We The Champs

I’m speechless.

There are moments in life that seem elusive. You dream of them, you look for them, you picture yourself in them, but you never get to live them.

You chalk it up as something that might happen “someday” but the calendar has seven days and “someday” isn’t one. So, you keep waiting.

The Toronto Raptors just won the NBA championship and I don’t know what to say. This is one of those moments that never felt possible.

A basketball team in Canada. In a hockey town. Arriving in 1995, two years after the baseball team finishes winning back-to-back World Series championships. An extinct reptile as the mascot, inspired by a movie. Playing games out of a baseball stadium. Instructing the fans on when to boo and cheer.

No, that’s not a recipe for success. That’s not even a recipe.

Twenty-four years later, look at them. Look at what they’ve done to this country.

They’ve pulled at our hockey puck hearts and united us behind the mantra of, “We The North”. In Canada, if you’re not from Toronto, you probably don’t like Toronto. And yet, the entire country is cheering for our local sports team because in this situation, the word “local” is not confined to a city.

So, it’s fitting that the Raptors won the championship while wearing uniforms that said “North” across the front. Because that’s who they represent. All of us. Canada.

And if this championship came 15 years ago, it wouldn’t have the same affect. Heck, if it came 5 years ago, it wouldn’t be like it is now.

This was the time. This was the elusive moment. This was “someday”.

The years between Alvin Robertson’s first bucket for the Raptors in 1995, and this NBA title, have been playing on a loop in my head ever since the final buzzer sounded a few hours ago.

I wish I could invite you inside, so you can see what I’ve seen, and feel what I’ve felt because it hasn’t been easy. Oftentimes, being a Raptors fan has been a lonely experience.

You wear a Raptors jersey to school and you’re just asking for someone to tell you they suck. You sit at home watching all 82 regular season games and they can even win 30.

You get your hopes up for Stoudamire, McGrady, Carter, Bosh, and others, but one by one they leave and trigger your greatest insecurity – no one wants to play in Canada.

It’s too cold. It’s too different. Crossing the border is a hassle. They don’t want their kids to  learn the metric system. Their family and friends can’t watch them on TV. It’s a foreign country. It’s a hockey town. They don’t understand why the locals say, “Toronno”. What the hell are all-dressed chips?

For so long it felt like an uphill battle that would never end. The fight for legitimacy was real. The fight for attention from the media down south was real. We just wanted to be noticed.

But then they’d finally put the camera on us and we’d crumble, time and time again.

The feeling of, “This is too good to be true, something bad will happen soon” was engrained in me. I knew no other way for a Raptors season to end, other than in disappointment.

For the first four games of the NBA Finals, I watched every minute, yet still couldn’t believe the Raptors were one of the final two teams. It didn’t feel real. I was always looking for the old Raptors to appear.

I was looking for fear to emanate from their pores. I was looking for a collapse that would start up the, “Same old Raptors” narrative. That never happened.

Don’t get me wrong, I believed in this team – just check my playoff bracket – but when you’ve never experienced something before, you don’t know how it feels until after it hits you.

Well, this is the “After” and I can confirm that reality is finally hitting me.

The Toronto Raptors are NBA champions and yeah, I cried a few tears. I had to. I owed it to my younger self – the one who stayed up way too late one night in February of 2000, to watch Vince Carter win the dunk contest in Oakland – because 19 years later, that little boy would watch the Raptors hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy in the exact same building, and feel like a kid all over again.

It’s been a wild ride, to say the least.

On Monday, there will be a parade in Toronto. I’m expecting the entire country to be shut down because we, the north, have a new mantra to celebrate.

We The Champs.

It happened.

Advertisements
Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Sunshine Mystery Award

A sunshine mystery is what we call Thursday here in Southern Ontario. Used in a conversation: “Where did all that sunshine from yesterday go? I don’t know, it’s a mystery. No, it’s a sunshine mystery!”

I’ll let you decide if I made that up, or not.

I’ve been nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by Becky at Strikeouts + Sprinkles, as well as the Sunshine Blogger Award by Lesley over at Contemplations.

Thank you both for nominating me! For all of you reading this, make sure you go check out their lovely blogs!

I hope you don’t mind I’ve combined the awards, just so I can answer the questions in one post. I’m also breaking tradition and not following the rules of either award. Again, I hope that’s okay.

If it’s not okay, we can have a public squabble about it.

Here are the questions Becky asked me:

1. Who is the person you text with the most?

Depends on the day. Sometimes it’s my sister. She texts me a bunch of things because she likes getting a reaction out of me because my reactions are great, allegedly. Sometimes it’s my friends, Chris and Mike. Either way, I only message the same 4-6 people on a regular basis.

2. What’s the best meal/food you can make?

Lately, I’ve been making a shrimp and broccoli mix that I’ve been told tastes like it came from a Chinese restaurant, so I’m going to hold onto that compliment until I get a better one.

3. (weird question) What’s one superpower you would NOT want?

I wouldn’t want super-hearing. Is that the correct term? Basically, I wouldn’t want to hear every conversation around me. That’s too much information I don’t need in my head.

4. What can you talk about for hours?

Oh, sports. TV shows I’m currently watching. Life, but those chats are best held after midnight. I feel like I can talk about anything for hours as long as I like the person I’m talking to. Conversations about nothing are my favourite.

5. If you could have a song play every time you enter a room, what would it be?

Love this question. It’s like a wrestler’s entrance music and a baseball player’s walk-up song, but for every day use.

I’m going to go with Ladies and Gentlemen by Saliva. HOWEVER, if it’s a rainy day, all bets are off and I’m going with, A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton because I always associate that song with raindrops running down a car window. DOUBLE HOWEVER, if the rain stops, we’re switching over to, Walking On Sunshine by Katrina & The Waves.

Make sense?

Thanks, Becky!

Here are the questions Lesley asked me:

6. If you could change your career, and anything was possible, what would you choose?

Professional athlete who has an 18-year career with the team that drafted me, and then I transition into a coaching position, before becoming the General Manager, and ultimately the President. Any sport, but soccer.

7. Describe your ideal house and garden. Allow your imagination to run riot.

My ideal house has a gymnasium in the basement and a fully-stocked equipment room. There’s also a secret passageway behind a bookshelf, which leads to a tiny room where the floor is a bed. I’d call this place, Nap Central Station, or Nap City. Still deciding. And then I want a balcony that you can put chairs on. And then I want a portion of the floor in the kitchen to be glass, for no other reason than I think it would be cool to look through the floor. And then I want a staircase that has a turn in it, whether that means it’s winding, or a 90 degree angle. And then I want an indoor pool in a room where the lights come up from the ground, rather than from the ceiling. And then I want a slide that you can take from the top floor to the basement. It’s an expensive house, okay.

As for the garden, maybe tomatoes.

8. Which is your favourite city from those you’ve visited?

Quebec City.

9. Describe your ideal holiday – money no object.

“Money no object” just screams Monaco Grand Prix. I don’t know, somewhere with a sporting event.

10. Do you have a particular worry at the moment?

No, I have multiple.

11. What is the scariest film/movie you’ve ever seen?

The Golden Spiders. It was a mystery movie on A&E in the year 2000. I don’t remember what it was about, but golden earrings in the shape of spiders were involved. What made it scary for me was, we were watching it as a family and there was a thunderstorm at the same time. Then it got to a dramatic part in the movie and the power in our house went out for about three seconds before coming back on. I still remember the lights and TV turning back on and the VCR re-adjusting itself.

The power outage fit perfectly with the movie. That’s what made it scary for me at the time.. I’m not even sure if it was a scary movie. I took a horror class in high school, so they genre doesn’t really affect me…I think.

12. If you could travel back in time to any period in history, which would it be and why?

Do my university years count as a period in history?

My real answer would be about 1980 because at that point, anything was still possible, and every idea hadn’t already been taken and run with.

13. If you could somehow magically enter a famous painting for a day, which would it be and why?

The Mona Lisa. She looks like she’s in dire need of a laugh.

