I was in NYC 25 years ago, walking through Central Park, when I came upon one Mr. Spoons. He was an old guy in a lavish outfit, playing the spoons like only someone named Mr. Spoons could. He could play six sets of spoons at one time. A veritable spoon orchestra held within two manic hands. Really though, it was just a bunch of clickity-clack. But the guy’s passion shone through the nonsensical performance. I almost saw his name in lights above his head, in place of the felt marker on the cheap cardboard sign propped up at his feet.
I remembered that day in Central Park while listening to the endless rattling-off and babbling on of Bryan Colangelo’s season-ending presser. I wish I could still be that fan so easy to convince that the “gloom and doom” is exaggerated. Actually I never even needed to be convinced of it in the past. I always looked to the positives all on my own, even through some of the worst years of this franchise. But this season the positives just made the end result that much more infuriating. So telling me that for almost half the season this team was winning 70 percent of their games, just gives me another hit of feverish chills. I had been coming to terms with the sense of incompleteness with this team. Now I am simply struck by the incompetence that must have been exerted upon this entire organisation.
But it was actually just a bunch of different factors combined, right Bryan? Sorry, but that seems to be a good way of describing what happens when incompetence takes root. Yet the coach gets a return ticket. The players all are described in terms of their inherent value. Bargnani gets praise for what he did against two crappy teams with fishing tackle stuffed in their lockers, after failing miserably to take sole control of the team’s destiny in the games prior to that, or in any number of games within the horrible post-All-Star game implosion. Hedo gets praise for apologizing and being embarrassed. Triano gets praise for learning. The team gets praised for having such a good offense. The city of Toronto gets praised for somehow giving a shit.
Remember when Glen Grunwald simply thanked the fans for their support under difficult circumstances, and promised to make things better? I didn’t really hear that from Colangelo. Will Chris Bosh? Will any of the players who really want to win hear something that makes them hopeful? Will any of the players that might not care about winning as much as remaining comfortable, hear anything that makes them suitably a little less comfortable?
I just have to hope that this guy does all of his real talking with his actions. Just like Mr. Spoons, his passion does shine through. Please let all the talk about the value of his players be about moving some of those players to some place where they can be so easily convinced. Otherwise, as a guy who always sees a glimmer of hope in the future of this team, I’m going to find myself amongst all the miserable SOBs in this town. I don’t enjoy that picture I just put in my head there, but that’s what it has come to. That, and me explaining to my wife that I am a magnificent lover, at least for almost half of the forty-five seconds that it takes for me to get my rocks off.