If you’ve been on the internet the past 24 hours, you have seen pictures and videos from the Pop Tart Bowl — a Pop Tart themed football game. We know this is a basketball blog and not a football forum, but that scary Pop Tart was relatable AF.
You know what we need as Raptors fans and spectators these days? A laugh. With that in mind — here are five times the scary Pop Tart mascot accurately depicted life as a Raptors fan in 2023.
When The Raptors Finally Got a Center
It took years of “small ball” and “Vision 6’9” for the Toronto Raptors to realize that they weren’t going to get very far without a real starting center on the team.
Cut to the 2023 trade deadline. While there were several OTHER moves the Raptors could have made on that day, the one they did make was to trade for Jakob Poeltl — A CENTER.
So yes, Pop Tart holding his “Dreams Really Do Come True” sign was every Toronto Raptor fan when they realized the team wouldn’t be playing Anunoby at the five anymore.
When Everyone Finally Read The Details of the Poeltl Trade
So turns out the Pop Tart was holding that sign as he descended into the Toaster, sacrificing himself to later be eaten by the winning team — and yes that is really what happened.
The feeling of reading that in exchange for Jakob Poeltl the Raptors gave up a top-six protected first round pick, can be accurately depicted by the image of the Pop Tart slowly descending into the hot toaster.
He later throws away his “Dreams Really Do Come True” sign — because yeah, the Raptors got a center, but at what cost?
When Gary Trent Jr Started Against Washington
That Pop Tart milked his entrance, he LOVED being THAT GUY.
We know Gary Trent Jr. is a humble team member and didn’t make a big show of returning to the starting lineup, BUT the fanfare that went on when the Raptors announced they were finally changing the lineup was similar to the Pop Tart entrance.
After WEEKS of speculation, media pressure and fans begging for a change, Toronto finally opted to switch Dennis Schröder for Gary Trent Jr. in the starting lineup.
The feeling that followed that, after such a rough few weeks for the team, was that of this entrance.
Is the Pop Tart going to solve every problem? No. Is his presence being celebrated for the momentary joy it brought? YES. That is accurate to the Raptors lineup change.
Here is the full video of Pop Tart’s entrance for context:
I can’t believe Taylor Swift would copy the Pop Tart’s Bowl Set! pic.twitter.com/SGtIUjemDX— Paul (@PCJGolf2) December 29, 2023
Putting the Eras Tour to shame, that Pop Tart.
When The Raptors Lost The Play-In Game
So turns out the Pop Tart mascot was edible... and the production team for this event deserves an award, clearly. After the Pop Tart sacrificed himself to the toaster, he was enjoyed by the winning team as a snack.
This picture pretty accurately depicts what it felt like after the Raptors’ play-in game against Chicago in April 2023. That loss came after the tumultuous end to Nurse’s coaching tenure in Toronto, that fail of a trade deadline, and the injury infested rollercoaster that was the 2022-23 season.
After ending the season in a loss, due to missing free throws, all because the small child of the former franchise star distracted them enough to miss those free throws... it felt like we had just been torn apart like this Pop Tart for the enjoyment of the Chicago Bulls and their fans.
Who ended up losing days later to Kyle Lowry and the Miami Heat. No one wins, but especially not our Pop Tart Pal...
How it Feels Waiting for the 2024 Trade Deadline
my anxiety creeping up on me after i had a good day for once pic.twitter.com/naVQ9YGYPr— Hayley McGoldrick (@GoldieOnSports) December 29, 2023
The Toronto Raptors have to make some moves this trade deadline, and if they don’t... it’s going to be extremely frustrating. That being said, this trade deadline is becoming more anxiety inducing the closer we get to it.
The Pop Tart represents everything from the looming deadline, to the various players whose contracts are about to expire, to the not clear future of this team.
We are of course, this referee, waiting in anxiety to see if the Pop Tart is going to pounce on us. Which, he could have. He was there for a good time, not a long time, who knows what he was capable of...
Based on the wishy washy rumours swirling about what the Toronto Raptors plan to do at the trade deadline, it seems we will be living with a ginormous Pop Tart looming over our shoulders for another month, if not longer.
In the end, the Pop Tart gave himself up for the enjoyment of his fans, and we are truly grateful. Rest in Paradise, Pop Tart. Hopefully the 2023-24 Toronto Raptors have a better fate than you did </3