14. You’re invited to a fancy dress party. Who or what are you going as?

Oh, I’d definitely stay home because I’m assuming “fancy dress” is like a costume party? I was tired of dressing up for Halloween by Grade 3. Just not my thing.

15. If you had to name your house/home, what would you call it?

This is a good one. It would be, “(Last Name) Manor” or “(Last Name) Residence”.

Or, if I can get futuristic for a second – I’d sell the naming rights to my house, as if it was a sports arena.

Welcome to the Dairy Queen Manor, or something.

16. Name a book that you couldn’t put down.

The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain. It’s a skinny, little crime novel – about 90 pages – written in 1934 and is about a guy who meets a girl at a diner and there’s an immediate connection, except the girl is married, so they plan to kill her husband because she’s fed up with him.

It’s a book that makes every sentence count and won’t waste your time with unnecessary descriptions. I highly recommend it. Just Googling, “The Postman Always Rings Twice book online” shows me that you can read the PDF version online for free, so do with that what you will.

And that’s it!

Thanks again, Becky and Lesley, for nominating me! Your questions were great!

I have no questions to ask and no one to nominate, so if you want to leave a comment below based on something I said, I’d be happy to hear it!

OR, feel free to answer some of the questions asked in this post!

Posted in Awards, Humour | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Viewing Notes: The Bachelorette (Hannah) – Ep. 5

Look alive, it’s episode five! This is when the show starts to feel like we’re crawling through molasses, just to get caught up in quicksand, but don’t worry, this recap will give you the joy and exhilaration of a slip ‘n slide.

Results may vary.

Always happy to have Cass here to provide her five cents on the show. Her thoughts will appear in BOLD.

We are back, it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Don’t worry, I have gone back & edited out all the swear words this week.

Friendly reminder that we here at Viewing Notes are sponsor-friendly! *Insert smile & thumbs up*. Just give us free stuff.

~ Starting tonight’s episode off with Luke vs. Luke.

~ We are still in Newport, Rhode Island, where the two Lukes have been sent to the Principal’s office and the rest of the guys speculate on what will happen.

~ These guys are just hoping Luke P. goes home because they want this drama to stop, too.

~ The Lukes bicker back and forth, while Hannah watches on with a face that says, “I knew I should’ve stayed home today.”

~ Luke S’ non-existent tequila company is getting a lot of publicity.

~ This is when you just send them both home, girl.

~ Chris Harrison ends the cocktail party and says the Rose Ceremony will start immediately.

He does this because most of the guys haven’t talked to Hannah yet, and the show wants all the guys to be mad at the Lukes.

~ Who is Devin and why is he getting “talk to the camera” time?

~ Right before Hannah hands out the first rose, Luke S. asks to talk to her.

~ STOP THE TALKING. FERME LA BOUCHE.

~ I’ve been watching this show since before I was born, if you have to call the bachelor/bachelorette aside while at the Rose Ceremony, you ain’t the one.

~ Oh wait, Luke S. is leaving! He’s going home!

~ Everyone’s just over here annoyed with Luke P.

~ In the police lineup rose ceremony room, Garrett turns to Luke P. and says, “Good job, Luke, I hope that’s what you wanted.”

~ GARRETT WITH THE PETTINESS.

~ Holy cow, Chris just took a rose away.

~ Peter Pilot lands the first rose.

~ Connor gets the next rose.

~ Dylan, Dustin, and Mike get roses.

~ Kevin! gets a rose.

~ Devin? gets a rose.

~ Grant is granted a rose.

~ Luke P. gets the final rose.

~ JOHN PAUL JONES IS GOING HOME.

~ NO NO NO. How could you keep Luke P. over John Paul Jones?

At this time, we will observe a thought of silence for the departure of John Paul Jones.

~

~ This ain’t right. Chicken nuggets aren’t even that expensive. Do they think his absence will cut their catering bill? HIGHLY UNLIKELY.

~ John Paul Jones can’t leave yet.

~ Can we at least give John Paul Jones a montage of his time on the show?

~ “Luke P. is still here because my heart wants him to be here.” – Hannah

~ This isn’t about your heart, Hannah! This is about entertaining the rest of us!

~ John Paul Jones was an international treasure, who looked like a fool after the first night, but grew on everyone because of his chicken nugget obsession. It was relatable.

~ Hannah informs the guys they’re off to Scotland.

~ Luke P. makes the most sinister toast ever.

~ That was a seriously uncomfortable toast.

~ They have landed in Inverness, Scotland. Cue the bagpipes! Oh, look at the sheep run!

~ The guys are staying in a castle and feel the need to jump on every bed in the place.

~ Now they’re off to “bond” at a bar.

~ All the guys are hanging out & drinking & Luke’s just awkwardly left out. Lol.

~ In walks Hannah to surprise them. How did she know they were there?

~ Another toast. We’ve had three toasts in 28 minutes, but no butter!

~ She’s taking Mike out to explore Scotland. I feel like she needs to sign him out, or leave a note for his teacher, Mr. Harrison.

~ The guys in the bar are talking about being organically themselves. Their conversation topics are so dull, it hurts.

~ Awh, it’s so cute seeing how excited Mike is right now.

~ Mike and Hannah have arrived at a bookstore….and now they have left the bookstore.

~ They pop in to Mr. Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe and Hannah almost dies eating a sour candy.

~ This date is adorable.

~ Time for them to try haggis, at the urging of an Englishman, who admits he doesn’t “eat this stuff.”

~ “It takes me longer than the average person to fall in love.” – Mike, who must be unaware this show is only two months

~ Ladies, get you a guy that smiles as much as Mike does when he’s around you.

~ Time for dinner at the tiny round table that they must ship over every border because it’s on every one-on-one date.

~ It sorta reminds me of the tiny table they put on pizzas.

~ Mike is trying to open up, but he’s terrified of getting his heart broken.

~ He recounts the exact days he told his ex that he loved her, as well as when they broke up.

~ OMG guys, Mike remembers dates, that’s important.

~ Back at the castle, the group date card arrives and it is for: Devin?, Tyler, Jed, Dylan, Grant, Connor, Dustin, Peter Pilot, Kevin!, and Garrett.

~ Luke is getting a one-on-one. Good grief, Charlie Brown.

~ The guys are pissed Luke gets the one-on-one.

~ We literally have Luke sitting here telling us that he doesn’t even want to be here now.

~ He (Devin) just called Luke a, “Douche Canoe” – You can bet this is my new word.

~ Mike is getting a rose on his date.

~ To celebrate, they go dancing at a Scottish pub.

~ Time for the group date and a couple of highlanders join them. Their beards have beards.

~ This is a great group date bunch, like they are all friends, so this will be fun.

~ “Bow down to your Queen” – I’m dead

~ They’ll be participating in Celtic Highland Games. Out comes the axe for some axe throwing anddddd they’re all bad at it, except Hannah.

~ Time for wrestling, but because Luke isn’t there, no one will get hurt.

~ Back at the castle, Mike tells Luke that he’s concerned about what he plans to tell Hannah. I’m fast-forwarding.

~ The fact that Mike & Luke are alone in the house is scary as shit.

~ Mike giving the definition of a monster & reading this book is killing me.

~ Practice is over and the guys have changed into kilts for the competition. They are freezing because they’re going “traditional”. You know what I’m saying.

~ Let the Highland Games begin!

~ “Tyler is hot” – Yes, girl, yes

~ Peter Pilot always looks like he’s about to show up to a book club with a tray of cookies.

~ The wrestling portion begins and children are covering their eyes because the kilts aren’t hiding everything.

~ All these guys have no underwear on & it’s traumatizing everyone.

I bet Scotland’s National Tourist Organization didn’t have this in mind when producers told them The Bachelorette would help expose Scotland to a North American audience, while uncovering hidden gems.

~ Jed challenges Hannah to a fight because he “wants to be pinned by the Queen”.

~ The highlander announces Jed as the winner and he kisses Hannah in front of her other boyfriends.

I know what you’re thinking – yes, the children in attendance went home and asked their parents a lot of awkward questions.

~ Day has turned to night and Hannah shares another toast. Still no butter. #ButterOffAlone

~ Is it just me, or do all these mansions look the same this season?

