'VC sucks' fans yell at 'VinSissy'

JOE WARMINGTON -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:19 AM ET

We'll just call that Boo-sanity. Yeah, you could say Toronto's love affair with Vince Carter has definitely cooled off.

"I've seen divorce courts with more love in them," teases comedian Frenchie McFarlane.

But this was a basketball court, where Toronto fans got their first chance to let the former Raptor superstar know they didn't appreciate how he didn't give his best in his final days, and perhaps years, in the Big Smoke.

"VC sucks, VC sucks," screamed the capacity Air Canada Centre crowd, which other times tried to taunt him with "Caaarter, Caaarter."

It seems just about everybody was in agreement.

"I loved Vince but he let everybody down," says fan Sue Etherington, who sported a sign that said "Air Canada??? More Like Jetsgo."

"He not only let me down, he let the whole country down."

Carter had the last laugh, though, as his New Jersey Nets beat the Raptors 101-90.

There were a lot of great signs down there last night, including Rob Hughes' "VinSanity? No! VinSissy!!!" and "Half Man, Half Effort."

And don't forget business pals Kevin White, Gavin Whelehan, Craig Longworth and Jodie Kerr, who made up T-shirts to raise money to buy tickets. On the front the shirts said "Half Man, Half Season" and on the back "Make decisions without your mother."

Now I'll admit this was an exciting night and it makes a guy almost miss Vin-sanity. The crowd was buzzed and the walk into the Hangar pre-game was like going into a Leafs playoff game.

On Yonge St., new busker Angela Sinclair was playing The Lion Sleep's Tonight on her guitar when Frenchie and I started singing "Oh, Vince Carter, Oh, Vince Carter, Your mother's not here tonight."

By the time we got down to Gate 2, we told the King of Buskers, Charlie Moon, who turned it into a rockin' anthem that had everybody in stitches. "Oh Vince Carter, Oh Vince Carter, we paid you millions to play, Oh Vince Carter, Oh Vince Carter, now please stay away."

He later added some lines about his mom's parking spot.

It was fun stuff during a year when there has been nothing to cheer about at The Hangar.

No one knows that more than ticket broker Brendan Cameron, who said it was nice to have a night when there was actually a demand for tickets.

It was also good for one-legged panhandler Bill Sayer, who enjoyed the large crowd outside and said Vince in town or out of town makes no difference to him since in six years he never got a tip from him "or any other (Raptor) player.

"I hear the twinkle of change in his pocket and he says that's the keys for his Hummer," laughs Bill.

But not everybody was down on Vince last night.

And not everybody was booing -- including the Raptors' Dance Pak, who were taking the energy of the night and cheering for the Raptors.

"I still like him anyway," said Tarul Sharma, Miss India Canada, who sang the national anthems.

Superfan Nav Bhatia, a close friend of Carter's, said he didn't think it was appropriate since "he's done so much for Toronto and for the organization." He added Vince tells him no matter the bitterness, he still "loves Toronto and the Toronto fans."

"It's showbiz," adds fan Gary Scholl. "It's nothing to be upset about. It's just a game."

Behind the scenes, Raptors-game staff workers Stephen "Smiley" Lean and Chris Myers said Vince was gracious to the staff -- even coming up and giving them hugs when he first arrived for the game.

"He teased me now that he's left, you are getting all of the beautiful ladies," laughs Lean.

But most people were like Howard Powell, a Scarborough basketball player himself, who will not forgive Vince for not trying while a Raptor. "He's no Michael Jordan," says Powell, wearing a No. 15 baby's bib, issued by The FAN 590. "Michael Jordan had respect for every game."

No, Toronto is no longer in love with Vince Carter. But feel free to show your own family some love this weekend and enjoy. Scrawler out.


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