There is a pall over Southern Ontario. Leafs? Losers of five straight and eight of nine. Buffalo Bills? Winless. And the Toronto Raptors? Sputtering along pretty much as expected, having lost their fifth straight to Golden State to drop to 1-6 on the season.
For basketball fans however, this is a good thing. Hockey fans - and Leafs GM Brian Burke - may come to realize this too late.
The Raptors are desperate need of a terrible season and a top-three draft pick; it's that simple. Bryan Colangelo, for obvious reasons, is loath to acknowledge that this season is a write-off - not the kind of message you want to deliver to your fans or your locker room - but if he's at all serious about pulling the Raptors out of the NBA muck he'll let this disaster run its course.
Can he resist the urge to try and fix it (whether he can or not, is another issue); to try and put some guaze on a wound that needs surgery and bed rest?
We'll see. Two years ago the Raptors were a team on the skids. After Sam Mitchell was fired, replaced by Jay Triano, the club was limping along with a comfy spot in the draft lottery looming.
But Colangelo couldn't let well-enough alone then. He traded Jermaine O'Neal to the Miami Heat for Shawn Marion who eventually turned into Hedo Turkoglu (and the Miami Heat used the salary coming off their books in the form of O'Neal's expiring deal to sign Chris Bosh this past summer).
He was rewarded - if you want to call it that - when the Raptors won nine of their last 13 games.
"We're not that far away," was the theme of that post-season press conference.
I always think about that because that little winning streak got Colangelo so excited that he re-signed Jay Triano as head coach, traded for Turkoglu and signed Jarrett Jack.
But most important? That spurt cost Toronto at least two positions in the draft lottery.
A 4-9 finish would have seen Toronto likely (providing the ping-pong balls fell correctly) picking seventh.
What difference would that have made? Steph Curry was drafted seventh that year, while the Raptors drafted DeMar DeRozan ninth.
Curry was runner-up for rookie-of-the-year last season. And he torched the Raptors for 34 points last night. Golden State is one of the fun, young teams in the league right now. Curry is averaging 21 points and seven assists on 50 per cent shooting so far this season. DeRozan is putting up average numbers on the worst team in the NBA.
Curry's His Dad used to play in Toronto. He learned how to shoot on the ACC practice floor. He likes it here and his girlfriend is from Markham, Ont.
No offense to DeRozan, but in the NBA you are who you draft. Here's hoping the Raptors have learned that lesson.