~ Plot twist: The Bachelorette is filmed on the Disney lot in California and sets are re-used, which is why all the mansions look alike. This also explains how they get the same tiny table into every country.

~ I really like this dress.

~ Hannah awards Jed with a Land Deed. He is now Lord Jed and she is Lady Hannah.

~ Kevin! witnesses Hannah having, “Jed pinned down, attacking the shit out of him.”

Good heavens, someone get a referee in here.

~ Peter Pilot and Hannah are now on the pool table….uhhh not playing pool.

~ Holy cow, first Jed, now Peter. These guys are really going for it tonight.

~ That pool table is gonna need some chlorine after this.

~ Tyler is still wearing his kilt.

~ Oh, now Tyler and Hannah are on the bed. I’m going to stop typing now.

~ Jed gets the group date rose.

It’s time for the main event of the evening.

~ Really not excited for this one-on-one date.

~ “Be a man and keep our names out of our mouth.” – Garrett, warning Luke

~ Hannah is waiting for Luke at the top of a mountain. Is this her way of saying, “Get on my level!”

~ I like how these guys are convinced that spending one day with Hannah will let them know whether or not she’s the one for them.

A good date propels their mind to a long future with her. A bad date gets them sent home. There is no in between.

~ We go right to Hannah asking Luke why the guys don’t like him.

~ Luke says that anything he does, the guys try to amplify it in a negative way.

~ “I want a man that people are drawn to.” – Hannah

~ “Everyone loves me. I hate saying it, but it’s the truth.” – Luke

~ “That sounded boastful.” – Hannah

~ “It sounded terrible, I know.” – Luke

~ I think I need to go shove my head under a deck and yell, until a squirrel shows up. Then I’ll vent to the squirrel.

~ Another week of lies from Luke.

~ Hannah will never be satisfied with the answers Luke gives her.

~ I’m no genius, but I don’t think it’s supposed to be this hard, Hannah.

~ There is a chaperone on every date except this one? Where is the Scottish Dr. Phil?

He probably goes by, Dr. Philip. Anyone have a Scottish phonebook?

~ I just can’t talk about this right now. Paul, I’m leaving this to you.

Oh no.

~ Hannah is venting to the producers, who aren’t much help because they want the drama to continue.

~ Hannah wants to talk to him about normal stuff, like if he likes macaroni and cheese, or spaghetti.

I’VE BEEN SAYING THIS FOR YEARS. TALK ABOUT NORMAL STUFF.

~ Macaroni and cheese is fine, but only once or twice a year. Fight me.

~ “I just need the real.” – Hannah, on a reality TV dating show

~ “I want to not like him.” – Hannah

~ “Today was terrible.” – Hannah

~ Damn, you tell him girl.

~ Hannah is spitting out one-liners at record pace. Unfortunately, none of them can be used in a promotional video for Scotland’s tourism agency.

~ It is time for dinner and THE TABLE IS BIGGER THAN NORMAL. Just when I uncover the secret about their small table, they get a bigger one.

This is suspicious! They don’t even need a table. They don’t eat anything.

~ Remember when Arie broke up with Becca and it took up about 4 hours of awkward TV time? This date is reaching that level.

~ All these two talk about is whether or not Luke is being genuine.

~ “I love every single thing about you.” – Luke

~ “Are you sure?” – Hannah

~ This is so painful. I can see why Cass left this part to me. Thanks, pal.

~ “I gave you time to give me clarity and you didn’t. After today, I don’t feel good.” – Hannah

~ “I want to know who you are and I don’t.” – Hannah.

~ I’m convinced Hannah read these Viewing Notes before going on the show.

~ Oh my God. No rose for Luke & the beast might cry.

~ And that’s the end of the episode. You may all come up for air.

~ Woah, the preview for next week is wild. Luke is in a church, praying.

That’s a wrap on tonight. Thanks, Paul, for having me on again. Also, huge thanks to ABC for wasting another 2 hours of my time.

Only six days until the next episode.

Posted in TV | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

NBA Finals, Game 5: Too Much Talk

I don’t really feel like writing about this game. Not because the Raptors lost by one point and have to go back to Oakland for a Game 6, but because of all the chatter around it. It’s just been so annoying.

First, Kevin Durant returned for the Warriors. I was shocked because I thought his injury was too severe to come back this quickly. Ever since it happened, the team never looked confident when talking about his chances of returning.

Sure, word would leak through the cracks that he could return at some point later in the series, but it all felt like a psychological mind game.

First off, I commend Durant for showing up and playing in an elimination game. The media wanted to spin a, “He’s not returning because he doesn’t want to jeopardize free agency” story, and I knew that was always baloney.

You’re in the NBA Finals, you dream about this your whole life, playing basketball is all you do – you’re going to try and play.

That being said, Durant lasted 12 minutes before going down holding his right achilles. That’s awful.

Much is being said about the Raptors fans cheering his injury and it’s really frustrating me because I believe there are so many sides to this story and imbeciles just want to see one side.

First – yes, you could see people in the crowd waving at Durant when he went down and looking pleased that he was injured. I can’t defend that, that’s inexcusable.

But I don’t think the sequence of events is as clear as: Durant gets hurt, fans cheer the injury, he leaves. I think it’s way more convoluted than that.

The Raptors had just stolen the ball and went the other way to score – most of the fans were cheering for that. No?

And then when Durant was helped off the court, I couldn’t tell if the fans were cheering or booing. They were making noise. Maybe they were cheering that he was walking off under his own power. Maybe they were cheering the injury. I don’t know, ask them.

But Lowry, Ibaka, and Green were all motioning to the crowd to be quiet, so they must’ve felt the crowd was being disrespectful.

As this was happening, I switched to the American feed of the game and the broadcasters were in full-blown, “This is disgusting of these fans to boo an injury” mode. So as soon as that narrative leaves the barn, it’s all over.

The game went to commercial, and as it turns out, the crowd gave Durant a standing ovation and chanted “KD”. I think they failed to mention that when the game returned. So if you want to tell a story of what happened, just tell all of it.

They made it seem like the entire arena was cheering in pleasure that Durant was hurt.

Though I do think some fans were, I don’t think that’s true for everyone. So stop painting the picture of, “Raptors fans are ruthless” and “I thought Canadians were supposed to be nice”.

It’s an easy bandwagon to hop on today because Twitter likes to point the finger at bad acts, but be smarter, please.

Another thing bothering me is the Nick Nurse timeout with three minutes left in the game. The Raptors had the Warriors on the ropes and were ahead by 6.

After which, the Warriors came out with all the momentum and won the game.

Nurse explained in his post-game press conference that he took the timeout because once you go under three minutes, you lose extra timeouts – the Raptors would’ve lost two.

He took it so his guys could get some extra rest. You know what, I have no problem with that. Yeah, it also gave the Warriors a chance to rest and regroup, but so what?

If Nurse thinks, in that moment, thinks his team needs a breather in order to survive the last three minutes, then he should take a timeout. It didn’t work out for them, but when you make that decision, don’t know that.

If you’re Toronto, go win the game. Three minutes left and you’re ahead by two possessions. Go win it.

They didn’t.

The Raptors didn’t lose because the coach took a timeout with three minutes left. Stop it.

In hindsight, if he lets them play it out, do the Raptors win? Who knows. You don’t know that Curry and Thompson don’t hit threes, anyway. That’s what they do, if you haven’t noticed. The Warriors made 20 threes last night.

Back to the fans, for a minute. I thought they could’ve been a more consistent presence throughout the game. They were loud at critical times, but I didn’t hear them roar all the time.

I was disappointed in that. Have the ticket prices gotten so high that it’s turned into a Leafs crowd? That’s not a good thing.

You’re 48 minutes away from a championship – I don’t know why you would ever sit down. There were 100,000 people across the country standing on their two feet watching a screen out in the street, while it was raining.

Whereas you’ve spent an arm, two legs, and a child to be named later, to be under the same roof as the game. There shouldn’t have been more than one minute where anyone closed their mouth.

That disappointed me.

