of that stuff was getting old already anyhow. It has been all about the playoffs for some time now. Last season just never developed in any way that could ensure success against Orlando, or pretty much anybody else. This season, with Bosh seeing the game through new eyes post-olympics, and as a part of a viable tandem on both ends of the floor, and most importantly – with his good health allowing for proper role definition from CB4 on down – we should all sense a steady path to the playoffs.

But it will likely be a slow, slow, steady path, making the interminable pre-season suddenly seem like a single gleam of light bouncing off of Minerva’s incisors. I might be wrong. The entire regular season might be charged with electricity. Maybe Sarah Palin shows up at the first game in Philly, trying to expand her base beyond hockey moms. And maybe Jose hits a three-pointer to open the scoring, throws up his familiar moose antlers, and the VP-wannabe feels compelled to shoot him in the ass and call out for the materials needed for a proper field-dressing. Maybe it just gets all the more exciting from there on in. Maybe Andrea takes to singing Figaro while driving to the basket and finishing with vicious dunks. Maybe Jamario jumps over Yao. All fun stuff, but not at all necessary to any degree to allow for us to see the season in it’s proper perspective. I’m simply planning to soak it in, game by game, and look to May for the real thrills. And that will not be something easy for me, or any of us I would guess, to settle into just yet. We’ll look for the bedpan at the end of the rainbow, the big weakness on the wings, the lack of depth on the bench, before finally seeing that this team is what it is, and that it might allow for some cautious optimism and a bright future. But there will be no ref to start the clock prematurely, and allow the history of the universe to unravel towards that future any sooner. It’s going to be a long season.

*Courtesy of RaptorsForum member: LX*

One Comment

Doc  on October 27th, 2008

A long season it certainly will be. Here’s hoping for a surprisingly strong year.

Good read LX.

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