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 season is off to an ominous start in Toronto — “The Raptor” blew out his Achilles during a school visit in Halifax over the weekend. The universally beloved mascot will undergo season-ending surgery. Per the Toronto Star: “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. We’re not sure what he’s paid. We’re sure it’s not enough. ‘My daughter cried,’ coach Dwane Casey said of the news. She’s won’t be the last one. The Raptor has never been named in this publication. In the spirit of streaks and good wishes, we won’t do so today. But send him some anonymous love. Unlike so many others involved in this organization, he’s never let you down. [...] What’s required now is some unexpected luck. Losing a mascot that was — quietly, and behind the scenes — a central member of the Raptors family was not the way to start things. ‘The Raptor will be back. We need his spirit,’ Casey said. ‘We’ll miss him.’”