Again, would it have made a difference? I don’t know, but as a member of that crowd, you need to try and influence the game as much as humanly possible.

Going into the game, I felt there was almost too much hype and build up of, “Look at everything we’ve been through in the last 24 years, and it all comes down to this”.

The video packages before the game made you believe that Game 5 was the final page of a really long book. I sat on my couch thinking, “It’s gonna be a mad scramble if the Raptors lose this game. Hope they have the, ‘they still have two chances to win one game’ narrative ready.

They did.

It was a case of too many people trying to shake the champagne bottle before it was ready to explode.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t go into a championship clinching game at home, thinking you’re going to lose, but have a little more awareness that the team you’re facing has only lost one playoff series in the last five years, and aren’t going to roll over just because winning at home fits a narrative.

So, we go to Game 6. I said it a few games ago that I can’t see the Warriors losing a Game 6 at home. I still find that hard to imagine. That being said, this series has been the ultimate case of, anything can happen.

The road team has won four of the fives games, so far.

Does that mean anything? I don’t know.

I guess we’ll just have to shut up and watch.

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Vettel Should’ve Won

You are never too old to throw a tantrum. They are a part of life. They mean you care deeply about something that is (probably) being taken from you. It is okay to care. You can yell. You can stomp around in random directions you don’t need to go in. You can be petty. You can even have it televised.

That’s right, kids. TELEVISED. Dream big.

Oh, what’s that? We have footage? That’s odd. We don’t normally do this…

ROLL IT! (You might have to refresh the page or view this post on my blog, as opposed to your Reader, to see the embedded tweets)

I think it’s time to provide context.

If you read my post on Friday – Canadian Grand Prix Weekend – you’d be aware that there was a Formula 1 race happening in Montreal this weekend.

In that post, I talked about how this season has been boring and nothing exciting has happened because Mercedes has won every race. I was begging the universe for some excitement. Some drama. Something that makes the race worth watching.

That was risky because sometimes if you say something out loud, it’ll never happen.

Fortunately, the universe delivered and I didn’t even have to pay a shipping fee.

It started on Saturday, where Sebastian Vettel put his Ferrari in pole position for the first time since Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was in theatres. Okay, maybe not that long ago, but it had been awhile.

17 races. It had been 17 races. I know my numbers, but my mind’s default setting is obscure references.

Finally, something different happened this season! Yes! A nice change.

Change is good, as long as you like it.

Sunday arrives and Ferrari has two cars starting in the top three on the grid. The optimism heading into this race was like the groundhog running around the track – it could not be contained.

Lights out and away they go. A few minor things happen, then it gets boring for a bit. However, Vettel is still out in first and Lewis Hamilton is following closely behind in his Mercedes.

Fast forward to Lap 48 and Vettel misses a right turn and goes across a small patch of grass. He rejoins the track and places his car in a position that squeezes Hamilton against the wall, preventing him from passing.

What’s that? We have footage?

ROLL THE TAPE!

As you can see, WE HAVE A COMMOTION AFFECTING THE LOCOMOTION.

Vettel (red car) goes over the grass and comes back on the track, clearly without much grip, and puts his car in a logical position because where else is he supposed to go?

Hamilton (silver car) gets blocked. Why? BECAUSE THERE IS A WALL THERE.

I didn’t put the wall there. Vettel didn’t put the wall there. The wall put the wall there. It’s a wall. HA-URGH.

That was my wall impression. Walls say, “Ha-urgh”, according to me. I guess.

Side Note: In the “F1 Challenge ’99-’02” video game for N64, Eddie Irvine’s red Ferrari would always cause a crash on the first lap of the Canadian Grand Prix at the exact spot that Vettel went off. I swear, it was programmed into the game. I’d restart the race just to see if it would happen again, and 95% of the time, it happened all the time.

So, of course Mercedes is mad about this incident. About ten laps later, it’s announced that Vettel has received a 5-second penalty.

You gotta be kidding me.

We’re not at the Petty Vetty (Vettel) part yet, but I feel like I need to see it right now.

ROLL THE FILM!

If that 14-second clip were oxygen, I’d breathe it for the rest of my life.

Obviously, Vettel isn’t happy about the penalty. He gets angry on his radio and makes valid points like, “I had grass on my wheels.”

Yeah! He’s not driving a tractor out there. Imagine, though.

The 5-second penalty would be added after the race, so if Vettel finished more than 5 seconds ahead of Hamilton, he’d still win. However, that wasn’t looking likely.

Personally, I think it was a dumb decision to give a penalty. It was a racing incident. There have been more egregious moments in the history of this sport that went unpenalized.

If the FIA looks the other way and does nothing, no one is complaining about it.

This is Formula freakin’ One (say that out loud, feels good). This isn’t a parking lot where you wait for everyone to move before backing out of your spot. This is a race! Last one there is a rotten egg.

Mercedes does not need any help winning races. They do it in their sleep. Heck, they do it in my sleep. That’s technically factual. Time zones.

This was the one time in seven races that someone other than Mercedes was going to win. It was going to be great! Everyone in the crowd was already wearing red. The popular vote had spoken.

And then the electoral college took it away from us.

Hold on, I need to breathe in some Petty Vetty before continuing.

ROLL THE VHS!

The race ends and Vettel crosses the finish line first, but Hamilton is within 5 seconds of him, thus giving Hamilton the win.

They’re calling this the: Five Seconds of Summer Montreal Screwjob

No. No one is calling it that. That was just for my own…never mind.

They’re actually calling it: Skip To My Lew

Because Skip To My Lou refers to a dance where you steal the partners of others and Lewis Hamilton stole this race.

GET IT? IT MAKES SENSE TO ME.

Uhhh…

DISTRACTION VIDEO, PLAY IT!

When the race ends, the top three cars normally go off and park somewhere that showcases them. Sometimes, it’s on the grid – in Canada, it’s at the end of the pit lane.

Vettel pulls into the pits and stops his car at the beginning of the pit lane, where all the non-podium finishers park.

Oh, what’s this? Does he not know where to go?

OH, HE KNOWS WHERE TO GO. HE’S JUST NOT GOING THERE. OH MY GOD, HE’S MAD. YES. BRING OUT THE PETTY. NOT TOM PETTY.

Sebastian Vettel and The Heartbreakers, coming to a Casino Rama about 90 minutes from you! (I can’t help myself)

He then left his car and walked briskly through the paddock and the chase was on! A cameraman followed him in and out of every room.

It was as if the OJ chase and the Colton fence jump from The Bachelor, had a kid and this was it. Sebastian Vettel was running away from his responsibilities, which included a post-race interview, and podium festivities, because he was mad.

It was such a Canadian way to get mad. Don’t say anything, but move with purpose, and send a message with your actions.

I think everyone watching was riled up. We wanted Vettel to win. Anyone but Mercedes, really. In that moment, we were all Vettel. We all understood why he was storming off and throwing a tantrum.

As he was on his romp, in and out of buildings, the commentators were talking about how he could be fined for skipping post-race commitments.

Somewhere along the way, someone probably told him to think of the sponsors (and maybe the fans) and go join the other two on the podium.

Before he did that, though, he walked down to where Hamilton and Charles Leclerc (Ferrari driver, finished 3rd) parked and switched the 2nd place board, with the 1st place board because he was the rightful winner and we all knew it!

ROLL THE PETTY VETTY!

And then he waves to the masses! What a hero.

This moment made my heart sing. I think two doves flew out of my ears, too.

In recent years, Formula 1 has felt too chummy. There hasn’t been any real rivalries among drivers. Everyone is hyperaware that everything they say, can and will be used against them behind closed doors.

Nowadays, you get more road rage in a Costco parking lot than on a Formula 1 track.

Every so often, sports need something to spark drama, hatred, brouhahas – anything to get the blood boiling a little bit.

I’m hopeful this controversy has lit a fire that will carry on the rest of the season. Let’s see more aggression, even if it’s passive aggressive aggression.

My dad commented during the race, “Remember when 10 cars wouldn’t finish a race, and now it’s only one or two?”

I REMEMBER. The first corner was always a mess.

