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Talking In My Sleep

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The volume on the ads IS twice as loud!!

I mean, are the Marlies that hungry for fans that MLSE needs to both advertise hockey (not even NHL at that) on an "all-basketball" network AND blow the listener's hair back at the same time??

Left brain: "Come on Franchise just go to sleep, I'm tired. Just because you're a Calgary Flames fan, don't make this an anti-Leafs rant." "And you DO like hockey so don't make this an anti-hockey rant either!"

Ok I won't...and no, this wasn't the intention of this dream.

But it's still out there you know?

Left brain: "What is?"

When we started this lil' gig called the HQ, like Chuck D, we had had it up to here! No denying this is a hockey town, but for a generally terrible basketball team to be in the top 10 in league attendance for most of their existence, we never understood why the Raptors got so little press. And often, the press they did get was obvious, uninformed and mostly negative.

And even though as of late the media's general outlook on the squad has been quite positive, (which scares me a bit I might add) things still pop-up...

Exhibit A - Al Strachan's article from almost three weeks ago entitled "Does killing Raptors boost Leafs?"

I'm not even going to get into the ridiculousness of this article as both members of the RaptorsTV crew, and Strachan's own confederate at the Sun, Steve Buffery, already made their opposing views known. But what made my purple blood boil was why someone would even publish something as non-sensical as this!

Left Brain: "Uh...Franchise, it's the Toronto Sun...you know, that business periodical that features a popular daily IPO section called the Sunshine Girls? Let's try counting sheep or something here..."

Nevertheless.

Why would someone write something like this?

It strikes me that the only reason would be to stir up controversy.

And you know that's fine. After all, in this day and age, "news" can range from Sarika Sehgal on CBC Newsworld to the O'Reilly Factor on Fox so an article made to create controversy or at least discussion is hardly a novel plan. But to create controversy and discussion, the writer had to think that there would be enough people in agreement with him for the publication to make sense.

And this to me is the heart of the matter.

In Strachan's rant he states:

"And think of the radio air time that could be returned to hockey fans.

Instead of listening to a bunch of American hosts drone on about things like small forwards (apparently anyone under eight feet), zone presses and other esoteria, we could listen to hockey talk like the rest of the country.

Once you’re outside the Toronto environs, no one cares about basketball."

Right Al...which is why Halifax, which I believe IS located outside of Toronto, will now have an ABA Franchise by the start of the ABA's 2007-08 season.

And I guess it's also why if you look at a list of the world's fastest growing sports in terms of youth participation, you'll see basketball along with soccer and lacrosse near the top right?

Right.

Left brain: "I thought this wasn't going to be an anti-hockey rant. Next thing you know I'll have to hear you discussing the evils of signing goalies to 15 year contracts..."

Ok...deep breath.

Maybe we all know that articles like Strachan's are just blowing hot air.

And maybe with some success on the court this season, things will slowly change in the omnipresent eye of the T-Dot media.

But it's this Toronto is a "one horse town and that horse is bathed in blue and white" mentality that makes me think that perhaps we still have a long ways to go.

Left brain: "Ok Franchise, that's great...now how about we think happy thoughts now...like how the Raptors made Jose Calderon wear a Dora The Explorer backpack last season..."

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

FRANCHISE