September 24, 2008
Almost three years ago to the, um, year, Deadspin's Will Leitch set out to salute the most outstanding blogs for each NBA team. He called it "Blogdom's Best." So cute. But a lot has changed in the last few years — Ballhype, Blog World, RSS feeds! — so we here at Ball Don't Lie have decided to take a second look. This morning: the best Toronto Raptors blogs.
There's something you need to know about Raptor fans. They had to grow up real quickly. For such a giant town to have to wait until 1995 to get an expansion team, despite the fandom's best efforts, it was a tough start. But the growth spurt set in, eventually.
And the fandom grew, and it grew, and it might currently be the most boisterous, knowledgeable, passionate fan base in the league. Check any message board, or all of the team's many, many blogs.
But it took some growing pains. I know, because I took the heat. I took the hate for daring to rue the missed opportunity behind the failed Alvin Williams-for-Danny Fortson trade. Dared call Hoffa Araujo a bust after one year. Didn't really appreciate the Chris Jeffries trade. Said something about the Raptors trading for Charles Oakley and Kevin Willis "so they could teach the kids how to use a phonograph."
Raptor fans came around, though. Stubborn passion turned into mindful passion. Maybe it took finally seeing Vince Carter for who he was, or the realization that Michael Curry had some incriminating photos of Kevin O'Neill locked in a chifforobe somewhere, but Raptor fans get it, now. And they don't make fun of my name as much.
And, as I mentioned, they run a fine series of blogs. Just missing the cut was Khandor's Sports Blog, mainly because the content isn't exclusively Raptor-ish, Cuzoogle (for the same reasons), and Raptors Den (by a hair, no real reason), AltRaps (too much information for a simpleton like me) and the Arsenalist because ... damn, I had to leave out the Arsenalist? Tough gig, this.
3. RaptorsHQ.com — Well, it's the HQ, and how can you not include the HQ?
Great blog, great interviews, great info, great, great, great.
Grange and Smith are two truly engaging writers who really take the time to make their non-newspaper work worth a daily read or two. And Grange gets extra points for realizing that I'm unemployable in any other line of work because I'd hate myself.
1. RaptorBlog — The original, and the best, even after a long layoff.
Links, spot-on analysis, stats, insight and humor. Updated daily, with no filler, exclusively killer. All that you could ask for.
If you would like to nominate a specific team blog for selection, let us know right here.