Vettel said in a post-race interview that they’re becoming too much like politicians and it’s taking the fun out of it. I agree.

Speak your mind, sir. Race with your elbows out – it shouldn’t be hard, the cars are already wide.

Oh, what’s that? It’s been too long since a video clip?

ROLL TIDE! (I was running out of ways to introduce the same clip)

We interrupt coverage of Vettel moving signs to provide an update on the lone Canadian in the field – Lance Stroll. It’s a segment we call, “Just Strollin'”

Lance qualified 18th because that’s what he does. Sunday comes after Saturday. Stroll qualifies 18th. It’s just a thing.

Well, Canada’s favourite son and local hero, finished the race in 9th place! Wow! So great. 

And that concludes this edition of, Just Strollin’. Next time, Lance will be navigating the streets of France. (This is the part where you make the Lance Armstrong and Tour de France connection and commend me for my play on words).

After the race, Ferrari filed an appeal of Vettel’s penalty. They have nothing to lose. If anything, the FIA has now seen the public outcry to the decision and may want to win some fans back by overturning the call.

I doubt they will, though. It would set a precedent they could never recover from.

Anyway, Vettel should’ve won the race. I know it, you know it, the A&W guy knows it.

This race is one that will stand out in my memories. When I watch sports, that’s all I want. Do something I’ll remember, so decades from now I can start stories with, “Hey, remember that time…..” and end them with endless options.

This is one of them.

I’ve written too much. The band is playing me off stage.

Thank you for reading!

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

NBA Finals, Game 4: It’s Happening

I’m just sitting here listening to “Everywhere” by Fleetwood Mac and pretending as if the Toronto Raptors being one win away from the NBA championship is a completely normal occurrence that I know how to deal with mentally, physically, and emotionally.

But in all honesty, I’M FREAKING OUT.

Can someone from Boston send me their handbook on how to deal with a local professional sports team winning? Because I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.

Like when we have the parade, where do I stand? How do I meet up with people? Do I just make new friends on the spot and call them my posse for the day? Should I bring granola bars? How many is too many?

ALSO, how do I tell my brain that what my eyes are seeing is actually real? I’m not programmed for this. All these years I’ve spent thinking of ways to improve struggling sports teams, I never thought about how it would feel when there was nothing to improve.

HOW DO I APPRECIATE PERFECTION?

The Raptors are perfect. They have every component. You name it, they got it. They’re like Amazon.

I know, I know…I’m putting the cart before the horse. Fortunately, I don’t have a cart nor a horse, so it’s fine.

Oh yeah, if you can’t tell, the Raptors won Game 4 by a score of 105-92, which means the Raptors lead the series 3-1, WHICH MEANS THEY CAN WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP AT HOME ON MONDAY.

HOLY MEATBALLS, IT’S HAPPENING.

Here are some thoughts on the game, as I get my heart rate under control.

1. The Warriors looked tired and the Raptors did not.

2. Kawhi Leonard’s demeanour, disposition, sense of being, aura, way of life – whatever you want to call it, has rubbed off on every single one of his teammates.

3. The American media is so fascinated with how quiet Kawhi is – it’s all they talk about. Meanwhile, they’re missing the bigger picture. Look at how many flashy showboaters, who whine to the official all game long, aren’t in the Finals.

Maybe Kawhi is just smarter than everyone else.

4. Ever since Game 1 finished, the Warriors have been talking about how it’s going to be a “long series”. Define, “long”.

5. The Warriors had a starting lineup of: Steph, Klay, Iguodala, Draymond, and Cousins. But no, this team needs Durant. They don’t have enough superstars to get the job done. Oh brother. Cry me a chocolate fountain.

6. The professional attitude of this Raptors team is so impressive. They aren’t whining, they aren’t celebrating, they’re just playing until the final buzzer. That’s rare to see in today’s NBA.

7. THE BOX-AND-ONE RETURNED.

8. The Raptors are kind of built like a lacrosse team. Okay, maybe not. I just say this because Siakam is the ultimate transition player and it reminded me of lacrosse.

9. It was pretty soft of the Warriors’ fans to leave the game early…again. I know I’m not paying that much for a ticket, just so I can beat traffic getting out of there. Pfft. Also, that might’ve been the last game ever in that arena. Stay. Take a picture. Shed a tear. Step in someone’s spilled beer and get your shoes sticky. Then leave.

10. So many Raptor fans at the game. What a proud sight. We The North, East, South, and West.

11. Nick Nurse is brilliant. Remember when people criticized his hiring, saying he’d be too much like Dwane Casey? And I came on this blog and said, NO, YOU’RE ALL WRONG – or something like that. Because if you were to replace your boss at your place of work, you wouldn’t run things the exact same way. You’d bring your own touch.

Is that the word? Touch? I know not of what I speak right now. Just let me write.

12. I’m so glad a guy like Fred VanVleet is getting national exposure. He’s so good and so mature, and he’s still only 25.

13. I’m also glad people are seeing the other side of Kyle Lowry’s game. For years, everyone down south thought he was just a scoring guard, which is what fuelled their ridicule of his poor playoff performances. When really, he’s a guy who can affect every single play on the floor without ever shooting the ball.

14. Steve Kerr has a Blake Carrington vibe to him. He never looks like he’s doing anything, but apparently does.

15. Did anyone pick Raps in 5 before the series started? I didn’t think it was possible. But now, it all makes sense. The math adds up.

DeMar DeRozan = #10
Kawhi Leonard – #2

10/2 = 5

MATH.

16. I am worried that if the Warriors win Game 5, they also win Game 6, and force a Game 7. I can’t handle that kind of stress. There is not a font larger than ALL CAPS for me to use to message people.

17. There’s no way the Raptors blow this lead. There’s no way. Right? They’ve beat the Warriors 5 out of the 6 times they’ve faced them this year, including 3 times at Oracle Arena. There is no way the Raptors lose 3 in a row now. No way. NO WAY.

If I keep saying “No way”, the universe will hear me and accept it as truth.

I’m stopping at 17 because I had 17 thoughts after Game 3 and the Raptors won Game 4. So, call me superstitious, but I’m not risking it.

Game 5 is on Monday in Toronto. The Raptors might win the championship.

Somebody, hold me.

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Canadian Grand Prix Weekend

The 2019 Formula 1 World Championship started with so much promise and anticipation. There was this snazzy behind the scenes documentary released on Netflix. There was talk of Ferrari having the best car at winter testing. There were new drivers in new places. There was so much excitement.

Then, race by race, the air started coming out of the balloon, to the point where we’ve just come out of the tunnel in Monaco and are at the seventh stop of the season in Montreal, and I’m not even sure there is a balloon anymore – never mind worrying about how much air is left in it.

The balloon that carried so much hope is gone.

Balloon go pop.

That’s my new catchphrase, by the way. It’ll be stuck in your head by the end of this post.

This season has not been good. That pains me to say because I love Formula 1, but someone tell me there is an alternative truth. Tell me I’m wrong.

Where is the competition? Mercedes has won every race. All but one of them have been a 1-2 finish. As a viewer, where is the fun in that?

Ferrari has been tripping over themselves since Melbourne. The “prancing horse” doesn’t even trot anymore. You are Ferrari. Come on! Giddy up!

Ferrari has more 5th place finishes (5), than podiums (4). Why is this a thing?

Balloon go pop.

If I dressed like a rich person every time the F1 social media accounts posed the question, “Does Ferrari have the advantage going into this weekend?”, I could trade in all of my clothes and start my own F1 team.

I know, that was a weird way of wording it, but I still have images in my head of rich people in Monaco wearing tan pants and white-collared shirts, with the sleeves rolled up so they can show off their Rolex watches and bracelets with their name engraved on them.

Oddly specific – just go with it.

I don’t know what Red Bull is doing. Every year, I wish they can jump back into a legitimate fight with the top two teams, but they don’t.

Balloon go pop.

And then there’s everyone else. One of the biggest illusions in this sport is the discourse directing our attention at the riveting “mid-field battle”. For a few years, I fell for it.

