The Toronto Raptors have been a fairly miserable franchise in recent memory, especially since Chris Bosh's departure. This year they brought in a new GM, Masai Ujiri, who is working on changing the culture on and off the floor for the team. Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment, who own the Raps, have struck a deal with Toronto rapper Drake to become the official "Global Ambassador" for the franchise.
Before Drizzy became the new face of the Raptors however, it was their mascot who was often the sole bright spot at games. Now he is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles, and it's making some people cry.
The Chicken is gone for the year. He blew out his Achilles in Halifax. You could make a pretty good argument that the Chicken (a.k.a. The Raptor) is this franchise’s standout performer. He’s a Canadian all-star. A 19-year veteran. Doesn’t have off years. Appreciates our TV selection.
There have been nights — oh God, so many nights — when the only reason to stick around past the third quarter was to see the Inflatable Raptor ‘eat’ security guards on the sideline. We’re not sure what he’s paid. We’re sure it’s not enough.
“My daughter cried,” coach Dwane Casey said of the news.
I've long been someone who didn't like the Raptors or care for the product they put on the court, but can tell you from attending live games at Air Canada Center that The Raptor is one of the best mascots you'll ever see, and is up there with Benny the Bull, and the Suns' Gorilla, as one of the best you will ever see (in any sport.) Hopefully this injury isn't the beginning of another tragic season for the forlorn Raps.
It's exploits like this that makes The Raptor stand out - here he is "eating" a cheerleader during a break in the action. That girl was never seen again...