Everyone has been looking for that one right word to express what has been going on with the Raptors. There was a whole thread of one-word descriptions on RF, most of them pretty unappetizing. Eric Smith said he couldn’t find any words to do the job. Jack Armstrong came up with “soul”, before going on to say the team was searching for their true identity. Then last night he hesitantly pronounced “fragile”, before the Raptors failed to actually break, and instead showed some pretty good resiliency, thereby keeping that identity, even in it’s most negative sense, elusive and happily in the shadows.
I have found myself in love with the entire roster as much, if not more than any other assembled cast in Toronto. At the same time, almost every single one of these guys has maddeningly disappointed to varying degrees at some point. A single word will not do. I am left standing under the bright lights, like Eve Plumb appearing along with the rest of the Brady Bunch cast members, on the Weakest Link, and with no answer to give the mean lady with the british accent, and the clock ticking. She offered the perfect all-encapsulating word instead, if for no other reason than just the sound of it. And besides providing me with one of my all-time TV watching memories, she maybe gave me the only way to respond to the last part of this season. Thank you Eve Plumb for looking into the camera and saying simply, “smegma”.
Smegma is made when microscopic protrusions of the mucosal surface of the foreskin undergo fatty degeneration, separate off, and form oozy stuff which on it’s own might seem rather disgusting, but which when seen as nature’s lubricant, gains a little more value. There you have it. Smegma.
Now not everything tied to our desires is all pretty and smelling of perfume. There is a good deal of icky stuff involved in the process of fulfilling those desires. And the icky stuff seems to be what this season is all about. Which means that next season could be orgasmic. Of course that’s a little hard to fathom right now, but there is a good deal of internal improvement that can be had on this team. And it’s not in the realm of the impossible to see the weakest link - defending on the perimeter - fixed with the right addition and subtraction. And with another season under their belts, this roster will have fewer Fake Jans crying “BoshaBoshaBosha” and a better sense of how the roles fit together properly.
The biggest questions would have to be whether Triano proves to be the right guy to go into the next season as head coach, whether Hedo has anything left in the tank, and whether Bosh has the legs that this team wants to be tied to long-term. The answer to such questions? Smegma. Because it worked for me when Eve Plumb said it. Smegma. Say it as a curse word or say it as an exclamation of joy. It works as well as the F-word for me. Smegma. It helps to breakthrough all the tensions of anticipation. Say it loud and clear.
Seriously though, those legs of Bosh’s have a habit of getting in the way of him becoming all-NBA. I just hope someone knows whether he can get them to work for a full season and prove that this season has been the beginning of reaching towards irrefutable all-NBA status, and not the beginning of the end of his talent being grounded by a lack of quickness and lift for the rest of his career. I’m hoping for nature’s lubricant to emerge, if you will, and not for a great boner to start drooping, but mostly I’m hoping that there is more than just hope involved amongst those who will decide what Mr. Bosh’s value is. Ideally, he gets his money, puts in more work and gets those wheels under him for a full run. Alternatively - well who knows. I would guess we’d be wishing for smegma, wishing to be anticipating something. Only time will tell. This might just be a small disappointment that is soon forgotten, or it is a small disappointment that grows larger.
Disappointments come all the time, but they do have a way of allowing for some good things to follow. Keeping it all in perspective is important. It’s like how I went looking for a great deal on Guinness today - the day after St. Patrick’s Day - thinking it was going to be like buying chocolate after Halloween and Easter. Great idea right? Stock up for the whole spring on the cheap leftovers. Well it didn’t really work out as I thought it should. But even though I didn’t get cheap Guinness, I still got some Guinness. So I raise a glass and say, “smegma”.