Looking at it now, why should I care who comes in 7th? Why should I care that McLaren is currently outperforming Renault? Why should I care that Kimi Raikkonen always seems to slip his Sauber into the top 10?

I should be caring about who finishes first, second, and third, but by Lap 20, those cars are so far apart the camera doesn’t even bother following them anymore.

Question: Why is this prestigious sport trying to create a cult following for second tier teams?

Answer: The top teams aren’t really battling each other, so we have to look somewhere else to get our on-track “action”.

It’s just frustrating. It feels like the races are decided by the cars, rather than the drivers.

The cars have gotten so long, and so wide, it’s as if they’re racing limousines around the track. Passing is impossible because there is no space.

We rely on long straight aways and DRS to give the cars an advantage, so they can be late on the braking going into the corner, and pass the car ahead of them. Because other than that, how are the overtakes happening?

I miss the chaos that the first corner of a Grand Prix used to provide. It was just so beautiful. Six cars trying to make the same turn because they all thought they had space.

Now, the drivers know they don’t have any space, so it’s like navigating a shopping cart through the check-out.

Balloon go pop.

I understand the whole purpose of auto racing is to put a car together that is faster than everyone else’s. I get it. Mercedes is doing nothing wrong by winning every race.

However, I want to be entertained. In 2019, sports are about the viewer at home. You need to hold their attention because not everyone is like me and will sit through a race where no one passes anyone for an hour and a half.

You need to create rules and regulations that perpetuate excitement. I know they know this. And I know they know they have to change it.

Fans should be tuning in to each race and asking themselves, “I wonder what will happen this time and how it’ll affect the world championship.”

Currently, there’s none of that. There’s no drama.

There aren’t as many crashes. There are very few overtakes. There is never any rain.

God, I just want a classic rain race where anyone can spin off at any time and we have a McLaren in first place for about three laps because of the mayhem that happened in front of them.

WHY IS IT ALWAYS SUNNY ON RACE DAY?

We get weather forecasts like, “We’re expecting rain around Lap 42, but it’ll only affect Turn 13, and even then it’ll only be tiny droplets, but if those tiny droplets build up, boy oh boy, we may see some teams take a gamble and change tires! STAY TUNED, PLEASE.”

You know it’s bad when the only reason to continue watching a race after Lap 10 is because there’s a slight chance of rain before the end.

I just want the excitement back. I want real rivalries. I want something to talk about after the race.

But hey, Lance Stroll is coming into his home Grand Prix this weekend and predicting it will be a turning point for him, so maybe I just need to look in a mirror and live my life with the same level of blind optimism.

Maybe this season will turn around. Maybe Ferrari will prance again. Maybe Red Bull will have a surge of energy. Maybe Daniel Ricciardo will make us understand why he chose to sign with a second tier team. Maybe Williams won’t qualify last. Maybe Mercedes won’t win every race. Maybe Kimi Raikkonen will smile.

What a lovely sight all that would be.

The possibilities are endless, but for now they just seem impossible.

Balloon go pop.

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

NBA Finals, Game 3: Shooters Shoot

I’m starting to accept the fact that I’m never going to fully comprehend the fact that the Toronto Raptors are in the NBA Finals. It’s like I’ve been sucked into a portal, but instead of being taken to Halloweentown, I’m in this faraway land where the Raptors – my Raptors – are two wins away from winning the championship.

This will never feel real.

Some of you had your eyes widen at the Halloweentown reference, don’t lie.

The Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors by a score of 123-109, to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Klay Thompson did not play. Kevin Durant did not play. Kevon Looney did not play.

There, I got the factual component out of the way, so I can go back to sounding like myself rather than just another generic sports article on the internet.

I think the easiest way to do this is if I use a numbered list to arrange my thoughts.

1. I was not a fan of either rendition of the national anthems before the game. Metallica is cool and all, I just don’t enjoy electric guitar versions. Sing the song. (Insert comment here about how Americans like loud noises)

2. Whenever “O Canada” is played in an American city for a sporting event, I’m embarrassed by the performance about 95% of the time. Can we not find someone to sing it properly? It can be Dolores from Section 325 for all I care, just sing it to its proper tune.

3. I’m not here to criticize anthem singers, but a lot of you suck. This isn’t your recording studio; leave your artistic license there. This is the national anthem of a country. IT’S ONLY SUNG ONE WAY. Except when we go half french and half english, but whatever. SING THE SONG.

4. The conspiracy theorist in me says the Warriors were cautious with Klay Thompson and decided not to play him tonight because they know Kevin Durant isn’t coming back, so they couldn’t risk Thompson making his injury worse and being left without either of them.

5. Danny Green, welcome back. Thank you for continuing to shoot because that is what shooters do.

6. Steph Curry scored 47 points in a losing effort. Hopefully, this was him getting his “big game” out of the way and he won’t do this again. Let us pray.

7. I’m always waiting for this Raptors team to look scared and they don’t. If not for the third quarter in Game 2, this is a 3-0 series.

8. I get the sense from the Warriors that they’re treating this series as if it’s an essay in college. Nothing to worry about, no need to panic, it’s not due for another three days, we can pull an all-nighter if we have to, and finish on time. They look like a team that isn’t scared of going down 3-1 and that terrifies me.

9. Can we talk about the giant light bulb that fell from the ceiling and almost killed the Raptors colour commentator, Leo Rautins? What the hell, Oracle Arena?

10. Pascal Siakam has soccer lungs, which means he can run for days and not feel winded.

11. Nick Nurse pulls out the high school-esque box-and-one defence in Game 2, gets laughed at for it, forces the Warriors to prepare for it, and then doesn’t use it at all in Game 3. I love it. Keep ’em guessing, Coach.

12. The Raptors get so many wide open three-pointers. I’m going to start calling them, threebies. They’re freebies, but for three. Threebies. Spread the word.

13. Kawhi Leonard has big games and I don’t even notice them anymore. All of a sudden he has 30 points and I’m like, “Oh, alright.”

14. With the NBA Draft right around the corner, Fred VanVleet is quickly becoming the poster boy for undrafted free agents.

15. I understand that if the Raptors win the series, people will say, “Oh, they did it against a team that had injuries to star players.” You know what, I don’t care. That’s sports. They still give you a trophy if you beat a team that has injured players.

16. I want to be an NBA referee for 20 minutes, just so I can experience how impossible their job is. They’re too close to the action – the TV camera in the last row of the lower level has a better view. They’re staring at a bunch of trees, but don’t recognize it’s a forest.

17. The Warriors have scored 109 points in all three games of the series.

I’ve run out of thoughts at a convenient number – 17. That’s how many three-pointers the Raptors made last night.

Game 4 is Friday night. Grip your pillows tight.

How’s your heart rate, Raptors fans?

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Viewing Notes: The Bachelorette (Hannah) – Ep. 4

Happy Tuesday, to those who celebrate! We have an unforgettable edition of Bachelorette Viewing Notes for you today. Trust me.

Cass is here again to provide her insights and force me to type things on my blog that I’d never say myself. Her thoughts will appear in BOLD.

We are back for another week of The Bachelorette! I wasn’t going to do it, but I am here & ready with a huge bowl of popcorn. Let’s do this.

FUN GAME: At the end of this recap will be a tally of the number of times the name Luke was written anywhere in this post. Cass and I have each guessed a number, the person closest to the actual number will win a prize donated by our sponsor.

Note: We do not have a sponsor.

Cass: 60
Paul: 93

Feel free to play along and guess a number. Let us know in the comments below how close you were.

~ The guys just woke up and are talking in the living room, when in walks the Grand Poobah himself, Chris Harrison.

~ Chris Harrison Sleeve Update: ROLLED UP

~ We are starting another week with Chris “attempting to scare the guys”.

Every guy in this room has the same haircut.

~ Chris tells them they’re off to Newport, Rhode Island and they celebrate as if he just said Las Vegas.

~ Uhm, what’s in Rhode Island?

~ They have one hour to pack and determine which hair product is their’s and which one they were just borrowing.

~ There is a whole lot of jean on jean outfits happening right now.

~ They’re checking in to Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina, which has a 4.3 star rating on Google. Reserve your stay, today!

