On Wednesday, Chris Bosh will return to the Air Canada Centre to play the Toronto Raptors for the first time since he signed with the Miami Heat last July. Naturally, a lot of the media and online chatter leading up to the game is about how Chris Bosh will be received by Toronto fans. Will they boo him? Should they boo him?
The answer to both questions is “yes”. They will boo him because that’s what Toronto fans do to players who forsake the Raptors, Toronto and Canada before returning with their new teams. They did it to Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter and Hedo Turkoglu, so I can assure you they’ll do it with Bosh.
As for why Raptors fans should boo Bosh, I’m not going to attempt to provide you with a series of convoluted rationalizations explaining why he deserves to be booed. As Clint Eastwood said in the movie Unforgiven, “Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.” Raptors fans should boo and taunt Bosh tomorrow night because it will be fun.
This has been a miserable season to be a Raptors fan, even more miserable than usual. This team stinks, no matter how Bryan Colangelo tries to spin things. And because the Raptors haven’t won a playoff series since 2001, there has been very little joy in Raptorsland over the past decade.
You want to know what I consider to be the most enjoyable Raptors game I’ve attended since Vince Carter was traded? It was the first game Carter returned to Toronto in April 2005, when Raptors fans at the Air Canada Centre gave him what I remember as an even more raucous and venomous reception than the one LeBron James received in Cleveland this season. The energy in that building was incredible. And yes, I remember that Vince scored 39 points to lead his Nets to a double-digit win over the Raptors that night. That doesn’t take away from what a fun experience it was.
I don’t particularly care what Bosh did or didn’t do when he was a Raptor, nor do I care any longer about how he carried himself in the media and on Twitter when it became obvious he wasn’t going to re-sign with the Raptors last off-season. All I care about is that he’s wearing a different uniform now and I believe he’s more than a little thin-skinned. In my mind, those are good reasons to boo this man.
Simply booing Bosh for all four quarters is certainly a nice start, but it’s not enough. He’ll probably get accustomed to the boos once he realizes they’re not going away, so Raptors fans need to mix in some chants and taunts to get his attention. While I encourage you to come up with your own taunts — and leave them in the comments if you think of anything good — here a few you can work with if you’re going to be at the game.
- “Ooooostrich! Ooooostrich!”
- “You sucked on Entourage, Bosh!”
- “Hey Bosh! How’s life as LeBron’s and Wade’s designated grenade-catcher?”
- “Hey Bosh! Your First Ink DVD sold fewer copies than Ron Artest’s rap album!”
- “VINCE WAS BET-TER!” clap-clap-clapclapclap (suggested by Score colleague Drew Fairservice)
- RealGM Raptors board user “Centre Court” suggested “Two and a Half Men”, which I think would work quite well on this sign with much better Photoshop work than what I’m displaying above.
- “Third wheel! Third wheel! Third wheel!” (suggested by @tsmitheman)
- “LAP DOOOOOG!” (suggested by @The_Real_MattK)
- As I was reminded by RealGM user “koolguy”, you really can’t go wrong with yelling “RUUUU-PAUUUUL!” any time he has the ball in his hands.
Finally, if you feel like getting really fancy with your taunts, you and your friends could rehearse and perform a rousing rendition of The Basketball Jones’ “Like A Bosh”. Allow me to refresh your memory.
Aside from being creative with your taunts and having as much fun as possible, your goal should be to make LeBron James and Dwyane Wade laugh at your Bosh insults because that’s when you can be sure Bosh will be upset. No matter what he claims, he cares very, very deeply what those guys think about him.
So that I provide some balance at the end of this post, I’ll grant you that Raptors fans at the Air Canada Centre tomorrow night could choose to exhibit class and reverence for Bosh’s accomplishments as a Raptor when he’s introduced, and then treat it like any other entertaining game where the Raptors face one of the top teams in the league. You could certainly take that approach, but why would you? That’s no fun.