When my sister found out that the Toronto Raptors would be staging a pre-season game in Edmonton, she immediately jumped on the opportunity to watch Chris Bosh (aka “CB4”) live in action. I told her I wouldn’t be willing to spend $500 for courtside seats, but something more reasonable would be fine. It turned out our $39 seats were quite a good deal – decent view, and on the side where the most hilarious mascot concentrated his entertaining efforts.
Me and my sister in Rexall
Converted centre ice (it seemed quite sad to both of us that the floor had to be borrowed from the University of Alberta)
Strangely, they brought out the anthem singer with 12 minutes left in the warm-up, and prior to the announcement of the starting line-ups
Raptor team huddle
It’s probably been a good ten years since I paid close enough attention to the NBA to recognize individual players (“What, Allen Iverson doesn’t play for Philadelphia anymore?!”), but my sister was a good resource to get reacquainted to the unfamiliar team composition.
The game itself was decent – I had forgotten how perfect basketball is for those with short attention spans (as opposed to say, hockey), as the scoring is constant. The sold-out crowd was obviously largely cheering for the Raptors, but unfortunately, they couldn’t outdo the exceptional three-point shooting and defense of the Nuggets, and lost 94-105.
We were both expecting the music to be more consistent in the game, but the DJ played only short snippets when the Raptors were in scoring range. He also seemed to have about a ten-song repertoire (New Kids on the Block and Michael Jackson were on high rotation).
The best part of the entire game for both of us was Raptor, the team mascot. He had two different costumes – the more form-fitting, “fuzzy” one we were used to seeing, and a second, inflatable version that neither of us had seen before. It was this second costume that made the game for us, as he wandered around harassing courtside patrons, breakdancing, and moonwalking to Michael Jackson. I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in a long time. Near the end of the game, they played a video chronicling Raptor’s most embarrassing moments (set to Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day”) – who knew the inflatable raptor had a costume big enough to engulf a whole person?
There he goes!
The “fuzzy” mascot (is there a technical name for the costume?) also performed two trampoline-assisted slam dunks, much to the audience’s delight.
It was a fun night overall – should another NBA team swing by Edmonton, I’d consider going again.
My highly-repetitive photo set is here.