~ The first date card is for Jed. They’re going to Boston.

~ So Hannah is from Alabama, but she’s going to show Jed around Boston…okay.

~ *Insert Cass comment here about Hannah’s jacket, probably*

What, nothing? It’s a dark day in bachelorette land when I’m the one commenting on the outfits.

~ Hannah: “Welcome to Boston!”

~ REALLY? EVERY SEASON. YOU’RE NOT FROM THERE. YOU CAN’T WELCOME ANOTHER VISITOR TO THE PLACE YOU ARE ALSO VISITING.

~ They’re walking through the Quincy Market, which lasts for about 32 edited seconds.

~ OMG these photo booth pictures are adorable.

~ Now they are walking the streets and Hannah pretends to be a tour guide.

~ Every week, Jed just impresses me more & more, I really like them together.

~ At a bar called Cheers, they’re surrounded by Boston accents but manage to tell each other they like being around one another.

~ This week, we have untouched beers…PLEASE DON’T WASTE THE BEER.

~ Back out on the streets, they get some Halo Top ice cream and don’t even pay.

~ Halo Top totally paid big bucks for that promo, smart move Halo Top, smart move.

~ “Halo Top: A Taste of Heaven” – Don’t mind me, just subtly pitching slogans to a potential future sponsor(??) of these Viewing Notes.

Hannah has now taken him to the Boston Celtics practice court, where Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier are waiting for them.

~ “Welcome to Boston.” – Jaylen Brown, a guy who actually lives in Boston. THANK YOU.

~ Now we have Hannah acting like she’s BFFs with Terry & Jaylen.

~ I like how the sponsor logos on their jerseys have tape over them.

~ Anyone else notice how everything is taped over on these jerseys?

~ I can’t wait to see Luke’s reaction to these jerseys.

~ But, like, can I have a personalized jersey too? Hey Raps, if you’re reading this, hook a sister up.

~ I like how we’re both asking for freebies tonight and didn’t co-ordinate this at all.

Jed thinks these are two of the best players in the NBA? They aren’t even in the Top 4 on their own team.

~ Correction, Jed, they clearly aren’t two of the best guys in the league ’cause Kawhi is King at the moment. Get it right, dude.

~ Jaylen Brown is now sitting with Hannah to ask how everything’s going so far and give her advice. He’s getting more one-on-one time than some of the guys in the house.

~ Jaylen is two years younger than Hannah.

~ This relationship advice is key, I’m taking notes over here, thanks for the pointers.

~ I have a feeling Jed must have played high school basketball or something, like how are you sinking all these baskets?

~ ESPECIALLY THE ONE WHEN HE WAS KISSING HANNAH, LIKE WHAT!

~ John Paul Jones reading out this date card right now.

~ Everyone is on the date except for Tyler and Jed, of course.

~ THIRTEEN GUYS ON ONE DATE. Time for each of them to self-evict.

~ Everyone is so ready to hurt Luke P.

~ Time for dinner. I think I see mashed potatoes, but it’s probably just fake food at this point.

~ HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL.

~ JED JUST ADMITTED TO COMING ON THE SHOW BECAUSE OF THE PLATFORM & HIS MUSIC.

~ THAT WAS THE MAIN ORIGINAL REASON.

~ BUT NOW APPARENTLY HE HAS A CHANGE OF HEART.

~ WE ALL KNEW IT.

He tells her that his mindset has changed and he’s here for her.

~ He gets a rose.

~ I was rooting for you to be different, Jed. I was rooting for you.

~ Omg, Hannah is gonna be the basis of all his songs for the next little while.

So is Jed here for the right reasons now? I guess we’ll never know.

~ But that takes some serious balls to admit he came on to get his music out there.

~ Time for the group date and the guys come running to greet Hannah.

~ “Welcome to Rhode Island” – STOP IT

~ They’re going to be playing Rugby. Yes, let’s go!

Rugby’s instant replay system is one of my favourites. I’ll explain it another time.

~ It’s blood, sweat, & tears time. 

~ Hannah doesn’t want anyone to get hurt. Should’ve played checkers.

~ The thing I like about rugby is the respect the players have for their opponent. You won’t find it in other sports.

~ It’s about to get aggressive. 

~ Luke, high school football is nothing compared to rugby. Grow a brain.

~ “Have fun & be safe” – Seriously, Hannah?

~ Survival of the fittest time. 

~ We have Team Green vs. Team Blue. The game begins and we have high tackles all over the place. The ref is letting them play, though.

~ John Paul Jones aka Sunshine from Remember The Titans, scores a try but misses the conversion.

~ The score is 5-0 at halftime.

~ Kevin! thinks he dislocated his shoulder and is put in an ambulance.

~ Damn it, that’s how the ambulance comes into play, that was boring.

~ Kevin dislocated his shoulder, boring.

~ Uhh I think what my colleague here is trying to say is we’re glad no one got seriously injured. DON’T SCARE AWAY THE SPONSORS, CASS.

~ This show likes to have an ambulance on every season just to hype it up in previews.

~ Luke P. is scary obsessed with Hannah.

~ Garrett has a target on his back after that hug.

~ It took 3 guys to take Luke down.

~ Luke P. just picked up Luke S. and slammed him on his back, which was about 3 miles away from the play.

~ HOLY SHIT, WHAT THE HELL DID LUKE P. JUST DO?

~ VERY UNSPORTSMANLIKE.

~ SEND HIM HOME FOR THAT.

That should be a red card, but it’s The Bachelorette so he’ll probably get a rose.

~ So uncalled for Luke, so uncalled for.

~ It’s time for the night portion, so the guys will be talking about Luke P. the whole time.

~ And of course, she calls Luke P. away first.

~ “He is an unstable guy, he shouldn’t be here.” – You tell ’em, Luke S.

~ The fact that “unemployed” Grant is still here, is great.

Luke P. describes a sequence of events where he had the ball and Luke S. was swinging at him which led to the body slam. I don’t know, looked like the ball was on the other side of the field.

~ CALL UP THE REPLAY OFFICIAL.

~ Luke P. blatantly lying to Hannah right now.

~ Do you think she’s starting to realize he’s crazy, too?

~ Now she calls Luke S. over for his version of events.

~ THE FACT THAT LUKE S. JUST CONFIRMED HE LIED TO HER, PURE GOLD.

~ Hannah has turned into the Department of Player Safety.

~ “We all have a thing with Luke P.” – Luke S.

~ Luke S. says Luke P. also kneed him in the head. We’re gonna need more footage. Release the tapes!

~ Luke P. is the Brad Marchand of rugby.

~ I’m tired of writing the name, Luke.

~ I feel like I’ve written Luke way too many times already.

~ Now it’s time for the other guys – who are just there as witnesses – to give their version of events.

~ Imagine they had a rugby match and there was no drama?

~ Mike & Garrett giving it to Luke right now. I’m all for it.

~ Garrett tells Luke P. that he’s not okay with him almost hurting his friend today.

~ “I have 14 friends in the house & you could have seriously hurt one of them.” – Garrett, clearly leave Luke P. out.

~ Luke P. says Luke S. was coming at him with clenched fists. Maybe he was holding a nectarine. Ever think of THAT?

~ The room clears out until the two Lukes are the only ones left.

~ Holy cow, the Lukes are left alone.

~ “I never want to see you again in my life.” – Luke S.

~ Garrett is talking to Hannah now and says, “I’m crushing for ya hard, straight up.” – ahh Garrett opening up right now.

~ So much hostility tonight. I really hope we get a fist fight or something tonight, maybe another ambulance.

Ahem…we here at Viewing Notes do not encourage violence. THE SPONSORS, CASS, THE SPONSORS.

~ Pilot Pete turning the mood around for us, thank God.

~ Peter always looks like a pilot, no matter the setting.

~ “Hannah is everything that I ever wanted” – Damn it Peter, melting my darn ice cold heart.

~ Garrett and his red jacket are getting the group date rose.

~ It’s the next day and Hannah is crying because her feelings for Luke P. are the strongest and she doesn’t know if she’s reading him right. Just ask the cameramen. They know.

