April 20, 2005
This Vince Carter saga is turning into an angrier, more distorted version of the Clemens situation in Boston -- some of the e-mails floating into my mailbox have been really interesting. Here are a few:
Thanks for calling the Wince situation the right way. You are one of the few, if not the only. Having attended Damon Stoudmire's return and TMac's return to Toronto, I can say that the mood of hatred toward either of those guys during those games didn't rival the game on Friday (VC's return). It was unbelievable, it was like a WWE event, the players had never experienced anything like it. Those that brought signs or wore jerseys in support of Vince were too embarassed or scared to show support. I got there early and witnessed the shoot around, Vince was getting booed heavily but the most amazing thing was the reaction/strategy of his new teammates, who gave him a high five every 2 seconds, you knew that this whole thing was killing him. He was the sad clown, laughing on the outside and crying on the inside.
I don't know if you noticed during the footage at the end of the game, Wince gave Jalen a hug and at that moment and in the brief seconds that followed you could see his face quiver and he was fighting hard to hold back the tears. This leads to my question/thought. He'd been here for years, he knew that Raptor fans are a sensitive bunch and took migration south of the border very personally (especially when statistics show that he played poor delibarately), and even with that knowledge he still sticks the knife in the organisation/fans back and makes the move. All of this with the knowledge that he is a sensitive guy that made lots of friends here and was practically a diety, all or most of which are gone now. So why do it? Why pull a series of moves that invariably alienated the people who loved you only to go and play in front of 12000 a night in Jersey? I know the answers to these questions are easy, but they also expose how fragile and timid a 'man' that Vince Carter is. Can you think of any other athelete ever that is quite like VC, the most timid guy with the least heart playing in possibly the most athletic body in sports?
-- Steve L., Toronto
Here is the thing with VC, anyone aged 18-25 grew up with Carter as their messiah, he didn't just win slam dunk competitions and pull the Raptors out of lottery purgatory, he filled a void that was missing in our lives. Now that he is gone, he is like the ex girlfriend you thought you were going to marry, you can curse his name and rip up his posters, but deep down you can't ever hate him, but its also physically impossible for you to see him happy with anyone else. All you want to do is pretend that he doesn't exist and move on with your life. It is too emotional to wake up everyday and realize that were not together anymore and that there's nothing we can do to get him back. All we want is a clean break, we don't want to hear about vinsanity and we don't want to see vinsanity, no law suits to drag it out more then it already is, just give me back that empty void and stop tearing my heart out. Maybe, just maybe we could meet up in a few years, when the wounds aren't so fresh. We can do it in the spring when the flowers are blooming and maybe just maybe we will have truly met the one and we can reminisce of the past and what once was. Until then stay the eff off my morning loop.