A nation is in mourning today with the news that a beloved celebrity will be on the shelf for the beginning of the season.
The Raptor has blown out his (its?) Achilles.
Details, are still spotty, but Doug Smith of The Toronto Star reports the Raptors' beloved mascot will be on the shelf for the beginning of the season. Or at least until a replacement actor can be found. Or perhaps not.
Crushing blow! #Raptors say The Chicken blew out Achilles, done for year. Best mascot in NBA. Team has plans for successor by opening night.
— Doug Smith: Raptors (@SmithRaps) October 9, 2013
The mascot blew out his Achilles while performing a stunt during the Raptors' game against the Timberwolves in Halifax, Canada. It was a tear-filled night as Smith explained:
There have been nights — oh God, so many nights — when the only reason to stick around past the third quarter was to see the Inflatable Raptor ‘eat’ security guards on the sideline.
It looks like the Raptor will have to stay away from his usual diet of security guards for some time to keep the weight off while he is on the shelf.
Zach Lowe of Grantland penned a stirring tribute and get well soon for the Raptor, whom many know but will not name out of respect for the mascot trade. If you are a fan of inflatable mascots, the Raptor is one of the pioneers of that craft.
The Craptor was always a bit incongruous, in that the Raptor mascot is widely considered among the very best and most diligent in the league. And that’s why today there is an outpouring of sympathy from all over the league about the Raptor’s season-ending injury — from fellow mascots, fans, Toronto team employees, and even Dwane Casey’s daughter, who wept upon hearing the news. What a tribute.
All we can say is watch the highlights and get better soon Raptor. Toronto games will not be the same without him. But they will try.