~ Hannah sitting on the pier – that is actually scaring me.

~ Her feelings for Luke P. are the strongest…. NO NO NO NO NO NOOOOOOOOOOOO.

~ Someone move her away from the cold water, please.

~ Has anyone filled Tyler in?

~ Tyler C. arrives and she vents, but Tyler gives her a pep talk.

~ I’m going to say it once tonight, but I think Tyler is so hunky…

~ Paul is literally shaking his head at me & rolling his eyes. He thinks Tyler is “no brain, all abs”…but Paul, look at him comfort her when she’s sad.

I don’t know, I need to see him thrive in a situation that isn’t served up on a platter for him to be a hero.

~ He wants her at her highs & lows, & be the man for her at the end of this…I’m literally just melting.

~ They go out on a boat to catch lobsters.

~ “Butter me up, girl” – I will never look at buttered lobster the same.

~ “You’re dangerous in black” – I’d die if someone said that to me, my whole closet is full of black clothes, so it’s only fitting.

~ It’s time for dinner, which means the food will stare at them.

~ Hannah being all “I thought you were a player”…”I was wondering why he was here”…”I wanted to put a wall up with you”.

Nope, he’s just a regular dancing contractor.

~ Tyler is in a place where “he can give himself to someone” – hi, I’m over here.

~ I have tears in my eyes watching this date, but it’s because I swallowed some water the wrong way and am choking.

~ “Hannah & Tyler, goes really good together” – awwwh

~ Tyler gets a rose. I don’t even think they picked up a fork.

~ Hannah and Tyler are now attending a Jake Owen concert at a theatre, with a bunch of screaming fans who are just there to watch them dance.

~ HOLY SHIT IT’S JAKE OWN.

~ OMG, I CAN’T TAKE ANYMORE. MY HEART.

~ I’m just over here singing along, don’t mind me.

~ They kiss & sparks literally fly.

~ I think I need a break after that date.

~ Alright, Tyler won me over tonight, but I’ll still be skeptical.

~ It’s time for the cocktail party and Hannah walks into the mansion to say it’s been a rough week.

~ Lions at the front door of the mansion, fancy. 

~ Luke P. going on about how they all need to be truthful going forward literally has me laughing out loud.

~ Hannah is looking dangerous in another black dress. 

~ Yes, Peter, let’s talk about Hannah & not the Lukes.

~ Peter Pilot is now officially asking her if she wants to be his girlfriend.

~ This could cause some drama.

~ “I’m here for Hannah.” – Mike. Drink.

~ Mike is going after Luke P., telling him he’s the cause of Hannah not being happy. Luke does not agree.

~ Mike is literally a national treasure!

~ MIKE FOR BACHELOR.

~ Mike reminds us of Culhane in Dynasty.

~ Every mansion this show rents out looks the same. Maybe it’s all the candles they bring in.

~ Kevin going on about how if Luke P. gets a rose, it diminishes the rose. Drop that mic, Kevin, drop that mic.

~ Mike & Luke P. right now.

~ Mike calling Luke P. out on everything right now.

~ HE CALLED LUKE P. A PSYCHOPATH, YES MIKE, YESSSS.

~ Omg can this get any better?

~ That is one amazing fireplace & fire.

~ Luke S. has a conversation with Hannah but she seems to have shut him down, thinking he’s only there to promote his tequila business, which isn’t true.

~ Luke P. says he will go tell Hannah that Luke S. is actually here for the right reasons.

~ LUKE P. TELLS HANNAH THAT LUKE S. ASKED HIM TO PUT IN A GOOD WORD FOR HIM, BUT HE WON’T DO THAT BECAUSE HE STILL DOESN’T THINK LUKE S. IS HERE FOR THE RIGHT REASONS.

~ Here we go again. Luke P luring straight to Hannah again.

~ Hannah has been successfully hoodwinked. She’s now back to talking to Luke S.

~ Is she not trusting Luke S. because he looks like Nick Viall?

~ Why doesn’t Hannah just go take a survey with the guys? Ask them which Luke is the better Luke.

~ Instead, she calls both Lukes aside.

~ Both Lukes are feeling like they are in the red zone with Hannah. 

~ Everyone calling Luke P. out on his BS right now.

~ Dylan with the, “I’ve never disliked anyone more than him”.

~ And the episode ends. No Rose Ceremony in tonight’s episode.

~ Of course we end with Luke P. having that crazy look in his eye.

That’s a wrap on this week, again I need time to recover. I don’t think I’ve ever & I mean ever, typed the name Luke so many damn times. I’m not prepared to continue typing it out.

FINAL “LUKE” TALLY: 60

STOP IT. Cass guessed 60. HOWWW?? I give up. I quit. GET YOUR VOODOO SKILLS OUT OF HERE. Oh my God. I’ll never hear the end of this. Never. I’m done.

Thanks Paul, for having me back this week & thanks for not getting tired of me yet!

The Bachelorette isn’t on next Monday, thanks to the NBA Finals. I don’t know when the next episode is. For all I know, it could be IN 60 FREAKIN’ DAYS BECAUSE EVERYTHING ELSE IS COMING UP 60.

Whenever it is, we’ll see you then.

Posted in TV | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

NBA Finals, Game 2: Foul

It always feels like more fouls are called against the Toronto Raptors than their opponent, but then you look at the final stats and the numbers tell you it’s even, so you can’t really complain about the referees even though you really want to.

Last night, the Toronto Raptors lost Game 2 of the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors by a score of 109-104.

To me, this felt like a missed opportunity for the Raptors. Durant was still out, Klay left with a hamstring injury, and you’re at home. You have to win this game.

But no, they start out the third quarter and don’t score for the first five minutes. That can’t happen against the team that is known for being really good in the third quarter.

It didn’t help that a bunch of key players were battling foul trouble all night.

My biggest problem with referees in the NBA is they love to hear the sound of their own whistle. So many fouls are plays that don’t impede or inhibit the player who was supposedly “fouled”.

It’s all in the player’s response to getting “fouled”. If their arms flail, or their head jerks so viciously backwards that it might fall off, it’s an easy whistle every time.

Or sometimes you’ll see big, 230 lb. guys fall down so easily when a little point guard runs into them. These are professional athletes. You mean to tell me their balance is so bad, that they’re falling down by the slightest of pushes?

There’s a gap between what my eyes see and what the referees deem a foul.

I still think the referees should sit in a chair, about 10 feet about the court, and roam up and down the sidelines on a rail system. I should tweet this.

That being said, if you’re in foul trouble, you need to be careful. Kyle Lowry is an important player on this team – you can’t foul out of an NBA Finals game!

Lowry also fouled out of Game 3 against Milwaukee, in only 32 minutes. That game went to double overtime. The Raptors won, but still.

Last night’s game was winnable and that’s what is so frustrating. Because now, the Raptors must win a game in Oakland. That sounds daunting to me.

Is it doable? Sure. Play defence and hit your shots.

Will it happen? We’ll see. That Oracle crowd gives the Warriors a boost and can make it a tough place to play. I guess we’re about to see what the Raptors are made of.

OG Anunoby was available last night for the Raptors, but didn’t play. I’m wondering if this is a case of, “He hasn’t played in over a month, it’s unfair to throw him into the NBA Finals” or if Nick Nurse was just happy with his rotation and didn’t want to disrupt it until has to.

Either way, if he’s healthy enough to play, I think you need to put him in there at some point. But I’m not a coach, so who knows.

One last thing – I saw a lot of “Raptors in Six” predictions before the series started. To me, that doesn’t make sense. Maybe I need to be more optimistic, but the Warriors have already lost an NBA Finals clinching game on home court once, I don’t think they’ll allow that to happen again.

If the Raptors win this series, it’ll be in seven games at home.

Game 3 will be the biggest challenge this Raptors team has ever faced. I’m scared, excited, worried, and hopeful. I’m just a mixing bowl of emotions.

At this point, I’m over-reacting to every game because that’s the only thing I can do.

Oh, and it still doesn’t feel real that we’re in the NBA Finals.

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments